04 July 2010

Rockin' in Charlottetown

We planned our trip to PEI several months ago, and it wasn't until (I think) early May that I received the email from Great Big Sea that they'd be doing a Canada Day concert here. Silly me, I thought the Canada Day concert would be on Canada Day. Actually, it was on July 3rd, which happened to be a Saturday, so I guess there was some method to their madness.

The first band, Matt Mays and El Torpedo,an up-and-coming metal band from Nova Scotia, were on at 5:30. We arrived at 4:30 and staked out spots right at the front, near the sub-woofers. I think my whole body was vibrating, and Tod says he thinks his DNA got rearranged! PEI-2010 051

Next up, at around 7 p.m., were aging rockers Bachman and Turner (don't know what happened to the Overdrive). This was their first concert together in 20 years, and although they looked a little creaky, they still sounded the same. PEI-2010 053It must have been a little weird for them to be an opening act.

The headlinders, Great Big Sea, came on at 8:30. Since the concert venue, Confederation Landing, is in the midst of a residential area, they wanted the concert over before 11:00. Here's a photo Tod took of the crowd behind us:PEI-2010 057 GBS is a really Big Deal in Canada. There must have been close to 2,000 people jammed into the park (really rough estimate!) PEI-2010 065Murray Foster, the bassist, who used to be with Moxy Fruvous.

The crowd was loud and raucous, and luckily the security team was really proactive. They pulled out a young man who had a mickey of whiskey in his pocket just as the show was starting. Of course, GBS is known for their energetic music, and people were jumping and dancing and the crows kept inching forward. A couple of times I felt crushed. At one point a kid behind me elbowed me in the ribs quite hard, and when I turned around to chastise him, Tod (who was a few rows back at that point) came and stood directly behind me with his arms on the rail. I felt very safe!

Alan, the lead singer,PEI-2010 063(that's him on the left) promised that they would do all their hits, and they did. Sean McCann PEI-2010 060 sings lead on a lot of the slower tunes (like General Taylor), and has an incredible voice. They did the title song (which he co-wrote with Murray) of the new album a cappella and it was amazing. I was frustrated that some of the idiots in the crowd couldn't shut up and let the rest of us enjoy it, though. Someone kept calling out for them to play a song they'd already played. But it was lovely, and I'm really looking forward to getting it.
And, just so I didn't leave anyone out, here's a picture of Bob, who plays bouzouki, bodhran, fiddle, accordion and tin-whistle as well as guitar.PEI-2010 059

It was a great concert, but I'm glad it wasn't any longer. My feet were really tired (standing for five hours will do that!), and today I have a really sore neck from looking up at the stage. The Canadian GBS concert experience, though I much prefer the smaller venues (usually with audiences over the age of 21) they play in the U.S.

Thank you to my darling husband, Tod, for allowing me to use his photos!


  1. What a concert! Saw GBS last year and they were amazing. I love Matt Mays too and of course BTO should still rock. Randy Bachmann is still on CBC Radio every Saturday night when boomers like me are sitting home instead of on the town.

    Charlotte Adams mysteries

  2. MJ, I've seen GBS a number of times now, and they've always been amazing. I didn't realize Randy B. was on CBC weekly. What show is he on? I miss the CBC.


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