Best way to describe the show last night in Orlando at HOB.
I\'m beat, but I\'ll try to do my best to remember what happened during the days events.
First off, my friend from Tampa came out to see the show. We flew in from Buffalo. We spent the better part of the afternoon at Downtown Disney just taking in the sites. Later in the afternoon, at my guestimations probably right after soundcheck, saw Rob Baker at Virgin Megastore shopping around. He had a slew of bags in his hands from all the various Disney shops. Didn\'t want to bug him though, so just said hello and let him be on his way.
Then went for a snack at Wolfgang Puck\'s restaurant, and that\'s when we saw Gord Downie with some people (didn\'t recognize them, however). But since he was eating, it would have been rude to interrupt. He looked up at us walking by, and said a fond hello.
Arrived in front of HOB at about 6:10 and there was already a HUGE line-up to get in. Many Canadian \'Roots\' shirts, and just noticed one couple with a Canadian flag, and another guy wearing a Canadian flag bandana. Many of the people we talked to said they were in from Buffalo or Toronto. Talked to a ton of people, and got to know some of them quite well by the end of the night.
We were all frisked outside first, and the woman doing the check on me noticed I had a camera in my pocket. I told her The Hip have no qualms with taking pictures, but she said it was policy not to bring them in, and that I would have to check with another security guy by the doors. So I talked to him, and he said they are trying to be more relaxed about that policy, and said if I wanted to wait a few minutes by the door, he would let me know if it was cool or not. But with it being general admission, I didn\'t want to waste time waiting. I could also go \'check in\' my camera and other stuff if I wanted. I went over to that area to check it in, but after realising you had to PAY to check stuff in, I just was going to go in anyway. So I walked in, camera and all. And no one said anything.
I got right up to the front, second row. The guys in front of us were great - Orlando residents that grew up in Wasaga Beach (Ontario), and in Buffalo. It was great talking with them, and it worked well because they let me squeeze in to the front row during the show, which made for some great camera shots. Note: Once we were in with cameras, the security guards at the front didn\'t care that I had a camera with flash, and they let me take pictures throughout the show.
Wayne came on early, it was 7:30. They played until just after 8pm. They were great, and looked to be having a great time. Then after a 15 minute break to get The Hip set up, the boys came out, before 8:30pm!
What a setlist, and Gord was on fire. Sorry, forgot to bring a pen with me inside the venue, so I didn\'t write down the setlist. It was all pretty predictable though, but sounded solid. I haven\'t heard a better version done live of 100th Meridian or Gift Shop. They were excellent!
Gord was typical, in a very good mood, and very wordy. He was very interactive with the crowd. Trying to think of some Gord-ism\'s, they were great. He talked about not calling them \'testicles\', but rather calling them \'balls\'...\'because your testicles didn\'t get you here, your balls did\'. At one point he chuckled and tried to say \'i can\'t hear you\', but muffled it by laughing, because the crowd was so intense and so loud during all the songs, that I think it was throwing him off a bit. He did a great job of remembering lyrics, though.
I think it was during Courage where he did the moonwalk, which I got a picture of, so I can\'t wait to see how that turns out!! He was very interactive with his mic stand again, and actually fell over once, and the mic stand landed in the middle of the front speakers, and when Gord got up, the mic stand was bent at a 45 degree angle. It was the most hysterical thing to see him trying to UN-bend it back into shape, he was struggling and grimacing, and it was quite the theatrical performance until he got it shaped again. He rode the mic stand and was girating with it, mumbling something about having an affair with the mic stand, but that he told his wife, so he \'came clean\' and has a clean conscious now. Very funny. His expressions were hysterical.
Robbie ventured over to Paul again, which seems to be a repeat thing lately. All the guys were dead on. Very, very, very, very good show. I didn\'t see anyone recording it from where I was standing, but perhaps someone at the back might have. I would LOVE to get a copy, if this is the case.
Disappointed in the encore, it was only 2 songs. And even though the rafters were practically ready to crumble because of the noise factor in people chanting for them to come back on, the lights went up and that was that.
After the show, we ran into the guys from Wayne. They were great. I had seem them perform with The Hip previously on this tour, but never got a chance to talk with them. Very down to earth guys. One of the guitarists (name escapes me at this time) told us where they were staying at the Marriott and their room number if we all wanted to come by. We also walked around part of Downtown Disney with him, and it was great to get his perspective on travelling with The Hip. He said he\'s never seen such intense fans with a devote following to The Hip. He also said that during the stop at Darien Lake, the crowd was so loud, he was enamoured with that fact so much that he called his wife backstage just to hold the phone up so she could hear it. He\'s bummed they won\'t be touring in Europe with The Hip, but said their (Wayne\'s) record label won\'t let them go overseas. Weird. But anyway, they were so nice.
Waited around afterwards to talk with The Hip. Robbie was the first one out, within a half hour of the show\'s end. He must have remembered me from shows past because when he walked out, he said hello to me first and shook my hand, and then right away said \'Your man\'s being an asshole and won\'t come out yet, he\'s watching the World Series game right now\' (my man being Gord Downie). He then said they were all assholes and not coming down for a while, it was quite comical. Talked with Robbie for about 20 minutes, and it was apparent he was in no hurry to get back upstairs with his bandmates.
About a half hour later, Johnny and Gord Sinclair came out. It was QUITE APPARENT that HOB doesn\'t have showers for the guys on site, because they all were changed, but smelled like a sweat shop!
Johnny kind of hung out in a corner with just a couple people. But Gord was mingling, and in great humour. He was swearing like a sailor, which was funny to hear.
About an HOUR later, with only about 20 fans waiting around at this point, Paul Langlois came out to talk with everyone. Some people were asking him where Gord Downie was, but he said he hadn\'t seen him in a while, and that at last check, Gord wasn\'t feeling very well, so he might have taken off already. But again, he wasn\'t sure. My hubby made the comment to Paul (with a smoke in his hand) that he thought for sure he\'d given up smoking, because he hasn\'t been on stage with a smoke in ages, but Paul said he couldn\'t smoke and be under those lights at the same time anymore, it was too hard to do.
Once Paul left, we decided to get ready to pack things up for the night. The tour bus was loaded, and started to take off, with no sign of Gord Downie in site. There were a few fans there that were ticked off they waited so long and he wouldn\'t come out, but if he didn\'t feel well (and by the end of the second song in the encore, it was quite apparent he was gasping for air), I don\'t blame him. It\'s been a long tour, ya know!!
All in all, very good show. One of the best I\'ve seen. Apparently HOB holds 2000 people, but as of show time, only 1000 tickets were sold. I saw people buying tickets right before show time, so who knows. But it was packed, and it was a great place. Sound was quality, and the actual building itself was reminiscent of a saloon. Very cool.
Once I get back to Buffalo, I\'ll get my pics developed, and will post a link for them.