This isn’t a review, though I will get to this classic from my childhood eventually.
Instead of putting in the work (haha), today we went skating with the kids (they’re really improving!) and had post-skating hot chocolate. Good times!
So, this is just an appreciation post for a cool copy of this LP, which I recently found. Call it Eye Candy Sunday…
You see, the copy I found has a clear LP! Sweet.
Another thrift shop find (still in the shrink wrap!), here we have live Glass Tiger in 2006. Looks like this one was web site and concert merch table exclusive, folks!
Some personal history: We saw Glass Tiger live at Center In The Square in Kitchener during the Diamond Sun tour (in the mid-80s). We also saw them a decade later when we were in high school, in Listowel, ON at Paddyfest (I know!). Both times, they were a solid live act. Good energy and of course we knew all the tunes. Good times.
For anyone growing up as a fan in the 80s in Canada, this then, is basically a greatest hits set. Of course, I can think of a few other songs I would like to have seen here, but that’s just about always the case.
I still own the first three albums on CD, LP and CS (Thin Red Line, Diamond Sun, Simple Mission) and I know all those tunes pretty well, even after all these years. It was a pleasure to hear them still doing well on these tunes as recently as ten years ago, though I did find a bit of their youthful energy to be somewhat gone. Ah well, we all age, and for dudes 15-20 years older than me they were doing alright. Frew’s voice seems ageless, though.
Still, there were a couple of new-to-me songs. Give It Away* was good (and not a cover of RHCP). If Frew had sung this song back in 1986, it would have been a smash hit everywhere. The Ceili~ was a new instrumental. Also, that song title is as given by the disc and CDDB. Turns out it’s Ceili in Irish, and Ceilidh in Scottish Gaelic. Which is weird, seeing as how Frew is from Coatsbridge, Scotland, so you’d think they’d use ‘Ceilidh.’ Especially given My Town and Thin Red Line… Ah well.
So Blind,^ and I Am With You Tonight^ are from Hold On, Frew’s solo record. Cool beans.
When I texted our good friend Desiree, probably the biggest GT fan we know, to see if she had this CD or not (I’d totally have sent it to her, if she didn’t), she replied in the affirmative (of course). She also said the sound was pretty bad quality but it was still worth having (of course). I didn’t really notice any sound quality issues on my playback, so I don’t really know what she meant but she must have had her reasons.
Anyway, Glass Tiger in 2006. Imagine that. Total nostalgia trip. Good on ya, boys! I dug this.
The Set List:
Thin Red Line
I Will Be There
You’re What I Look For
Give It Away*
I’m Still Searching
Stand Or Fall
I Am With You Tonight^
Don’t Forget Me When I’m Gone
* from No Turning Back: 1985-2005
^ from Hold On, Alan Frew solo record
~ new song in 2006
Deserée is bonkers over Glass Tiger. I present this information merely as context; a way of explaining why, exactly, I was at a Glass Tiger show in 2014. She was there to watch the band, and the rest of us were there to watch her watch the band. I am not here to make fun. Much. I have my things too. We all have our things. Sometimes Glass Tiger is one of those things, and what the heck, I’ll go to that.
Her fandom is pretty much the only reason why I even remember Glass Tiger in 2014. Otherwise, they’d occupy a sort of Honeymoon Suite/Platinum Blonde place in my mind – I remember the name, I remember liking them well enough when they were on Video Hits with Samantha Taylor (the only version of Video Hits worth watching), but I was never what you’d really call a fan. Glass Tiger has more songs that I remember than those other bands, but that’s probably just due to my age and when I started being aware of music.
We made plans for dinner at Beer Bros at 6:00. Mid-afternoon, I was advised that Deserée and crew might arrive closer to 6:15. I later found out that this had to do with… pants and soup? I think? I was never entirely clear on that. But whatever.
It is at this point that I could quit writing and tell the story entirely in copied and pasted text messages. There were three conversations going on over the course of the night: James/Deserée as to why people weren’t at the restaurant yet, James/Aaron comparing concerts (Aaron and Cindy were out at Big Rude Jake for their anniversary), and James/friend who shall remain nameless because he had just completed a stressful few weeks at work and was unwinding with a UFC show and numerous beers which contributed fantastic opinions and typos. I think who’s who should be obvious. If it helps, I don’t quote Aaron in here.
Say what you will about people being addicted to their smartphones and missing out on real life, but this text record of the evening is fantastic. I rarely take notes at concerts and then I forget all the stuff I wanted to write about. No chance of that anymore.
6:04 p.m. “We haven’t left the house.”
6:06 p.m. “I think we’re going… no wait, camera…”
6:07 p.m. “Phone…”
6:08 p.m. “Oh boy… k, phone found.”
There’s more of this but you get the idea. 6:00 became 6:15 which became 6:30 as Deserée became increasingly agitated with her traveling companions.
Mika and I used the time alone to share an order of deep fried pickles. Time well spent.
Eventually everyone showed up and got fed. Dinner was delightful as it always is there. Aaron suggested I get chicken, but I just got a burger because I am boring like that, and because SLCR canon doesn’t hold in the face of Beer Bros bacon. I don’t know if they buy something special or they just know what to do it, but either way, fine work. And besides, the pickles were a enough of a callback to the deep fried days of Louis’ Pub and the first concert reviews.
