Awake and Dreaming

It started as a quiet lull. Two or three people off in a corner starting a friendly chant. A few people joined in, and then a few more. It grew louder and faster, a rythmic chant steadily increasing in tempo and amplitude, finally crescendoing in a cacophony of cheering, shouting and whistling. "Finger, Finger Finger!"

I've missed these guys. It's been a number of years since our last rendez-vous, but I felt like it was time I go see them again. The opening acts were a bit disappointing, making me a bit anxious. But as Scott Anderson, Rick Jackett, James Black and co. took the stage I became more confident that the wait had been worth it.

It's funny how the music you love stays with you. When I lived in Alberta I used to drive between Edmonton and Cold Lake alone. I'd turn up the stereo, pop in Tip or The Greyest of Blue Skies, and belt out the lyrics to every song at the top of my lungs. I'd even squeak out the higher pitched parts that my voice couldn't properly reach.

And earlier tonight, there I was standing in a room with a few thousand strangers, belting out the lyrics to all our favorite songs at the top of our collective lungs.

It's my fourth time in 8 years that I've seen them play live, and I think this has been the best performance I've seen them do so far. They're one of the few successful bands I've seen live that truly appear to be enjoying themselves and loving what they do on stage.

To heck with Nickleback, Avril Lavigne, Metric, Broken Social Scene, and all these other overrated Canadian bands. These guys have been rocking longer and harder, and they're still going strong. I've been a Finger Eleven fan since I first saw them at Edgefest in '99 and I still maintain that they're one of the best (and most under appreciated) Canadian rock bands out there. They're one of those bands that just hasn't let me down. I have a lot of great memories I associate with their songs and they're easily still in my list of Top 5 favorite bands.

And so amidst the squealing guitars and pounding bass I found myself thinking that if my hearing suddenly gave out then and there, and this was the last sound I ever heard in my lifetime, that would be just fine by me.

I just wish that I'd had the company of a few choice friends to share the night with. Going to concerts alone is always a bit - ummm - lonely. But since I didn't have friends by my side, I guess sharing my experience with the blogosphere is the next best thing.


Jess said...

I saw F11 play five years in a row. I don't think I'd go to see them again, but I remember each time. The five song set they played at Summersault, my first concert. Driving to Edmonton with Kandice, Kristian, Kenny et al. for the night, and crashing at your apartment.

There's good memories there.

KrisB said...

Yes I agree. I'm Nickbacked out and whatever else that "sells" to the public. F11 is that one band that stayed JUST below the cookie cutter cdn rock band and has a HUGE following. Good for them staying away from the "what sells is what matters"

Sarah said...

Metric was just here with Sebastien Grainger (pardon me for a moment). I was really surprised by the crowd. I was hoping for the usual indie "I'm too fucking cool to talk to you" crowd, but was surprised to see people in backwards Kokanee caps, athletic apparel, cowboy gear and...goth stuff. It was the strangest concert going experience in my life.

Sebastien Grainger is pretty fucking awesome. I liked him better in DFA...but you still get a bit of their sound, just in a more indie pop rock fashion. He's still got the voice, and that's all that matters. Grrr. Oh and he looks foxy in tight jeans.

Metric. Oh Metric. They owe Edmonton. Big time. Nobody fucking loves them as much as this city does. After Emily freaked out at Ookfest, she totally owed us. At least more than a 40 minute set. It was tight musically - but way too short. Especially when you consider that it was at the Starlite room and it was $40.

To Emily Haines (because she obviously reads this blog): you're a pretty blonde and little more. And I'll keep saying that because you hate it (nevermind that I'd turn lesbian for you). I secretly hope your next record flops...but I know it won't, because you've got the redneck crew behind you now. Congrats. Way to dog all the people that really loved you and pushed you to the top.