Thursday, 27 October 2011

The Sounds of Riverdale

One of the things I noticed about accepting adulthood is that weeknight excursions become a rare occasion. In my attempts to rekindle my youthful side, I went out last night. In short, it was a great success, as I soon found that I can still fit in at concerts while not making a fool out of myself.  More on that later.

The adventure began with meeting up with the true hero of the night who I will alias as SD-6 (For those who don’t get that reference go here:

Dinner was exotic and enjoyed over exquisite entertainment at Jilly’s fine dining and strip club, as recommended by a colleague of mine.  Although the accuracy of that is debatable, I will choose to remember it that way. Gotta love those cigarette flavoured wings and mouthwash beer!

Riverdale is an odd place. On that stretch of Queen St. near Broadview, there are high end wine bars, Toronto Life reviewed restaurants, and a strip club. I wonder if an urban planner had this combination in mind. I think a fantastic reality TV show could be made out of making someone an urban planner for a year. Heck, I’d do it just to clash different classes and groups.  One of my blocks would include a high end martini bar, soup kitchen, adult video store, church, Victoria Secrets, and a jail. Since public transportation is so important there would be a GO station at the corner. That way people could pass Go and collect a food stamp.  Ok...this is getting off topic.

The Opera House is one of Toronto’s decent concert venues.  It’s a nice size for semi-intimate crowds. Kind of like the premature lovechild of The Phoenix and The Mod Club. When we got there it was pretty empty.  Tip for concert goers – If you plan on buying merch, always get it at the beginning of the show unless you love line ups. Something strange about this concert was the order of artists that performed that night.  Typically, the lesser known bands perform first and the headlining artists obviously go last. While the headliners, The Sounds, did go last, I was confused why The Limousines went before the lesser known band The Midway State.  Also, the DJ pair who calls themselves Kids at the Bar would DJ in between each set.  These guys were non-existent. Yet they were on the bill. They hid to the side of the stage, didn’t engage the crowd, and just DJ’d recycled beats trying to look busy. SD-6 brought up a good point, one of members of this DJ duo seemed like he was doing absolutely nothing. He would stare at a laptop and pretend to turn knobs as he watched guides on how to be a DJ on YouTube.

The Limousines were a fun and catchy duo. One singer and one drum machine specialist.  Is that considered an art?  I always thought the band consisted of more members and actually played instruments. I guess not. They were at least entertaining.  I was slightly disappointed about the crowd’s reaction to The Limousines. Specifically, at the end of performing their hit ‘Internet Killed the Video Star’, the vocalist ended with ‘Internet Killed…’ waiting for the crowd to respond ‘…the Video Star’. But no one said anything. Fail. Toronto you let me down. Slightly. You need to listen to more Alt Nation on Sirius/XM.

After another confusing set by the Kids at the Bar, the Toronto local band The Midway State entered the stage.  I really don’t have much to say about these guys. They make a good opening band.  They just need more shows under their belt to grow.  Some songs sounded like Cold Play (also noted by SD-6), but we all know Cold Play isn’t much more than an opening band to begin with.

Next was an even more confusing set by The Kids at the Bar. Who, by the way, looked like kids…old enough to be at a Canadian bar but young enough to be carded.  An entertaining part of the DJ set was watching The Midway State and roadies take apart their equipment and move it to their van. Some guy picked up an upright piano on the stage from the ground where the audience was, and in the process scared a shitload of people who thought a piano was going to fall on them.

Finally the sensational Swedish band The Sounds made their way onto the stage. At this point, the venue really filled up. The lead singer, Maja Ivarsson, stole the show with her energetic attitude and perfect legs that she was not shy to show off.  I enjoyed their set list and crowd-engaging style. Let’s be honest, everyone in the crowd came to see The Sounds and it showed in the noted behaviour of individuals in the crowd. This is what I want to focus today’s blog post on.

