I’ve been reviewing concerts for ten years and ten days. By “reviewing,” I mean I’ve been telling the internet of my friends’ drunken antics, and sneaking in “this band was good” or “this band sucked.” I have to be honest – I’m not very good at the actual “reviewing” part. With that in mind, it only makes sense that I would partner with Aaron to start a music review site, and it makes even more sense that I’d review a one-man comedy show for my first (real) post. Getting off to a GREAT start here.
I’ll defend this by saying there were musicians playing before and during the comedy. And last night, I saw Oliver Stone give a lecture and I promise I will not review that here (though he did sing a few lines of Accentuate The Positive).
Anyway, here’s the review, written a few days before the birth of Keeps Me Alive. Future reviews (such as the forthcoming New Pornographers and Sloan reviews) might actually be written with this site in mind!
Given that this wasn’t really a concert, I wasn’t going to write a concert review. You can’t review something that didn’t happen; even if it happened, as it happens. However, I changed my mind for several reasons:
1)- I’ve always regretted not writing one of these for when we saw the Brothers Chaps
2)- There were musicians opening the show
3)- There were post-show hijinx
People who read my blog are already well aware of the post-show hijinx. I don’t want to spoil the surprise (though there shouldn’t be a surprise to spoil, as you should all be addicted to the mundane genius that is my blog), but the hijinx involved a lot of swearing.
The show itself – dubbed “Scottastrophe” – promised a lot of swearing as well, as when we arrived, we were warned that the show might be “highly offensive,” but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Colin lives out by the university, which means my apartment is sort of in the middle between his place and most of the bars and bar-sized concert venues. I didn’t really think about this at first, but isn’t it weird that there aren’t more bars close to campus? I think it’s weird. But whatever, that’s how it is, so when we go to stuff, Colin generally picks me up. By “generally,” I mean it’s happened twice now.
A little before 8:00 p.m., Colin parked in the lot of Extreme Hockey & Sports, which is next door to the Exchange. In the past, I, too, have parked there. I’ve gone to the Exchange to see Corb Lund and Final Fantasy and Danny Michel and Wolf Parade and Geoff Berner and Carolyn Mark and Sarah Slean and Serena Ryder and every single time, I parked in that parking lot.
“Boy, James,” you’re thinking, “that’s sure an obsessive amount of detail regarding your parking situation!”
We wandered inside, were warned about the highly offensive show that was to come, and found Chris and Maureen. They had beers, while Colin and I had sodas. They looked slightly disappointed in us (Chris and Maureen did, I mean, not the sodas).
The show started a little later than I expected – somewhere around 8:45 – but that meant that this time, I didn’t miss the openers. Scott Thompson started by introducing Magali Meagher, who played a very short set, only four songs or so. It’s rare that I want an opener to play longer, but I would have been okay with that.
Bob Wiseman joined Magali halfway through her second song, and played for a half-hour or so after she was finished. I’d seen Wiseman open for Final Fantasy a few weeks previously, and I was pleased that the set had been changed up. He played a few songs, that he’d played before, but there were some new videos. This was quite entertaining, even if nobody tripped and nearly landed on his face in front of me this time. I’d go see these folks again. Chris and Maureen each picked up a CD, so I’m guessing they agreed as well.
Weird how I talk about these people using the girl’s first name and the guy’s last name. That’s what seems right, and I’m not sure why. I don’t know either of these people, so I’m not really on a first-name basis with either of them. Of course, if I was introducing myself to them, I would greet them by their first names. Except I never call people by their names, because I always always always get names wrong. This is an odd little digression. I think I’ll leave it in.
So, Scott Thompson. Bob Wiseman played guitar while Thompson manned the PowerPoint projector. This may have been the best use of PowerPoint ever. I can’t say I was offended by this show, but I didn’t really think I would be. Dirty words make me giggle, and there were a lot of them. In fact, I hurt from laughing by the time the show was over, which is a testament to just how funny the guy is, since so much of the material was quite poignant. The show details Thompson’s reaction to the suicide of his mentally ill brother, combined with a timeline of Thompson’s tumultuous post-Kids In The Hall career. He travelled around the world, confronted terrorism, nearly had sex with a knight, and got (and lost) a role on Touched By An Angel. It sounded like an eventful few years.
It’s hard to recap a comedy show, since I don’t want to spoil the jokes. In fact, I don’t want to repeat some of them, lest I get in trouble for writing a concert review where I report that a performer said that someone else is gay. Ha ha, that would sure be terrible if that happened! Good thing it never did!
After the show, Scott Thompson was greeting people at the door and signing autographs. I had earlier contemplated bringing a Kids In The Hall DVD case to get signed, but opted against it, and now I’m a bit regretful.
Not as regretful as I was once we got to the car, however. For you see, the parking lot was barricaded shut. And not with comical stolen city roadwork barricades, either. Like, giant padlocked metal gates. Shiiiit, maaaan, as a French-Canadian consultant might say. Jumping the curb was an option, but the curb was pretty high – Colin’s car would not have made it through unscathed. Clearly, the Extreme Hockey & Sports people were tired of their parking lot being used for non-hockey-equipment-purchasing purposes.
There were about a half-dozen vehicles in the same predicament, and there were some angry, angry people. “Fuck” was being thrown around all over the place in all its forms (such as “what the fuck,” “fuckheads,” and “seriously, what the fuck”). Colin’s contribution to this discourse was mostly “dickwad,” which I haven’t heard in years and it cracked me up every time.
We found some pallets and considered building a ramp, but sadly, we had all left our ramp-building tools at home. Plus, it was -13C with the windchill. Some dudes found some loose boards and ramped their way out – it worked, but made some nasty thudding noises. Which I suppose is better than scraping noises, but still.
Eventually, Colin called his roommate and he and their friend came and got us, which was very nice of them. The ride back to my place was filled with “dickwad” again, so that was okay.
The morning after (also known as “this morning”), I drove to work so that Colin and I could take off at coffee time to retrieve the car, which – I’m pleased to report – had not been towed. I guess locking up the car for the evening was enough of a lesson. I would say that Extreme Hockey & Sports has lost all of my business forever, but really, they did that when they chose to sell hockey equipment. I have heard rumours that someone (not naming names) is planning to sneak into a quiet section of the store and take a dump, but I’ll believe that when I see it, or if I just hear about it and the story is funny enough.
Next week, we’re going to see Oliver Stone talk at the university. I’m driving. I bet their parking situation is more… better. Also, I’m expecting fewer jokes about buggery. Although, that WOULD be pretty hilarious.