Sunday, December 20, 2009

Shanies: Concert of the Year

It's that time again... time for me to drink excessively with my family and then plop down in front of a laptop for 20 minutes to rant, rave and roar about why everything I listen to is awesome and why you're wrong and your shit's all retarded. Yes ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 3rd annual installment of the Shanies.

Our opening award is presented to the best evening I've had at a show in the past year. Surprisingly, this is one of the most difficult awards I give out each year because there are so many factors at play (alcohol consumed, attractive women present, number of muppets trying to murder me, whether or not the amps went to 11, and of course, how many of the band members asses I was able to grope). 2009 was a difficult year because I didn't get to that many good shows in the UK. While I had a lot of fun over the pond, one of my biggest complaints was how dull and repetitive the music scene was.

However, I have been quite active in the Toronto scene over the past few months, and it shows in our runners up. As one can likely guess due to my usual fan-boy-ism, Hollerado put on a mind blowing show. Drinking Labatt 50 with good friends in the shoe while screaming at the top of your lungs is always a good time, but it helps when you get yelled at by Menno for not selling him your Traynor amp (it was 2 fucking years ago Menno, let it go).

Only a week later, I had to (ok, Andrea had to) scour the city to find tickets to see Hey Rossetta!, also at the shoe. The struggle was worthwhile, and this indie-rock orchestra put on a show which was as good as when I first saw them 3 years earlier. Capping the night off with Epitaph was more than I could ask for, and my missing voice the next day was a testament to how amazing the night was.

HOWEVER, for all the great fun I've had since moving to Toronto, my Shanie for Concert of the Year goes to Pride Tiger, playing at the Carling Academy in Oxford. I conned Willsy into going to the show, only a few weeks after having my cast removed, post-surgery (you know... the one where they inserted metal freaking pins into my ankle). Iain and I arrived at the show on a Tuesday night to find AT MOST 10 other people. We were early enough to catch the opening 2 acts, so we had hoped that maybe no one had showed up yet.

In fact, the exact opposite was true, and after the opening acts finished, half the crowd left. By the time our Canadian brothers in arms hit the stage, there were around 6 people in the audience who weren't being paid to be there (and I'm pretty sure the other 4 were just too drunk to leave). Why Pride Tiger earned my award this year was because even though no one was at the show, and only 2 dudes had any idea what was going on, they still played like there was no tomorrow. The guys lit up the stage and gave it their all for a crowd which was almost as small as their band. I got loaded and sang along to all of their songs, prompting Matt (drums & vox) to dive off the stage at one point, mid-set, and hug both Iain and I for apparently saving their night.

Matt was a really sweaty dude... and I smelled a lot after that, but it didn't change how blown away I was to see the Vancouver natives shove rock and roll down the throats of a crowd of semi-willing participants. Props to you Pride Tiger for being willing to say:

"This is rock and roll... it is your daddy... enjoy it, or it will enjoy you."

-P.P.S: Good kiss