It’s pretty usual to find people at concerts that just annoy you. Usually it involves them being inconsiderate with their height, movement, odour, or general lack of common sense.  This particular concert seemed to be the meeting place of concert fucktards.  Where do I begin? Ok in no particular order…

The 40-year old virgin who lost his friends.  This fucking idiot pushes his way in front of SD-6 and I and decides to jump around like a delusional man trying hard to forget his age.  Imagine a fatter, uglier, father character from American Beauty rocking out hard to the music of a band 10+ years younger than him.  Every so often he would turn back and try to wave his friends over.  Luckily (and sadly for him), his friends never moved up to join him. To be honest, I’m not sure if he had any friends with him because I only saw him rocking out by himself in his imaginary circle that somehow included my space.

The Tall Flamer and his counterpart.  Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against gays. In fact, some of the most influential people in my life are homosexual.  A lot of them are wonderful people that I sometimes pretend are bisexual (Tegan, if you are reading…). Anyways, this tall flamer annoyed me because he was taller than I and decided to squeeze in right in front of me. Mind you, I was the second tallest person there at that moment. Now, why ruin the view for another taller person? If you are going to ruin someone’s view, ruin it for the shortest person in the crowd.  Short people are used to being obstructed! That’s probably what made me dislike him the most. He stood in front of me and snuggly behind his counterpart RU-###2.  Now, that’s fine. You don’t decide your height or sexual orientation.  You do, however, decide what dance moves you decide to use and this is why this guy has a paragraph written about him.  This guy was busting out moves that even Lady Gaga would be too self-conscious to use. Honestly, gay or straight, guys should not use moves like that.  It changes the balance of an already fragile world.  Too much of that shit could have a serious impact on the well-being of the human race.

Monkey Man. This dude was swinging his arms and throwing elbows like he was in the octagon. I was almost elbowed in the face on many occasions. It looked like a combination of back-crawl swimming and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

The Very Awkward Couple. This couple was just plain weird. The nerdy girl looked like a drunk version of Ugly Betty and her boyfriend was probably just drunk enough to date Ugly Betty.  They couldn't stop touching each other and dancing during breaks in the music. This couple was so weird that even the weirdos at the concert gave them space.  The dude dropped and broke a beer bottle which forced security to make some space in the crowd in order clean the mess up.  This gave everyone the excuse they wanted to stand away from this couple.

The XX accompanied by their parents.  I call them the XX because security marked X’s on their hands so that they wouldn’t be served alcohol.  These minors were accompanied by their parents, which isn’t a bad thing. At least the parents care enough to want to supervise to ensure their children aren’t secretly living groupie life. I don’t mind seeing this…at Avril Lavigne concerts. But, at The Sounds? If these kids are cool enough to like The Sounds, they should be cool enough not to go with their parents. And thank you security guards for marking those chicks with the X’s.  Girls these days look older than they should.  Hero’s like you save people like me from lawsuits.

Superbad Wannabes. These two fuckers pushed their way in front of SD-6 and I and started doing what appeared to be the Monster Mash on LSD. Both SD-6 and I had to push them out of our personal space a number of times. Finally, they edged their way to their fellow adolescents of the opposite sex for fun acid times!

Token Black Girl. Thanks for being there. It looks like you came alone. Way to brave it out. I commend you on your taste in music and representing!  You were probably the most considerate person near the front.

Brave Chubby Girl.  This chick decides to get on stage during the encore and dance as if the band wanted her there.   Clearly they didn’t. What the fuck? I don’t want any distractions when I’m staring at Maja’s legs. Her being kicked off the stage by Maja was probably one of the highlights of the night.

So that pretty much describes the night. Overall it was fantastic. Thanks to those lingerers in the crowd I had something to write about. The Sounds are definitely worth seeing and I would love to see them do an acoustic set.  Come to Massey Hall and have an intimate show away from crazies of Riverdale.

Riverdale…I don’t quite get it but Sounds like a fun place.

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