Friday, September 07, 2007


(I wrote this last night but saved it, because blogger wouldn't let me upload my pics for some reason)

This is gonna be long...I warn you now (and suggest you grab some snacks and a blanket).....

Tonight I finally got to see my all time favorite female artist in concert, something I've been waiting for since "Stuff" came out. Long overdue. Holly McNarland played the VECC (my new all time favorite venue) and I can hardly type this because I'm still in awe and reeling from the show. Seriously.

I am NOT a good reviewer of shows (like Barb). I get so caught up in the moment that I can barely scrape myself off the ceiling, much less remember what happened. I am very participatory (is that even a word?) and really get into the show...especially when it's someone I'm THIS fond of. I am not "together" or composed, as most of you would be at shows. I hoot and howl and dance and cry and stamp my feet and clap. I might even levitate, I don't know. Then, afterward, if I'm fortunate enough to do a meet and greet (like we were tonight), I'm a babbling fool who can barely harness her emotion. Tonight was no exception. (I think I drooled on Holly.)

First of all - did you ever have a day where everything just sort of fell into place and luck seemed to be on your side and you were shittin' gold? That was today.

It's funny, all day today the "buzz" around work was about the youngest lottery player in Canada to win a big jackpot. The 19 year old Maple Ridge girl won 2 million yesterday in the BC49 and I found her story quite compelling. She'd never bought a lottery ticket before in her life, but felt the urge to when her parents suggested that positive thinking could have a positive result on her life. They'd been reading "The Secret" and it prompted her to go out and buy her first ticket. And I'll be damned if she didn't win the jackpot.

Anyhow, it seems that MY day was affected by just reading this positive story because everything just fell into place for me after that. First, I'd planned on leaving for the show early - REAL early. It was general admission and I wanted front row. The venue is a teeny little intimate one and I was bound and determined to be up close and personal. Well, despite me telling Linds that I got off work at 3:30 and wanted to leave shortly afterward, I came home to find her sprawled on the couch with a movie, yakkin' on the phone (still in her pj's). So somehow 3:30 turned into 6:00 before we were actually on the road (where we hit a shitload of rush hour traffic)....I thought we'd be doomed in the "good" seats and parking departments (there are like 6 spots at the venue). And I was a little stressed over it because Linds blew me off and had no sense of urgency, like I did.

As we neared the VECC, I got worried and wondered why we didn't see anyone lined up outside (like we did for Matt Good). Then I panicked, as I thought the doors must've already opened and envisioned everyone already inside, in all the good seats (leaving us one in the corner, behind a pole on the second level). Great. I knew we should've arrived earlier.

But as we got closer, we noticed two guys sitting cross legged in front of the door, with three more on a bench beside the building. We pulled into the parking lot to find there were still 4 parking spots left. WTF? We started to wonder if we had the right date? The right venue? WHERE WAS EVERYONE?

As we got to the door we quickly made friends with the two guys sitting out front, who'd been as surprised as we were that noone had shown up. It was after 7 and the show started at 8. This meant that we were second in line behind these two guys! SCORE!!

A couple more people eventually straggled up and the doors opened to line up inside the lobby (and wait some more). We started to get a little nervous when it was finally time to be seated and the lady scanned the guy's ticket in front of us and it didn't work. She shuffled him aside and then tried ours, only to tell us that they "didn't work" either. She said we'd also have to step aside to let others through as she figured out why, but we insisted that we wanted to save seats first, then figure it out. As it turned out, Ticketmaster had screwed up and charged WAY more than they were supposed to for s/c and the glitch was affecting the ticket scanning process. We were relieved when a girl came over and brought the usher lady up to speed on what was happening and instructed her to let us in without scanning our tickets. It was a hassle, but nice to learn that if we saved our tickets we'd get a refund on the overcharge. I'd already thought they were reasonable (at $33 each), but apparently they were only supposed to be $19.50. YES! SCORE #2.

When we finally got inside, we were pleasantly surprised to see that there was no "stage" set up and our front row seats were mere feet away from Holly. This was getting good. Screw the lottery, we were winners.

The opening act was a delightful young lady who goes by "Adaline" (and is now apparently Lindsay's BFF...they've exchanged phone numbers and emails and are going to meet for coffee). She reminded us of Fiona and we are now her new biggest fans. She sings like an angel - sexy, smooth and sultry and she is utterly delightful - charming and sweet.She flirted with the cute guy sitting next to Linds during the show (the one in the line up that we befriended) and talked of how nervous she was, although it didn't show at all. Cool as a cucumber. Her music gave us goosebumps and I'll be the first in line to get her new CD (which is coming out soon). If you're smart, you'll be second. I'll be posting more on her later.

Anyhow, I'm tired, so let's cut to the chase.

Holly blew my fucking mind.

