The Ground We Stand On…

Last year after I lost my job, I bought tickets for five events: the ESO’s performance of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Hawksley Workman, Jamie Cullum, Muse, and John Mayer. My rationale was that I wasn’t going to let my then-current crappy situation affect future musical happiness. And so far, I’ve had no remorse. I can honestly say that I have never regretted spending money on a concert. There’s just something wonderful when you see your favourite artists perform live that for me is completely priceless. And when I say priceless, I mean worth the ticket prices.

When I bought the tickets to those five concerts, I realized that four of them fell on consecutive weekends, which led me to do this really embarrassing squeal of excitement followed by my dubbing it “My Month of Music Mania” (do you see that beautiful alliteration?) However, with the addition of Michael Buble and Simon & Garfunkel tickets (floor seats!), and future Lillith Fair and Lady Gaga tickets, I’m going to have to come up with a new clever name that addresses the fact that 2010 will be completely focused on music. Any witty suggestions?

Which brings me to My Month of Music Mania Concert #2, Hawksley Workman. I had heard of him before, but never really checked out his music until last summer, when a friend included a few of his songs on a playlist he made for me. It’s incredible how easy it is to close my eyes and instantly remember what I was feeling at the time. I’m always amazed at the power of music, when it comes to bringing up emotions and memories.

The concert itself was interesting. I’d never seen him perform before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. The venue, the Winspear, was of course wonderful. I think I’d watch pretty much any show there, the stunning sound clarity still makes me hold my breath. Which is why I was disappointed with the blaring cacophony of noise. There were so many times the guitars completely and unecessarily drowned out Hawksley’s very powerful voice. I just felt like the sound was disappointingly muddy. I just expect perfection when I’m watching something at the Winspear, not something resembling the sound quality of a concert at Rexall Place. I was also disappointed that Hawksley performed very few acoustic tracks, as I really prefer his voice in those songs. The Edmonton Journal review also complained about his voice being hoarse, though I didn’t really notice that. I thought his voice sounded awesome, when I could differentiate it from the rest of the band. Please don’t mistake my complaints though; I truly did enjoy the concert.

(My blog titles are song titles. This post is “The Ground We Stand On” by Hawksley Workman, from his newest album, Meat. I chose it purely for ironic reasons, as I wrote this post while flying to Victoria.)


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