Well I'm starting to think that I shouldn't go to see musicians live who I've wanted to see for years.
Kim Mitchell is one of those artists who I've loved since I was a kid, mostly thanks to my dad showing me this album at a very young age:
Max Webster has been one of my favourite bands since I was a kid (and I've been lucky enough to find the majority of their albums on vinyl since starting my collection not too long ago).
I'd never seen Kim Mitchell or the Max Machine live, so needless to say, I was thrilled when I learned Kim would be coming to town to play, and a free show no less! As soon as I found out there were a few VIP tickets available to Wolf staffers, I jumped on it to make sure I could get a pair.
So as I finished up my shift at work, I headed straight down to Del Crary Park to get situated for the show.
The openers were a young pop-punk band from Kitchener-Waterloo called Courage My Love.
The festival crowd gave a warm welcome to the band, which was named "One of the 100 bands you need to know in 2012" by Alternative Press Magazine.
As they wrapped up their set, things were looking pretty good for Kim to hit the stage. The heat had died down a little bit. The Wolf's Dani Stover and Kruz FM's Catherine Hanrahan, as well as CHEX TV's Keri Ferguson did a couple of draws, for an autographed guitar from The Guitar Boutique (signed by Kim Mitchell) and for the 50/50 (the winner took home over $5,000!).
There were more than a fair share of "Go For Soda" and "Lager and Ale" jokes cracked before Kim hit the stage at about 5 minutes to 9.
The first song was Lager & Ale, which got the crowd right into it. I was lucky enough to be sitting in the third row, and was able to snap this photo of the stage:
Next was Rocklandwonderland, which was certainly a crowd pleaser. After this, Kim made a little speech about how awesome the Little Lake Musicfest is, mentioning how there aren't many places in Canada that put on free shows like this anymore, and the LLMF has been doing it for 26 years. We really are lucky to have something like this going on all summer here in Peterborough.
It was as he was introducing the title track to his 2007 album, Ain't Life Amazing, when I felt the first raindrops. As soon as a couple had come down, a few people in the crowd started booking it out of there, prompting Kim to say "Oh no, don't tell me..."
This photo isn't from last night... It's a Google special.
The band made it to the first chorus of Ain't Life Amazing before the rain was coming down hard enough to prompt Kim to say "Should we maybe take a break?" The crowd responded with a resounding "NO!" Kim said they had to move some gear before they continued though. With a few thousand dollars of electronic gear on stage, it makes sense to want to get it out of the rain. He then said "Listen, if we don't get to finish this tonight, we'll be back!"
After a few minutes, the Festival organizers came onstage to announce that the show had been officially cancelled due to the incoming bad weather, and that the priority was to get guests home safe.
Needless to say, the crowd was a little disappointed, as a chorus of boos rang through Del Crary Park.
A few minutes later, this tweet appeared on the Music Fest's account:
Obviously there is a little disappointment surrounding this. Some folks travelled a bit of a distance to take the show in, and I'm sure it was even more disappointing for them than for folks who live here in Peterborough.
The thing to remember, though, is that the Musicfest staff made the right call, to ensure that everyone would get home safe. The storm that followed was a pretty active one, with some awesome lightning. As disappointing as it was to miss out on the show, It would be even more disappointing and tragic if the show had gone on, and lightning had struck, injuring or killing people at the festival.
At the start of this post, I said that I shouldn't go to see musicians who I've wanted to see since a kid. This is the second time now that I've seen an artist for the first time who I've loved since childhood, and had the show end early.
David Wilcox is another artist I've loved since I was a child, and wanted nothing more than to see him live. I even had a few opportunities to see him which never panned out. The last time he played Showplace here in town, I had friends who had extra tickets. I would have happily taken one of them, but I didn't find out until AFTER the show. Funny how that happens, isn't it?
Well finally, in early July 2009, I got a chance to check out David Wilcox at the Fort Erie Friendship Festival. I was living in Niagara Falls at the time so it was a short drive to check out the free show.
Fortunately he managed to get through the majority of a very lively set. It was in the middle of Layin' Pipe that the generators running the main PA system ran out of fuel, and the PA died. The generators powering the lights an amps stayed running for a short time however, so the band kept jamming for about 5 minutes, trying to figure out what to do next. Eventually they wrapped up the song before the rest of the equipment went down. A few minutes later, police were making their way through the park telling people to go home. The show was over. A disappointing end to a great show, but what can you do?
I'm starting to wonder though... Is it me?