Not that long ago, I wrote about Dealing With Unexpected Grief. I have lost two friends since I moved to Fredericton, and I had met them both after moving here. One of those friends died almost a year ago. She came to mind suddenly when I found out that a band we had seen live together the last time they were in town, was going to be putting on another show here. I had a bit of a moment when I had a flashback to that show, and I decided to write the story I linked above.
I shared the ad for the show on my wall and asked in my comments if anyone was interested in checking them out with me. Because of the unexpected grief, I felt I didn’t want to go by myself, in case I got too melancholy. My friend Kathy asked me to share some of their youtube videos with her, and she decided to join me. I was so relieved to have a friend with me, it was a show I did not want to attend alone.
I found out while I was getting ready to go out that the opening act was a local band, Kill Chicago. So I jumped on Spotify and had a listen. I liked what I heard. So I spent a few minutes online while eating supper and saw a twitter contest for a free vinyl from Kill Chicago for the first person to tweet back. I tweeted and was told to introduce myself and they would hook me up with a prize. I chose a CD because I do not have a record player, and while a record is a cool prize, I am practical.
We arrived while they were on stage, and had to stand back a bit. It is a narrow, long bar, and it was packed! This made me really happy because I had seen the other band, The Stanfields play here before; in fact, this is the band I was referring to seeing with my friend before she passed away. It was the biggest crowd I had seen show up for them, (with the exception of the night they played at The Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival). I am sure Kill Chicago fans were also contributing to the turnout, but I was really pleased to see the size of the crowd that came to the live show.
During the Kill Chicago set, Kathy made a friend. There was a woman there with a really cute purse, and boots with bling, sitting nearby. Kathy said hi, and admired the purse. It had a Union Jack on it and was made of canvas. The lady said she loved it because she could throw it in the washing machine, and wanted us to feel the fabric. My eyes saw the purse but LOVED the boots! Tan coloured with sparkles all over them. I would SO wear those boots. Kathy is going to try and have a friend find her that purse, which the lady bought in Freeport, USA.
I happened to see Jon Landry, before the show and said hello. He was getting ready so sing in the next set, so I didn’t bother him too much. I think I introduced Kathy, but I can’t remember. I almost didn’t recognize him, it had been a few years since I saw him at the last live show I went to.
When I saw Jason MacIsaac, I said hello, introduced Kathy, and shared an awkward hug in greeting with Jason. It would have been funny to watch, it was kind of like a do si do happened before we managed a friendly hug. He is also in The Stanfields. When we were growing up in Cape Breton, we used to ride the bus together to and from school. We had a nice chat while Kill Chicago was rocking out on stage. We were far enough back, at that point, that it was a little hard to hear at times, but we talked for a good little while.
When he came in from the cold, he couldn’t see very well. It happens when you have glasses, they fog up. Kathy then told us that she has a tip for that. She told us that if you walk into a room backwards, after being out in the cold, and you give a few extra seconds before you turn around, your glasses won’t fog up. She says it works. I have not tried it myself yet. When I do, I will leave a comment below on how well it works.
Kill Chicago finished their set, and The Stanfields had to get ready to take the stage. I wished Jason luck for a good show and decided to head over to the merchandise table to wait for my free cd. I had money out just in case, but I was told that it was a gift for replying to the twitter contest, and I could have it. How awesome is that? I then asked if the band could sign the cd for me, and most of them signed it. We decided that this location had a better vantage point, and stayed by the table for the rest of the show. ( No Grammarly, we were not “on” the table, but beside it. LOL)
Kathy and I had a conversation earlier in the night about the heights of different people in the room. She was feeling tall because most of the people she spends her time with are also tall, so she was realizing why people like myself think that she is tall. I am not so lucky. It amused me later on when a kind gentleman who was towering over everyone asked me if he was in my way. I laughed it off, and told him, no he was fine, because really if it wasn’t him there I would have to look around other people. It was a nice of him to ask, though.
I was approached by a different man who wanted to know if I knew the band. I told him I did, and he asked me if I had known John Walter. It took me a minute to place the name. I told him I had seen him at other shows, but didn’t know him really well. I remember the day I asked Jason what had happened. John was a good friend to the band and was at a fair number of their shows. He was the lead actor in their first video, The Dirtiest Drunk In The History of Liquor. One day in November 2015, John hit a patch of black ice with his car. He died, and I remember that it was a shock to a lot of people that knew him. Losing a friend is a hard thing to deal with.
The young man introduced himself as Thomas. He was looking for a safe place to stash the winter coats. Kathy & I had put ours on the floor by the table, and so I pointed to the floor. Thomas laughed and said, “I have never seen a finer corner to put my jacket in.” A coat check would have made money that night, for sure. He asked if he could buy me a drink, in honour of his friend. I accepted the offer, and he came back with a glass of draft for me. By the time he was back, I had put two and two together, and I told him the story of missing my friend that night also. Another friendly hug happened, the side by side kind of a hug. (You would think I was a huggy type of person, but I’m not most of the time). The drinks probably made me a little less worried about hugging people. I had a few in me at that point. He introduced me to his girlfriend. I *think* her name was Ashley, but I am not 100% certain. He told me they were both there to honour their friend’s memory because he was a good friend to them both, and he was with them the night they became a couple. When we were done chatting, they asked me to join them on the dance floor. I declined, it was a little too crowded there, and I was happy in my little space by the table. I was able to dance a little and clap and sing with the band from right where we were.
When I reflected for a moment, I do think my friend was there in spirit with me. I say this because when we attended the show together, there was not a crowd like this time, and we did watch from the sidelines a bit before hitting the dance floor together. It reminded me of that and thinking that she had cleared a special place from the cosmos to allow me to have a good vantage point for the show with Kathy, made me smile.
The Stanfields had one encore. Part of it was a favourite from their self-titled debut album, Crocodile Tears. It is quite the memorable tune, and those of us that have been fans since the beginning, know all the words and sang along. We got our coats, and I had paid Jason earlier for the new CD and DVD I wanted. They are going to be recording a new album soon. I can’t wait to hear what they do next! I guess it was the night of the one missing band member because I am missing one signature on the cd I bought from them too. I’ll try to remember to bring it with me for the next show.
Swag and Merchandise I took home from the show. Whenever I get a chance, I do like to support local talent and buy directly from the bands. They get a little more money in their pocket that way, and I am an artist who understands that this is how you keep the bands making more music, by supporting them at live shows.
In summary, it was a great experience. I always have fun when I go to see The Stanfields, and now I will try to make it out to go to see Kill Chicago when I can. I had recognized a local celebrity at the show, a radio personality, and we talked briefly while there. The next day we carried on a facebook chat about the show, and he enjoyed the show, as a fan as well. I am glad I was able to be there. I am also glad Kathy came with me, she is an awesome friend that I don’t get to hang out with as much as I’d like to. Make time to do things with your friends while they are here so that you can honour them after they are gone. Then you will have memories to smile about, and stories to share.
Thanks to Kill Chicago and The Stanfields for a fun and memorable live show.