Monday Morning Musings

Posted on January 28, 2019 under Monday Morning Musings with no comments yet

The Trews at The Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver


“Rockin’ alone in an old rocking chair.”

Rocking Alone in an Old Rocking Chair – Eddy Arnold

It is hardly surprising that many of the entertainment options in Victoria are skewed heavily to an older population. Victoria is, after all, often referred to as the “retirement capital of Canada”. Movies, concerts and a multitude of events are held during the day. I have been to three excellent movies since coming out here. One of them started at 11:30 a.m. and the others were mid- afternoon and make no mistake about it, the movie theatres have really upped their game to attract customers. Most of the multiplexes here have large (oversized) leather chairs that have adjustable foot rests and reclining features. Seniors prices are very reasonable ($11) but this is more than made up by the exorbitant cost of popcorn. Unbuttered popcorn (enough to feed a moderately hungry squirrel) costs around $7.50.

So when my brother in Vancouver called and asked if I would like to come over and catch an 8:00 p.m. concert, I thought that this was reasonable. We would attend the show and be back at his place by 10:30. This wasn’t any show. Many of you will be familiar with The Trews, a band who got their start in Antigonish. Two of the band members are blood relatives which made the concert that much more appealing.

The concert was on Friday. I started the day in Victoria with a 2.5 hour walk with my other brother. I took public transit all the way to Vancouver which included three bus trips, a ferry ride and a trip on the Skytrain. After a very brisk walk around the seawall (a total of 23k for the day) and a delicious supper, I was ready for bed, not a rock concert. My heart sank a bit when my brother checked out the concert venue to discover that The Trews would not be hitting the stage until 11:00 p.m. The last time I was up this late may have been for the birth of one of my children or, more recently, to use the bathroom!

I have been to a lot of concerts in my lifetime, many of them in Vancouver back in the 70’s. My all-time favourite was Stevie Wonder. Preparing to go out on the town in your 20’s is a far cry from your 60’s. Back then, it was almost sacrilegious if you didn’t warm up with a few brews or something stronger. By the time you arrived at the venue, you would be ready to rock the night away. If the booze didn’t get you in the mood then the ever present marijuana smoke would do the trick.

On this evening, the only rocking I felt like doing was in a rocking chair. How in god’s name could I stay awake until 11:00 and then go to a concert? The answer was painfully clear. I would have to go to bed before the concert. I climbed into bed at 8:30 p.m.and set my alarm for 10:30.

“Getting dark again, getting dark again; for the second time since we got up, it’s getting dark again.” Aeslin Debison.

We set out on foot for The Commodore Ballroom at 10:45. The Commodore is a Vancouver landmark opening in the 1930s when Vancouverites danced into the night to swing orchestras. Since then, the venue has hosted everything from Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels to The Police, U2 and Nirvana.

The streets of Vancouver were relatively quiet for a Friday night. That is, until we turned a corner and arrived on Granville Street. It was as if someone had their television muted and when they unmuted it, the volume went inexplicably up to 10. Granville Street was alive and pulsating. Besides The Commodore, there are many nightclubs in this section of the city. There were lineups everywhere as it became obvious that the night was just beginning for the younger set.

We entered The Commodore and made our way up the stairs to the main ballroom. It was dark and the place appeared packed. We later found out that it was a sellout. The place holds 1000… 998 of these were rocking to the music. We lurked in the shadows at the back of the room. The Trews obviously had the audience in the palm of their hands. They pounded out the tunes one after the other in a high octane performance.

Standing there, I couldn’t help but think of the generations in our clan who have performed live music.

I cannot tell a lie. We stayed long enough to see the immense talent and energy of the band but we didn’t shut the place down. I turned to my brother and asked if he was ready to go. As if on cue, the band broke into one of its greatest and best known hits “Not Ready to Go”.

“They ain’t heavy, they’re my cousins”.

Yours Trewly.

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