Hamilton is often referred to as a “lunch bucket” town with its many steel mill factories. The sky is rarely blue with the exception of odd Sundays. (Hey, only fair to let the people breathe clean air one day a week, right?) So being a Sunday night show in the heart of summer, people were scarce. Had they moved things another 2 hours north, Todd would have rocked down more than his own slipping pants in good old Cottage Country! That’s where the partiers are this time of year. Problem is, there’s no suitable venue in those parts for these rockers. Hamilton Place, a great concert hall adjacent to the arena facility would have been a far more suitable venue to that 19,000 seating capacity hockey ring that was configured into a 3,000 seat bowl. Why would people book a show there when there’s a glamorous and acoustically wonderful joint right next door. It made no sense, especially since that is the one built for concerts. I ran into a friend who had gotten complimentary tickets via the arena management. Tickets to spare here! Can’t see how this possibly was a money maker but then how could anybody honestly place a price onto that extraordinary conglomeration of talent on a single stage. Hope it was worth the band’s efforts. They delivered quality goods and lots of smiles. I don’t think any of us paying customers begrudge the $66.00 Canadian for floor seats, ($44.00 US equivalent) plus tax I think on that. A cheaper ticket would be barely enough to buy the lot of them a round of coffee. Few shows sell out at this place. The Grateful Dead did for sure and the city has yet to see anything quite like it since.
Not a stitch of tour gear on hand last night. When I asked somebody who looked “in-the-know”, the reply was that it got held up at Canadian Customs and would have taken too long to clear. Disappointment there! Before I get into the show, did anybody in attendance notice a tiny neon like green pin on the lower left corner of Todd’s red satin shirt during Set 2? Just before the set, I was able to give it to Todd as he walked out of the corridor the hockey teams use to access their dressing rooms when they leave the ice. I had the opportunity to thank Todd for coming to town and asked if he could please wait for a quick second. I explained that I had a wee trinket for him (a small art deco green pin) and that it was from a girlfriend who had wished so badly to see him but was unable to. I thought to share the moment by giving Todd something I got from her. (She’s recovering from surgery.) “It would be really special if you would take this.” Todd was cool, he examined it for a split second and then looked down his outfit. You could tell he was wondering if those glimmer tie-died pants were the appropriate place to attach it. The band was pressing on and Todd said “I’ll find a place. Thanks!”, gave me a high 5, and moved toward the stage. Once in the floodlights, my eyes kept linking up with that tiny speck of bright green. Nice going Todd! The vintage pin now has a growing history and there actually is a mate to it in my friend’s possession. The act of him having taken the time to delight a fan in absentia made Set 2 most memorable on a personal level. This was my first time seeing Todd live and then to exchange a brief few words, well it couldn’t have been much finer for me. It didn't take much encouragement to move to the music and dance along with the audience during the tribute.
A few seasoned concert goers tried to get the crowd to hold lit lighters during Hey Judd and a few wafts of herb also drifted by as the night progressed.
Aside from positive comments that floated about following the performance, one person suggested that the Beatles' music shouldn’t have waited so long but could have been mixed among each artists’ individual hits. Don’t know, it wouldn’t have mattered to me really cause it was all well done. People undoubtedly wanted more Todd numbers, yet along with everything he sang in Set 1, I’m sure people were thoroughly impressed with David Pack. I recognized all of his songs as he began playing them. I couldn’t place them when I first learned he was in the tour. Why did such an extraordinary and recurring talent not receive credit on the bill? He presented a most pleasing repertoire of long forgotten songs. Great blasts from the past!
Todd occasionally tried to communicate his appreciation in French but this is not really a francophone area. That was thoughtful “n’est ce pas”? He knocked over the snare drum in his Bang number but the rescue was so prompt that you would think it was done intentionally. How often does that happen? With that energy and kickass band carrying on while things were straightened out, the spill made absolutely no diff. It was beyond awesome and worth every penny of admission! The party had begun!
Wow! What a wizard Entwistle is on bass. His fingers are so lightning fast, you’d swear they race across every note possible on the fret while his other hand effortlessly taps the strings as if he were speed typing on a computer keyboard. The dude is hot and looks really awesome! Very nice!
And wow, what a treat to hear Ann play the flute at the end of Dreamboat Annie. I saw her signaling over to the side of the stage at one time to a teenage girl that was moving about the entrance to the stage. I'm convinced it was a daughter. What a neat mom huh?!
In the Beatles set, to my recollection, Alan’s only solo number was Blackbird. His recordings are vague to me but he sure added spice to the cake. Todd’s were While My Guitar Gently Weeps and You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away, the later gaining great audience participation. Ann’s songs were Maybe I’m Amazed and Hey Judd. Of course all sang chorus. Guess this show is best summed up as belonging to a quality vs. quantity audience (the applause alone attested to that). The multitude of talented individual and collective performances was nothing short of unique. When it ended, the six guitarists rained picks onto the front rows. Where else do you get to see something like that?
I could barely focus on the 2 backdrop video screens. I was enveloped in the perfection each artist gave the production. This was a really fun show and for my first time seeing Todd, getting to exchange a High 5 and being able to present him with a bobble that he wore on stage for a friend, well what can I say except that is was just plain cool!
Some ticket stubs are treasures. This one’s going in with that collection. Oh yeah, to top it off, after the show, there were fireworks over the harbour to celebrate an annual “Aquafest”. I think some tall ships arrived earlier in the day.
One dude in attendance was visiting family from Glasgow. Tell me he isn’t leaving his trip to Canada without a highlight! Please post any red shirt pics with a little green pin on the bottom. My friend absolutely has to see this! XO!