Things were a little hectic getting us out of the pub and over into the Moore, I fear–we lost track of ! Oops. But she did catch up with us, and all tickets were safely handed out in our party of seven, and our seats on row M on the right hand side of the main floor were secured.
Now, I’ll admit up front I was vaguely disgruntled by the fact that we were all the way back on row M, even after I’d gotten those tickets via the greatbigsea.com presale. But that said? I don’t really have much room to bitch. Any seat on the main floor of the Moore is pretty fine, actually. And even from twelve rows back, the view of the stage is lovely as long as you don’t have somebody significantly taller than you are standing in front of you.
Still, though, MAN, I was jealous to discover had a seat on the front row. *^_^*;; (And I’m really going to have to get a volunteer to snag tickets for me on the next presale–this is what I get for my team holding daily standups at 10am, right when the presales usually start! As I do not work in St. John’s, I’m pretty sure ‘can we hold up for five minutes? I MUST BUY GREAT BIG SEA TICKETS NOW’ is not a sufficient excuse for holding up a meeting.)
As expected, there was a swag table just outside the main theater, manned by GBS swag regular Glenn, known by all us fans to be one of Séan McCann’s brothers. Meems and I went out for the obligatory Inspecting of the Swag before the show started, and while the prices were a bit steep for Meems’ preference, I went ahead and snagged me a black-and-white baseball tee that said “GREAT BIG SEA St. John’s Newfoundland” on it, with a line drawing of a cityscape. (You would think I have enough Great Big Sea shirts by now. You would, however, be mistaken. I can never have too many Pike Place Market berries, Russell Crowe movies, books of any sort, or Great Big Sea shirts!) Mr. McCann was doing brisk business, and I had to wait a bit; I did, however, get back inside in plenty of time.
Much to my satisfaction, there was no opening act whatsoever, and we cut right to the chase when it was time for the show to begin!
Those of you who have read these show posts of mine know I often like to elaborate a bit on what the B’ys are wearing. I’ve come to appreciate though that for questions such as these, a picture is worth a thousand words. (And believe me, I can come up with a lot of words.) Even a picture where The Foster is unfortunately kind of blurry!
(Note The Doyle rocking that plaid flannel shirt, though. I really rather liked that. It made him look rugged and manly-like and stuff.)
That previous pic was courtesy of and her actual digital camera. Meems did a valiant job trying to get decent pics on my phone’s camera, but as I’ve lamented on previous show posts, my iPhone, delightful though it is, cannot cope with an indoor concert’s lighting. (I quite liked the God of Music and Light pic it managed to create for me, nonetheless!)
Really, though, let’s get to the important stuff. I.e., the SONGS. Here’s Set One!
- Ordinary Day
- The Night Pat Murphy Died
- Nothing But a Song
- When I’m Up
- Safe Upon the Shore
- A Boat Like Gideon Brown
- Good People
- River Driver
- Dear Hometown
- Yankee Sailor
- Singalong: I Fought the Law/If I Had a Million Dollars/Jack and Diane/Hit Me With Your Best Shot/With or Without You
- Run Run Away
Since two out of the three existing live GBS CDs start off with “Donkey Riding”, to this day it sounds wrong to me to have a show start off with anything else. But if a show has to start off with anything else, “Ordinary Day” is a damn strong opening number. I’m very used to having it be one of the big finishing numbers just before the encores, but it works well as a show opener, too. It certainly got me into the mood!
Séan as per his long and honorable tradition messed with the lyrics of “Paddy Murphy” in all the appropriate places. On the opening verse it was “Alan Doyle got loaded drunk and he ain’t been sober yet”, and “Bob Hallett was feeling gay, but that’s okay, we’re Canadian”. And in the last verse, “Seattle girls got loaded drunk”, for the obligatory WOO! from all of us Seattle girls in the seats.
Right after that song was when Alan exulted that it was hours away from St. Patrick’s Day, and that Great Big Sea were entering their 19th year–and that he feels that the first half of their career has gone very well so far. Not terribly surprisingly, we were all in agreement with him!
“Nothing But a Song” got the audience going nicely nuts with the hard PUNCH of the lights accenting the bridge. That trick worked beautifully the first time I saw it and it still works very, very well for me. (Even if at this point that song has odd connotations for me what with last summer’s contest!)
