A column on a backyard concert experience.
I’m definitely a concertgoer. Not just a goer, I’m a concert traveller.
I’ve flown to Toronto for a concert, will be going to Calgary for another one, and always have my eyes on things happening close and afar. (The one I’d really want to see will be in December in Dubai, UAE. Heh, if only I was paid more, I’d tell you all about that experience afterwards.)
It’s not that I love particular bands so much. There are just a few that I indeed love, and they are smaller bands. I’m not a fan-type of person in general, but I just absolutely love the drive of concerts.
It’s the experience that touches on all the senses. It helps create great memories and associations, and the music then becomes my anchor that takes me back to those valuable feelings when I hear it again.
I love concerts small and big. The smallest ones I attended would be private, intimate ones like Chris Henderson’s album release party here at Estevan’s Art Concepts Custom Framing, and a couple of other private gatherings at apartment-like venues. The biggest ones would be Pink, Bon Jovi, Bryan Adams and some Russian bands and music festivals, which had anywhere from 5,000 to over 20,000 people dancing and singing along.
My original plan for November was to travel to Saskatoon to see Shania Twain. But when the announcement came out about Trooper’s concert happening on the same day, it didn’t take me long to switch the plans. It’s always nice to experience the drive of the concert, but then still be able to sleep in my own bed. So, with no hesitation, I picked a local concert over the trip to Saskatoon. (I’ve yet to see the Queen of Country Pop, and who knows, maybe that one day will happen locally too).
Of course, going to see Trooper was more convenient, but there are other benefits I see in our smaller-scale concerts. Yes, the atmosphere at a 2,000-3,000-person event differs from what you’d feel being a part of a 10,000-person crowd, and even more so when you are at a stadium for over 30,000 people. But where else would you be able to easily move around, and without any effort, get right to the stage and see artists up close, with all their emotions, moves, instruments, and even drops of sweat in the spotlight, not on the screen, but with your eyes?
So Trooper, the Northern Pikes and Sass Jordan it was. It was an awesome concert in our own backyard. And it was a wonderful experience all together.
Absolute kudos to the City of Estevan for not only organizing Estevan’s first concert in a long time, but also for thinking it through from A to Z.
First of all, it was affordable. I don’t remember $50 (plus whatever charges, of course) getting me into any bigger-stage concerts. Even smaller venues are usually more than that. That was definitely a pleasant surprise.
But even more important were the details, which I really value. It was indeed a well-organized event. From booze tickets’ advance availability to the entrance, which was set up so that no one had to wait outside in the cold, so the line went nice and smooth despite the potential general admission-related rush. There also were numerous alcohol tables with enough staff to prevent any lines, as well as drink variety that’s unusual for such events (with even some local beer available), a nice dance floor and tables organized to allow for a break for those on the floor.
And of course, you had the artists themselves. Those were great, genuine, energetic and driving performances by all three acts. I don’t know if this concert would be considered small or big for each of the performers, but they definitely gave us their all. Trooper’s return to the stage for the final act and the lead singer’s entire interaction with the audience felt like he really valued the local crowd. And so did the opening acts that entertained with all-time favourites and some of their newer creations.
I guess the only thing that I didn’t find that night was wine, which wasn’t a bad thing as it saved me a trip back to pick up the car the next day.
It was a wonderful experience on all fronts.
So, I sincerely hope this first concert brought by the city after a break will also become the first of the many amazing local experiences. I know it’s not easy to bring bigger performers to a smaller community and it’s not that easy to get people to come, but it seems that with this event the city cracked the code to success (and hopefully, financials support my emotions).