North American Music Weekend
If we’d been thinking ahead, the MBR experience for 2006 would have included a show to celebrate Cinco de Mayo and completed the trifecta of North American patriotic holidays.
Coming on the heels of the IFfestival/Hoping for Hoping weekend, our performances at Canada Deh and the 2nd of July at the American Club of China made for a busy fortnight of gigs.
It was great to be back at Da An Park for another free show open to the public; we were a younger, smaller band the first time around, at the 2003 Migration Music Festival.
Unchanged was the oddly inspiring mix of local and foreign music fans that congregated in the amphitheater and on the grassy slopes.
A backstage highlight was the air conditioning, which went some ways toward increasing the camaraderie of the performers, as did the mojitos (eh, TC?).
We had a grueling sound check in the afternoon, not so much from the length, but because of the searing heat on stage. The sound crew were on the ball and did a good job of accommodating our wall of sound, although I think I heard someone say that they wouldn’t mic Slim’s tapping because it “wouldn’t sound good.” Little do they know.
Not having a mic for his feet might have been the reason that Slim spent so much time dancing with the crowd (okay, it was a crowd of two--Scott Cook and a two-year-old lad).
I thought our set sounded great. Unlike the rest of the bands, we even had our own sound guy, Max, sit at the board during our performance and monitor our sound.
Milk, on the other hand, didn’t come for a sound check, had no one at the mixing table, but knew how to make the party rock. The smoke machine that anemically belched a few poorly timed blasts of violet-scented fog during our set was working overtime for Milk.
I knew we were in for a good show when Kevin opened the first set up with the slightly teetering piano theme from my favorite Canadian television phenomenon, the Trailer Park Boys.
As always, Milk was curiously costumed, with masks featuring prominently. The lead singer and the female go-go dancer wore demonic leather masks; the male dancer had on a mask that might have come from lacrosse; and the bassist had a hockey goalie mask.
Not content to let the night end when the music stopped, Conor, Slim, and I headed over to JB’s for the England v. Portugal match. In the taxi, Conor predicted, accurately, it turned out, that no goals would be scored during the two halves or the overtime periods, and that the game would be decided by penalty kicks.
He did not predict that England would end up losing. Honestly, though, the crowd at JB’s, with a few notable exceptions, did not seem particularly surprised at the game’s outcome. England did not put on a good performance, in my opinion. But, hey, I'm American. What could I possibly know about footie?
Feeling sporty after the game, Slim and I got into a 3 A.M. broad jump competition in a pocket park just behind the Buxiban pub. That boy has got some legs on him.
If you’ve already read TC’s account, you know that I was absent from Sunday’s performance at the ACC, so I can’t say what happened at that gig. I will venture that the music was excellent, and the people were unprepared for the audio onslaught that the MBR foisted upon them.
Maybe one of the other Ramblers could post a lowdown on the hoedown. (Edit: To avert a showdown, the lowdown on the hoedown will not go down.)