Happy Birthday Cleo!
So, my pal Dennis calls me up this past Monday night and asks what I’m doing the next evening. I check to see that Laurel’s not going to be up to her eyeballs in homework as I figure that perhaps there’s a recording session to get in on. Since it’s cool with her, I say “nothing, why?” Turns out, he’s got a pair of tickets to see none other than Canadian rock icons Rush at the Air Canada Centre. Ah yes.
The last time I saw Rush was around ‘93 or ‘94 at Maple Leaf Gardens. Our friend Bruce’s band I Mother Earth opened. I’d seen them four or five years before that with VoiVod as the opener. That was quite cool since I’d been a VoiVod fan for many years leading up to that show. Prior to that, the only other time I’d seen them was in ‘81 or ‘82 – my first ever rock concert. I was in the seventh grade, and the only kid in school to have gone to that show. My Dad took my younger brother and I since my folks were unable to get three seats together for a Police concert that was coming to town. Open the evening was Vancouver’s The Payola$ (“Eyes of a Stranger”) – remember them?
As a teenager growing up in the suburb of Mississauga, my lifeline to the downtown was the GO Train, which I was constantly riding as the only youth culture where I grew up was either the mall or sports. Neither of which was very appealing. Anytime there was a major rawk concert in town, the train running closest to the event start time would be crowded with yahoos and the kind of people that use “party” as a verb, smoking, drinking and screaming the name of whatever band was performing that evening, usually prefacing it with “fuckin” to make it sound cool. It made the night all the more exciting.
So, this past Tuesday evening I decided to hop on the GO Train, as it lets out right in the Air Canada Centre. Since I now live halfway to the suburbs, I figure the train will be jam packed by the time it gets to my station. As I’m not a fan of a lot of major label, hugely popular acts, I’m not really into the whole concert-going event as I’d once been, let alone looking forward to seeing a bunch of people nearly half my age smoking, drinking and screaming “FUCKING RUSH!!!”
There’s probably about six people waiting for the same train as me. When it arrives at the tail end of rush hour (no pun intended) it’s practically deserted. Maybe I’m too early? Nah, this train gets in just before the start time on the ticket, and there’s no opening act to miss. I actually was able to read my book on the trip downtown. I know, I know – who brings a book to a concert, let alone a concert that you’re taking the yahoo express to?
As I’m getting off the train it’s plain to see that the whole concert going ritual from a suburbanites point of view no longer has the same excitement it once did. This is saddening since it seems like a reminder of lost youth. Now, if it were Limp Bizkit or Moby playing, it would probably come full circle, and I’d be at home watching DVDs and scoffing at the kids in the neighbourhood on their way to the station.