TWO NIGHTS, THREE CONCERTS
Another canceled baseball game, after torrential rains and flooding in parts of Scarborough, meant spending a second consecutive Friday night at the CIBC Stage at Harbourfront. I walked down, had another tasty order of Mediterranean chicken and vegetables, and met up with Tara and Tima to see Matt Mays and El Torpedo. The weather probably kept some people away, but I'd guess that there were 700 people there to check out material from Matt's two albums. Just as when I saw the band in Hubbards, N.S. three weeks ago, the jamming was reduced and the volume brought down a bit, which suited me just fine. The crowd was reserved, but a late set Cocaine Cowgirl brought most people to their feet. I also found out that the band was so impressed with Hubbards that it shot the video for On The Hood there.
We went up to the Horseshoe to pick up JC and then walked to the Amsterdam Brewery to sit on the patio and comment on everyone walking by us on the patio. Jordan and Michelle joined us to round out the party, and CBC/Moxy Fruvous guy Jian Ghomeshi stopped to chat for a while as well. While I was disappointed that there was no Avalanche in stock, and I could only get a bottle of Framboise, a couple pints of Nut Brown after that hit the spot. After being told that we couldn't hang out there any longer, we went our separate ways and I got home at 3 a.m.
To celebrate a 20-3 baseball win on Saturday night, JC and I returned to Harbourfront to see The Joel Plaskett Emergency. We arrived mid-set, but still caught such great songs as Down At The Khyber, Maybe We Should Just Go Home, Work Out Fine, Mystery & Crime, Extraordinary, Come On Teacher and a solo acoustic encore of True Patriot Love, where Joel forgot a lot of the lyrics. He has great stage presence and it's always a treat to see him perform.
We went from there up to Lee's Palace to see The Constantines as part of the Three Gut Records farewell party. We had to endure almost half-an-hour of the essentially annoying Oneida first, however. The club was packed with Constantines devotees, and the band had them under its intense spell from the get-go as it drove its way through such winners as Shine A Light, Nighttime/Anytime (It's Alright), On To You, Sub-Domestic, Hotline Operator and, my personal favourite, Young Lions. Johanna, who was my host when I visited Nairobi last fall, was visiting Toronto with her Kenyan husband, Anthony. As we sat above the stage and looked down, it was interesting to see and hear Anthony's reactions to seeing a rock show from that close for the first time in his life.
We were all a bit hungry, so we cut out from the show a bit early to get a seat at Swatow to enjoy some excellent Chinese food. The company (JC, Tara, Sonja, Johanna and Anthony) and the chow were great, and I even got some leftovers that I'll enjoy for dinner tomorrow night. Because tonight we get back to our winning ways in softball and then get to christen Fred and Joanne's new place with burgers and beer at a barbecue that they've graciously volunteered to host.