Sunday, July 02, 2006

Canada Day Coverage - Pt. 4

Calum Marsh

Okay, so: I forgot the camera. I'll fill you in anyway.

We saw Stars at Parliment Hill. Tess is conspiciously agile and was able to dart through the crowd - hundreds of thousands of people - to get close enough for us to see the stage. Jon noted that it was probably the biggest crowd they've ever played to, but they admirably remained confident in the face of such a daunting audience. I respect that. The performance was, as usual, terrific, even despite the overwhelming atmosphere. I'd like to stress that this was a weird concert: here were Stars, my little band from Montreal, playing to the largest audience I've ever been a part of at the most unexpected venue I could imagine - and yet, in its own curious way, it worked. It all seemed...right. I know that only a tiny fraction of the crowd had ever heard of this band, and I'm fully aware that too that the majority of these happy people were just waiting patiently for the fireworks to begin - yet I was content with how it all came together, and I'm pleased now that I took the time before the bar to stop and watch.

Let me explain my unpopular fireworks policy: I don't care for them. They bore the hell out of me, to be quite honest. Why, why, does anyone get excited about this? Are we really, as a culture, so easy to entertain that flashing lights in the sky cause everyone - yes, everyone - to "ooh" and "ahhh"? I'm not angry, mind you; I wish I liked fireworks. I honestly feel as though I'm missing something, like I just don't get it - how can something so simple make so many people so happy but do nothing for me? What the hell am I missing?

That being said, the fireworks were grand. Tess and Jon were impressed, and that's good enough for me, I guess. We tried walking to Zaphods but the crowds were just too much to handle. It's strange, being so close to home but feeling so overwhelmed by strangers - I feel like this is my home, like I should have control here more than anywhere else - but no, it doesn't work like that. I'm lost, too.

Getting home from Zaphod's means passing through the Rideau Centre to get to the Mackenzie King bride - simple enough. But what's this? Police barricades? Certainly seems that way. The detour would take all night, so I propose a more interesting solution: let's head to the top of the Rideau parking garage and jump to the roof of the Rideau Centre. On our way up the empty garage stairs (apparently nobody else thought of this brilliant plan), we encountered danger: an alcoholic homeless kid threw something (we assume it was a rock) through the window of the roof-exit door - a door we were seconds from reaching. The glass from the window smashed a few feet in front of us, but we were okay. Determined to get home, we went forth in the face of danger - that is to say, Tess bravely went ahead because Jon and I were scared out of our minds.

A little fence-hopping put us squarely on the roof of the Rideau. We walked around to the stairwell, which would lead us right on to the Mackenzie King bridge - but, not surprisingly, we are stopped by the police, who tell us we're going to have to walk all the way back around. On the way back we spot another exit - this one takes us to more police, but I find a shortcut that takes us to a secret area. Fences are hopped and walls are scaled, and eventually we find ourselves sneaking past security guards in a blocked-off area. Tess, headstrong and brash as she is, climbs around the side of steel gate - on the side of a building, which requires some gutsy gymnastic skills - and onto an empty stairwell exit.

All that work, and we're still in the middle of a busy crowd. An eternity later we reach the apartment - tired and desperate need of alcohol, we pour some drinks. And here were are. it's 12:05; it's no longer Canada Day. Was it good for you?

Stars - Elevator Love Letter

Comments on "Canada Day Coverage - Pt. 4"


Blogger Casey Dorrell said ... (2/7/06 1:33 am) : 

I was just having this conversation with someone. The attraction to fireworks is really inexplicable to me. I mean, I could see how at one point in our history they were impressive but...


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2/7/06 3:20 am) : 

Wow. You made that sound really adventurous and exciting.

Much more exciting than my 4th of July weekend here in the states could ever be.

And I agree.... Fireworks are for Zombies.


Blogger Jonathan Migneault said ... (2/7/06 7:00 am) : 

What you call "scared out of our minds" I call tactical thinking/precaution.


Seriously, I had a great time and an "interesting" adventure to boot. I hope everyone has enjoyed reading about our little shenanigans.


Anonymous Cousy said ... (2/7/06 10:51 pm) : 

Yes, quite pleasant.

I avoided the downtown area, knowing it would be dangerous to my health and ridiculously difficult to move anywhere.

I celebrated by making slushies for kids at the pool...and, do us Canadians like nachos....and cheese.

Happy Canada Day!


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