Alan started off “When I’m Up” with a new way to make us giggle: singing the line “I’m the instrument of joy”, then abruptly pausing and adding, “I know! It only occurred to me recently.” Bwahaha. And as is his wont during the bridge, he encouraged us to give it up for Bob Hallett!
More exultation, Alan-style, after that: “It’s St. Pat’s week, for God’s sake! Can you feel the love in the room? Let’s get this party started!” And from there, we went into an exultant song indeed: “Lukey”. A nicely done version as well, and it’s really, really nice to see both Murray and Kris getting their own little bits of solos in this song now. I still miss when Darrell used to get his bass solos here, and now that Kris and Murray get to have solos, it helps me feel like they’ve been truly and properly integrated into the band. (Why yes, Alan, I’m still feeling the love in the room, five days after the fact!)
After “Lukey”, Alan went on to tell us about how it was really a big week–not only St. Paddy’s week, but GBS’ anniversary as well, really a sort of “perfect storm” of awesome. This led well into the expected plug of the current record, and that led most excellently into “Safe Upon the Shore”.
O. M. G., Séan was in beautiful voice on this song, enough to distract me from the “oh okay FINE” reaction I had when most of the audience actually sat down. Which, I note, I promptly forgot all about as soon as they unleashed the chorus. We are talking steamroller of harmony here, people. We are talking five great vocal tastes that go great together. We are talking off the scale on my very own personal swoonometer. In short, yum.
Ahem. *fans self* Where was I? Oh yes!
After a stellar performance like that, it was entirely natural for Alan to remark on how “Séan always does well in Seattle”, and for Séan to reply that “it’s the coffee!”. Cue Alan burbling at top speed, “WhatcoffeeIdon’tknowwhatyou’retalkingabout!” (Paraphrasing, since he whipped through that so fast and I was giggling so hard I have no idea what he actually SAID, except that the word ‘coffee’ was in there somewhere.) The McCann added that he had fun at Pike Place Market (“HA!” she said, in a moment of her fandoms colliding; c.f. Part 1 of this concert report), watching the fish-throwing guys–and how, being from Newfoundland, he actually caught and ate three fish before they stopped throwing them at him. Hee hee hee.
Undaunted, Alan saw him Pike Place and raised him the YMCA! “How was that?” Séan asked him, and Alan stated with quite definitive assurance, “It was AWESOME.” (Well done on the exercising there, Mr. Doyle. Keep yourself healthy and limber. We like you that way. <3) Equally awesome was his informing the audience that we would, in fact, have two sets!
“Good People” was next, and for that, Alan broke out a banjo! I’m still not used to seeing him wielding that particular instrument, so that was kind of cool. This also provoked the obligatory line from Séan, “Are there any good people in Seattle tonight?” and the obligatory cheers in response. Afterwards, it also provoked the obligatory crack about how the sequel to that song would be called “Bad People”. And that it would be about Kris and Murray. Muaha.
Then, “River Driver”. STEAMROLLER. OF. HARMONY.
That flattened me so nicely that it actually took me a moment to recover enough to realize that the next song was one I hadn’t heard GBS do live in some time, and which took us clear back to the Sea of No Cares album: “Penelope”. Not one of my faves, but it does make a nice live performance. Ditto for “Dear Hometown”.
But oh my, then we got “Yankee Sailor”. Introduced by Bob, in fact, since Alan informed us that most of the band’s good ideas are in fact Bob’s. It’s very fangirly of me to say that I love to hear Bob talk–but hell, I do. Not only just because of his accent, either. He’s usually the silent and stoic one and it’s nifty to hear him speaking up on stage, too. As for the song itself, it wasn’t the delicious solo version we got out of Alan at the zoo last summer, but it was still pretty fabulous nonetheless. And got another good pic in the middle of it, too.
After that Alan warned us we were going to have a break very shortly, and that he thought the show was going really well so far–so wouldn’t it be a shame if the next song sucked? Which of course meant that he had to call upon us for help, and that it was time for the obligatory SINGALONG!
We got a bit different lineup of songs in the singalong this time–“I Fought the Law”, “If I Had a Million Dollars”, “Jack and Diane”, “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”, and “With Or Without You”. Giggles to Alan as well for the crack in the middle of it all about how it was sounding like Glee. Ha!
And of course that led into “Run Run Away”–and the end of the first set!