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SLCR #217 – Moist (July 11, 2015)

It has now been several weeks since the Moist concert. As of this writing, I am a little better than an hour away from going to see Geoff Berner (or deciding against doing the same), and I don’t want these reviews to pile up, so here we go.

The last time I saw Moist was in 1999. It was in Toronto, and they were the headliners of a day-long free outdoor concert which also included Jeff Healey, Moxy Früvous, Tal Bachman, Kim Stockwood, and others. After spending the whole day outside listening to music, our little group was about done, so when another friend joined us and wanted to go foraging for food, we all left with him. I’m pretty sure I lasted for about two songs of Moist’s set. Couldn’t tell you which songs.

Don’t feel bad, Moist. I didn’t see Emm Gryner’s set either.

Moist was never one of my favourite bands, but they were fine. Via Columbia House, I had their first album, Silver (or “Sliver,” depending on which one of the CD case spines you chose to believe). Mika, on the other hand, liked them a bunch and was really looking forward to seeing them again. The four-year age gap between us isn’t that significant, but I suspect it played a role here. Gender gap too.

The show was at the casino. We are at an age where the bands we liked in high school now play early-ending shows at the casino. Perhaps more significantly, we are at an age where this mostly sounds perfectly fine.

As is the standard with casino shows, it started right on time. There was no opener. The MC was an ad writer for a local radio station – maybe all the on-air talent had somewhere better to be. I actually knew of the writer guy through work; the professional thing to do would probably have been to find him and introduce myself. I did no such thing. You should not be surprised.

Moist took the stage and launched into one of their hits. I probably should have taken notes as to what got played in what order, but that would have required knowing more than their biggest singles. So it goes. A handful of women stood up at the front of the stage, soon joined by others. The crowd was close to an even split, but the most ardent (read: loud) fans were female by a 10:1 ratio. I tells ya, if you ever wanted to meet a bunch of (what’s a polite word for “horny?” Hmm, let’s go with) interested women in their late 30s, go to a Moist show. Any guy who knew the deep cuts from Mercedes 5 and Dime was set.

The crowd at the stage grew throughout the night, and as our view diminished, Mika joined them. I stayed back at the table to guard drinks and purses. Well, “drink and purse,” singular – though my services were available had anyone else cared to take me up on them.

I thought this whole thing was fine. They played well. I knew some of the songs but didn’t know most of them. They sounded like they always did and their newer material (from last year’s Glory Under Dangerous Skies) meshed well with everything else. David Usher wandered out into the crowd and sang while posing for selfies. They closed with Push because of course they did. The night ended early – they played under 90 minutes including the encore. I was fine with that too. Really, this was the very definition of “just a show” for me and not in a negative way at all.

If nothing else, I got to hear one of my OWF themes played live for the first and most likely only time in my life. I am not sure how this sentence makes me feel nor am I super confident regarding its inclusion here. Luckily, anyone who gets it was there too. Besides, if I want to feel dumb, I can point out that though I was disappointed that this show was concurrent with UFC 189 (featuring the Conor McGregor title win), it never once occurred to me that I could simply order the replay when I got home, nor did I think to order and DVR the original broadcast. A colossal lack of imagination resulted in the failure to resolve the simplest problem. Oh well, hopefully it will be on Fight Pass before my subscription expires. And so concludes the most “pad the word count” paragraph I’ve ever written.

Brian Setzer Orchestra, Bryan Adams, Moist

Brian Setzer Orchestra – Vavoom!

Fantastic swing jump blues big band dance music (now there’s a mouthful). Nice mix of covers and originals and that guitar, too. Oh man, and what a smokin’ band behind him. Long live the swing revival! And for all of that, he still sounds, at times, like the Stray Cats. It’s a cool mix, that sound. I liked the original blend of old and new on In The Mood (Gettin’ In The Mood). Fun times! … Listening to this sort of thing reminds me of when I listened to jazz and swing almost exclusively and it makes me miss it, as though all the metal and punk and rock since then is great, but (perhaps) not where my heart truly lies. We never forget our first love.

Moist – Silver

Essential mid-90s CanCon. These guys were everywhere, and with great reason. Solid rock tunes, and David Usher’s distinctive voice, ensured that. Big hits like Push and Silver are engrained in our brains, yet the rest of the record is just as solid. I loved the piano all over this record. This band had an instantly recognizeable sound.

Bryan Adams – Waking Up The Neighbours

Looking back now, it’s easy to see how, over the years, Mutt Lange turned Bryan Adams into Shania Twain into Def Leppard… The only thing missing here, then, is more exclamation points on the song titles. But back in 1991 I loved this CD, I played it to death. We saw this tour, in London (with Sass Jordan, Extreme and Steve Miller Band). These are still strong songs, that knack for a tune and a lyric is still here and as strong as ever. Loaded with hits and shoulda-beens. This album is really satisfying, in that way, for fans (like me) of his early work. This thing was HUGE.

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