Watershed report.

I had a great time! The weather was good -- warm, breezy, only rained briefly during Great Big Sea's set (Alan of GBS said they'd brought Newfoundland weather with them). We were in a good location, next to the sound guys. Food wasn't cheap but we expected that. Lineups weren't outrageously long. Crowd was well behaved (all 10,000+ of them). Found a great parking spot (one block from the gate) so we were able to get out of there reasonably fast. Bought a Hip t-shirt for me and a Watchmen CD for Ice. Each band started exactly on time. The Watchmen and Great Big Sea played for an hour each and The Hip played for an hour and a half plus one three-song encore.

And the music?

The Watchmen

As a late addition to the lineup, they suffered a bit, I think. Everybody was there to see GBS and/or The Hip so the crowd response wasn't what it should have been. They put on a good show though. The music was excellent -- so much so that we bought a CD. The lead singer did an amazing a cappella version of James Taylor's Sweet Baby James which impressed everyone. That boy can sing! They finished up their set with Stereo (that's what it's called, right Ice? ;) ).

Overall impression: I really enjoyed their set and they were Ice's favourite of the day/night.

Great Big Sea

My god, these guys are fun! Tons of energy, great music, a real party atmosphere. I was most impressed by their blazingly fast version of the traditional song, Mari-Mac. It was very cool.

Mari Mac's mother's making Mari Mac marry me
My mother's making me marry Mari Mac
Well I'm going to marry Mari for when Mari's taking care of me
We'll all be feeling merry when I marry Mari Mac
(Full lyrics)

Overall impression: Great live band. I'd go see these guys again in a heartbeat. Preferably somewhere that serves beer next time.

The Tragically Hip

They sounded great, they looked great, they played some new stuff and all kinds of old favourites. There was a bit of ad-libbing going on and some lyrics changes, most notably: "He said I'm fabulously rich" from Grace, Too became "He said I'm tragically hip." The crowd loved that. And "Loosening my grip on Bobby Orr" from Fireworks became "Loosening my grip on Raymond Bourque." I also came away with a new appreciation for Wheat Kings. I had always thought it was a decent enough song but hearing it live made it... different. Better. It's been in my head all day.

You know... I've often wondered what it's like for non-Canadians to listen to The Hip's music. It would sound good but so much would be missed....

Overall impression: I enjoyed seeing them live but to be honest, I wouldn't rush out to see them again. Gord doesn't talk to the audience much at all (I mean, c'mon Gord! You're Canadian! You must have some funniness in you somewhere. Let it out!) so there really wasn't much there that I can't get from a CD. Don't get me wrong. I still love these guys and their music and I'm really glad I got the chance to see them, especially since I thought I never would. I'll just put my money towards their CDs, is all.

Overall overall impression: I had a really really good time. I got to see three Canadian bands that I'd never seen in concert before and I enjoyed them all. It was more than worth the money and the drive and losing a chance to sleep late. ;)

A(nother) big hug to Ice for getting the tickets and taking me!

Posted by Ripley on September 03, 2002

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