If you’ve followed Writerly Goodness for any length of time, you may have heard me refer to Great Big Sea (GBS). There was a time, in my years at Laurentian University, that me and my friends, and Yana, were GBS groupies.
The first time I saw them was in theduring frosh week of my first year. The Great Hall was also the cafeteria, and was converted for the concert. Kim and I didn’t use the chairs after the band hit the stage and spent the evening dancing our wee hearts out 🙂
The next year, GBS was one of the headliners at Northern Lights Festival Boreal. Natalie McMaster opened up for them. At that time, the Bell Park Amphitheatre was an old wooden structure and the seating was all concrete (and rough on the bum). Not that I sat for long that time either.
The next year, Yana, Kim, and I went on a road trip to Oakville, where GBS was playing the waterfront music festival there. We met up with one of her cousins, and after hitting the festival, spent the night wandering Oakville, hit a bar or two, and then ended up at Kim’s cousin’s apartment.
GBS returned to Northern Lights a few years later, but I had just had an operation and couldn’t go. Yana went, though, and got me a t-shirt 🙂
So yes, we were, and continue to be fans.
Last year, GBS played the Sudbury Arena, and Kim and I caught the show there. This year, when it was announced that GBS would be playing Summerfest, Kim, now a member of the GBS fan club, got herself, Yana, and I tickets.
They played on Sunday, August 25, which was, incidentally, Yana’s birthday, so I suggested we hit the local’s for supper before the performance.
Kim had just returned from her 2 and a half week Pacific odyssey (Hawaii, Australia, and) on the Friday immediately before and was still heavily jet-lagged. The weather was stormy and the concert was going to be at Bell Park again, at the recently reconstructed Grace Hartman Amphitheatre. While the band shell was much improved and equipped to deliver fabulous acoustics, the seating was still in the open.
We were understandably concerned.
Kim was watching the website and Twitter accounts for news, and Alan Doyle posted that the concert would proceed, as scheduled.
At supper, Kim was feeling poorly and Yana and I convinced her to come anyway. A short stop at the pharmacy for pain relief, and another to pick up the tickets, and we continued out visit until GBS was scheduled to hit the stage.
The rain stopped.
At the concert, two of Kim’s friends from her recent trip, came over and Kim conducted an impromptu book signing for them.
Then, when GBS hit the stage, we were up, dancing and screaming for all we were worth. A contingent from Newfoundland moved up to the stage and among some of the other fans, forming a Celtic mosh pit.
Alan Doyle announced that Newfoundlanders have magickal powers and that the band put a stop to the rain. This was part of their 20th anniversary tour, and the last day of this portion. On the Monday, they’d be heading back home for a break, and so they were going to leave it all on the stage.
Over the next hour and a half, they played many favourites, old, and new, and let us bring them back on stage for an encore.
‘Twas a wonderful night spent with old friends, and we were sorry to see it end.
Have you been to any great concerts this summer? Were you ever a groupie? How about a concert road trips story?
Share your stories in the comments below.
kthxbye for tonight 🙂