While at dinner, I gave Deserée a Glass Tiger 45 for the song I Will Be There that I found at Value Village earlier in the week. There’s a piece of masking tape on the front that indicates this was once sold at a garage sale for 50 cents, which means that Value Village actually marked it up. Clearly, they knew they had a treasure on their hands.
Finally, it was time to head to the show, and as it always seems to wind up with casino shows, we were cutting it pretty fine. I wish I had text messages detailing the decisiveness with which it was decided we did not have time for dessert. The law was LAID DOWN.
I had been invited to watch the night’s UFC card, and I had actually accepted before remembering the Glass Tiger show. Despite the weak main event, the strong undercard made me a little sad to miss out. Luckily, I got updates as the night went on so I didn’t feel like I was missing anything. Really, I think I got the best of both worlds.
7:58 p.m. “THIS UFC CARD WILL ROCK. THE RETURN OF DRUNK TEXTING”
7:59 p.m. “THIS WILL BEDTBTHE SLEPPY HOLLOW UNFIRVEN CAVRMAN FORBAWESOME. FUCKNSPELL CHECK”
I reminded my pal where I was.
8:03 p.m. “Looooool hpe Desiree meets Alan Frew #ew”
“#ew” absolutely slayed me.
Glass Tiger started right on time, as casino shows will do. No opener. I think the first song was Someday; I could be wrong on that. It was a song I knew, I remember that much. Deserée was grinning and practically vibrating from excitement. She did not rush the stage right away, though. I lost that bet.
8:11 p.m. “Durst fight is cat zingano vsm amanda nunes. Love rhe womens fights. Chipnon theirsgoulse..greatbstart”
I think it was four or five songs in when she actually went up to the front, for the song Diamond Sun. There were other folks already up there – maybe 10 in total. So, of course, an old man security guard came and shooed everyone back to their seats. Can’t have people getting too rowdy here. At some point, some lady decided that she was going to go back up to the front, old man security guard be damned. She stood there. He talked to her. He walked away, defeated. Who knew that’s all it took?
Around this time I had a lengthy conversation with my drunken pal and his girlfriend about UFC fighter Tim Kennedy and his legs. She liked them. He said they were “Not heslous” but when I agreed that they were nice legs (she sent me a picture) (see above re: the wonderful ever-connected age in which we live), I got called a “fucking petbert jeking off to tim kennefy’s legs lol.”
8:47 p.m. “Animal heaaaaaarr”
Sure, make fun of me for going to…
8:54 p.m. “Glass toger in 2014”
…but I didn’t even remember Animal Heart was a song of theirs. Who’s the superfan now?
9:13 p.m. “Its THEIR ONLY SOMG :)”
This is not true. Their only song was Don’t Forget Me When I’m Gone. I feel like I might be forgetting some parentheses in there? Not sure it matters. They actually had a lot of hits and played pretty much all of them. I already mentioned Someday and Animal Heart and Diamond Sun. There was My Town and The Thin Red Line and I’m Still Searching. Maybe that’s the one they started with? Who can remember. Spoiler: the encore was (a very extended version of) Don’t Forget Me When I’m Gone, because of course it would be.
It was during this encore that Alan Frew took off his jacket to reveal a Glass Tiger t-shirt. They say you should not be that guy who wears the band’s shirt to the band’s concert. I don’t know if you get a free pass if you’re in the band, or if it’s worse. But that is not relevant right now. It was also during this encore that a ton of people were up at the front, and it was then that Alan Frew stole Deserée’s phone and wandered around the stage with it, shooting video. This was pretty cool – and would have been better had her phone not crapped out halfway through. Still, the video is pretty neat to see.
10:23 p.m. “Thus ends drunkbtexting 🙂 hopenconcert wad good”
I did think that the sound quality was disappointing. The band was way too loud for the style of music they were playing. Not in an “ow, my freakin’ ears” sort of way – more in a “the music is distorted and drowning out the vocals” way. I’m not sure if it got better over the course of the evening or if I just got used to it.
The concert was short, only about 90 minutes including the encore. It was an all-hits affair, as I mentioned, apart from a few new songs that fit well with everything else. Really, the whole night was fun enough. It was fun to hear a bunch of songs I’d kind of forgotten about and everyone there seemed to have a good time.
After the show, we sat around and discussed how much we’d have to pay Alan Frew to score and record a song that I would hypothetically write. Apparently this is a thing one can do and I am very down with this idea. I currently have $25 and some Sobeys coupons in my wallet. I also cashed in everybody’s free slot play vouchers after the show and walked away with $12.50 ($12 from the slots, plus I found 50 cents in the change tray at the ticket redemption machine). That brings me up to $37.50 I am willing to contribute. I bet it costs more than that, but how much more? I would be willing to start a Kickstarter for this. I am also taking lyric suggestions.
Glass Tiger was in the lobby after the show, and by the time we were done with the songwriting proposal and the slot machines, the line to meet them was fairly reasonable. As much as Mika wanted to know how the backup singer got her hair to be that way, we opted to go home, leaving Deserée to get her record signed. I haven’t seen her since. I hope she’s enjoying her new life.
• The Smalls (October 24)
• Michael Bernard Fitzgerald (October 28)
• Gordon Lightfoot (November 7)
• Buck 65 (November 14)
• Spirit of the West (November 21)