Friday, April 25, 2008
So this is a rather belated post about going to Halifax last weekend to see Buck 65 play with the Nova Scotia symphony. Other than the fact that we had to get the tickets a couple of months in advance right when they went on sale, the whole trip was carried out like one of those random road trips everyone has fond memories of going on but no one actually does anymore.
We piled into the car, 3 of us having just come from work and grabbing a sleeping bag and kit bag with a few necessities in it from home and then just hit the road.
A guy we used to work with who now lives in Halifax was very kind to let us stay in his apartment, the apartment building's hallways felt like a hotel, they were narrow and had that stereotypical dark carpetting and muted lights. The apartment itself was the very picture of what a 20 something techie who just moved into a place on his own would look like. One couch, a couple of folding chairs that he brought out for us, very little else, oh except for the giant screen TV and surround sound system dominating the entire room. Fortunately that left lots of floor space for us to roll out our sleeping bags later on.
So after we found a place to park we set off in search of something for dinner. Here's a fun fact about Halifax: the business owners don't actually want you to go there, so they close their restaurants at dinner time on a Friday. We tried 4 places in a row with locked doors only noticing after getting excited about some item on the menu posted on the door. I'm still lamenting missing out on the stuffed blue cheese burger at one alleged place. Then the next place we thought we were in luck when we were able to walk right in and up the stairs but it turns out they hadn't even opened the restaurant for business yet, the big opening was set for the next day. No doubt they hadn't fitted a lock on the door yet to be a proper Halifax restaurant.
Ended up having a pretty surprisingly decent pasta dish called Pasta New Orleans at My Father's Mustache, given the way the place was decked out any flavour other than bland greasy burgers and ungodly spicy wings was a pleasant surprise. Still, when I walked into the rest room and was confronted with backlit wall-sized ads with scantily clad women and a TV blaring out an ad for Cialis I definitely knew I was not the target age or lifestyle demographic for this place.
We were nearly late for the concert itself after having to power walk up to the Rebecca Cohen, but thankfully we only missed a little intro piece that the symphony did before Buck 65 introduced himself.
The atmosphere was pretty interesting to observe, with the well-dressed older crowd making use of their season passes interspersed with scruffy younger music fans who packed the place in.
Now, the best way to describe what the music sounded like was to be pretty clear what it was not, which is anything like what Metallica did on S&M. In that case the orchestra just followed along with the basic melody of each song, basically a very expensive effects pedal. For last Friday's show, a couple of members of the symphony completely re-built and re-arranged the songs from the ground up to replicate the musical feel of each song but in a new and very musically in-tune way. For a few songs, especially Devil's Eyes, now that I am reminded of the song in my head, the version of it that I hear is what was played at the show. Rich was a little subdued in his vocals, sadly, not wanting to get too worked up and rumple his suit perhaps, or overshadow the musicians, but he has a great voice all on its own so it still sounded good.
Might as well stop typing and just post someone else's Youtube video from the show so you can hear what I'm talking about.
It was an early evening but most of us were pretty tired from working (haha except me) and the long drive. Another thing to know about Halifax: Once you see the inside of a restaurant on pizza corner while sober and before midnight you'll never want to eat there again. Despite being the only customers, the kids ahead of us had to take their slices back for being cold, and everything just looked unkempt and unappetizing.
I'll have to write in permanent marker on my arm "AVOID PIZZA CORNER AT ALL COSTS - ROTTEN FOOD + STABBINGS" when I head overto see Queens of the Stone Age next month.
Anyway, very glad I made the trip over for that show, I've heard from other people that the Charlottetown show he did the week before with Cadence Weapon was also incredible, but this was something unique that was very cool to be a part of.
Apparently it will be up on CBC's concerts on demand site within a couple of weeks, I'll try and keep my antennae up for it to be posted.