I am SO TIRED today, because yesterday was an incredibly intense day.
First, I had a meeting with my new manager at work to clarify
responsibilities and so forth. There have been a lot of moves in the
last few months, through a couple of rounds of layoffs; after the last
layoff, the NSSG Operations Team was comprised of only me. I’m now
firmly in IT, sort of straddling Network and Server, and we clarified
how that straddling will work out. There are still details to be
cleared up, but it’s improved my outlook on things a lot.
And lastly — and the biggest contributor to my tiredness today — we
went to see Hot Hot Heat play at the Capital Music Hall downtown. Wow!
What a great show.
There were two bands opening for them. We were supposed to get The
Unicorns out of Montreal, but there was apparently a last-minute change
and we ended up with The Premiums, a musically uninteresting punk-pop
quartet from parts unknown. Candice and I kept ourselves
amused during their set by laughing at their outfits (black on black
with wide ties, which were only distracting given the bland music —
I’m sure I would have found them better in t-shirts and jeans) and
that the lead singer seemed to have learned stage presence from watching
old footage of Mick Jagger. The crowd hardly reacted all, and I’m pretty
sure they cut their set short at only 20 minutes.
During the 40 minutes left for the second opener to set up, we mostly
occupied ourselves by laughing at the scene kids on the floor. I felt
old. There was one guy who puzzled us both, though — he was
probably about 20, tallish with a sharp triangular face shape, and
long feathery blond hair. He looked like a young John Tesh
who let his hair grow. It was the strangest thing — the whole night
he was running his hands through his hair, and when everyone else
was bouncing around to the music he was doing all he could to swing
his hair back and forth, and so on. Incredibly odd.
The opening bit was saved by the second opener, NYC’s The French Kicks.
I’d never heard nor heard of these guys before and I’ve been missing
out. These four took turns at the various stations around a stage
covered in synths, blending power-pop edge and mod textures to to end
up sounding like a cross between Interpol and Sigur Rós. The energy
level and mix of retro and current was the perfect opener for the
Hot Hot Heat were fantastic. The show was a little more choreographed
than I like, but it didn’t matter — I can’t help but bounce back and
forth listening to these guys on CD, and they were just plain
infectious live. I hadn’t realized that singer Steve Bays
was also the keyboardist. They played pretty much everything I can
remember from Make Up The Breakdown and closed off with
“Bandages” and a little from their earlier EPs. The only tune I wanted
to hear but they didn’t play was “Cairo”. These guys were one of the
bands I’ve really wanted to see for a while now, and I was surprised
that they came here, although it turns out they’ve played here a
couple times in the past and I was unaware.
The venue was great too — this was the first show I’ve seen in the new
Capital Music Hall. It was all-ages/19+, and they split the lineup
outside to let 19+ folks in through an upstairs entrance that led right
into the balcony, and then the kids stayed downstairs, which works out
fine. I’m not much for being in the middle of the crowd at an all-ages
show, really, and I felt old even upstairs. Nyxie and I had ended up
at the very front of the upstairs line, though, and got the best seats
in the house — a pair of stools on the front row of the balcony, as
close to center as you could get without sitting in the light booth.
The only problem with the hall, seats and band is that it was incredibly
loud — they’d hung two sets of top fills on either side of the stage,
so there was nothing at all between us and the fills. My ears were
ringing until about noon today, and that’s the first time I’ve ever come
home from a concert and not had the threshold shift go away overnight.
I’m going to grab myself a set of Etymotic ER-20s for
future shows, I think — I had a bit of a hearing scare a while ago and
I’m far less willing to take risks with my ears.
I think I’m going to go and fall over into bed now.