I'm not going to give a big spiel about the show because I can't do it justice. Just know that, for those of you who know Holly's music - live is even better than the CD. I thought maybe she'd "tone" it down now that she's a Mom and all - y'know, not belt it out like she used to. Wrong. She wailed. I've always loved her ability to go from beautiful, soft melodies to ripping the place apart. And she did.

That little firecracker's still smokin' hot. She's funny as hell, ditzy as a schoolgirl, honest, raw, and better than I'd ever imagine she'd be. She had to have all her lyrics in front of her because "she forgets everything". And she wasn't kidding either. She had to tune her guitar before each song she played because, well, she's unprepared. But she doesn't give a shit. She doesn't play guitar as much as she used to because she doesn't "feel like it" and has hired "the first girl she's every played with" and announced that "girls are better" (which got a big "hell ya" from us women in the audience). She ran out of things to talk about at one point which, in itself, was quite funny. She's quirky and does little Holly'isms throughout the show. Flails her hands around. Constantly tugs on her pants to pull them up. Silly little stuff that's just endearing and makes her seem like a nervous little child about to perform in the school assembly. And then this big, booming powerhouse voice comes outta this little thing. Awesome. I'm totally in awe, more than I ever was before. Didn't think that was possible.

Her son was in the audience and provided the sweetest banter back and forth with "Mom". It was touching to see her calm, (sweet) maternal side ravelled into the feisty little ball of energy. She tried to convince her son to tell his polar bear joke for us, but he declined and stood firm on "no Mom". And she respected that.

After the show, the rumor was swirling around that she was coming out to the lobby for a meet & greet session. I didn't buy it...I thought it was all a smokescreen by the crew to get everyone to clear out to the lobby and it appeared that that was the case. They were unconvincing with their casual "oh yeah, she'll be out soons". She's a mom with a baby and an 8 year old at the show, I doubted that she'd rush out to her fans. People hung around in corners and outside the doors for a bit, then slowly started to disperse as they realized the inevitable...Holly'd obviously already left out the back door. But Linds was bound and determined to stay and so was the guy that we'd hung out with all night (although I think he was staying because Linds was and it had nothing much to do with Holly coming out). Eventually the place was empty, except for Linds, her new friend and dude who needs his own story tomorrow - he's the one that looks like he's going to a Rancid concert.

It was quiet and desserted as I stood in the doorway to catch some cool air (and was just about to call Linds to leave). It was at this point that I looked over to see Holly there, standing with Linds and the other two guys and just about to give her a big hug! And because I'm a psycho stalker, I pushed my way in there with no sense of class or style at all - like a bull in a china shop. I'm pathetic. Anyhow, turns out Holly did come out to see our sorry asses because we'd hung in for the long haul and were officially the "diehards". We hung out and chatted with her for a bit, had a few pics done and then she graciously signed some stuff for us. She told me I was a cool mom for turning Linds onto her music and she was even more adorable "behind the scenes". I'm not gonna wash my ears for a week.

Anyhow, I'm beat and this was just too much excitement for my little peabrain. From food poisoning to meeting one of my female idols in a matter of days...what a week this has been. I've gotta go catch some sleep before I explode. More tomorrow (including some pheomenal video that Linds took and more about what songs she performed. Oh yeah, and the story of "dude"). What a night.

(FTR, Lindsay's pictures are much better...I'll post them later. I was too starstruck and wanted to be "in the moment" vs taking pictures of it. And in the dimly lit room, I didn't want to spoil the mood by being an annoying "flasher").


Blogger Allison said...

I think your pictures are pretty great, you captured her intensity quite well! Glad you had a good time. I'm itching to see some live music, its been so long, hopefully sometime soon.

7:00 AM  
Blogger Miss 604 said...

great recap! i've posted a link to this on my site :)

7:43 AM  
Blogger Barbara Bruederlin said...

What a great night! You really are a diehard fan, aren't you? I never wait around, I'm bad.

I'm not all that familar with Holly's music but do have one album and yes, she certainly does not hold back on that one. No, tell us how you really feel, Holly!

Great review, Deb.

8:32 AM  
Blogger Deb said...

Al....two concerts in two weeks is BIGTIME for me (Matt's is coming up). The pics are good - hard to get a bad one from our vantage point. But Linds is the photographer of the family so she gets all kinds of different shots.

Miss 604...thank you - glad to share them with you. :)

Barb...Linds has made me wait in the rain for an hour afterward (Jack Black) a Mom, I'm a sucker for punishment.

I'll post Lindsay's videos (if she ever gets her butt in gear and uploads them) - her new stuff is really good and I think you'll like it.

9:59 AM  
Blogger Gledwood said...

that looks like an "intimate" venue...

i seriously scraped so nearly past seeing MARIANNE FAITHFULL in concert some years ago

i am STILL pee'd off i did not go

hope you are feeling better by the way!

1:14 PM  
Blogger Gledwood said...

i mean properly better...

1:15 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

hey gled...starting to gradually feel better each day. Still not 100%, but functioning.

9:56 AM  

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