Concerts are about more than the music

Sean and I had a sorely-needed date night on Wednesday when we went to see Tool at the Air Canada Centre. It probably doesn’t actually qualify as a real date since a friend of ours came with us. A night out is a night out though so I’ll take it.

The concert was promoted with the warning of no new music on the setlist. Not exactly a greatest hits tour, but more of a reminder that they’re still around. Judging by the fact that the show sold out with very little advertising, I’m not sure their fanbase needed reminding. Sean and I enjoyed the show, although he would have preferred some shakeups to the setlist. We’ve seen Tool several times over the last decade or so and this was very similar to previous shows.

Concerts are great places for people watching. It’s fun to see the different kind of fans out there:

  • The superfan that pulls out his concert shirt from the first tour he ever saw to show everyone that he was with the band before they were cool. It’s rare that it fits properly if the band has been together for many years. (While I don’t wear my old shirts to shows, I do struggle with fitting into some of them, so I don’t consider myself immune to this phenomenon.)
  • The teenagers that you think couldn’t possibly have been old enough to listen to the band with any great zeal when their last album was released. (Tool tends to go at least five years between albums so this is a legitimate issue for them.) Maynard James Keenan (Tool’s singer) commented that some songs hadn’t been played since a lot of the audience were sperm. That was an exaggerated statement, but maybe now that Sean and I are no longer the youngest fans in the room, everyone else seems younger to us. Get off my lawn you kids!
  • The “fashion don’ts”. This comes up a lot at the shows Sean and I go to – the perils of liking hard rock and metal I suppose. Not the most fashionable demographic. Most people don’t look out of the ordinary, but I honestly wonder what rock some people crawl out from to come to the show. Wednesday’s highlight was a guy who was wearing a black goth-style full-length jacket. It looked more like a cheap bathrobe with S&M accessories. I don’t want to snark  on someone’s fashion choices, but sometimes going to these shows feel like I’ve stepped into a timewarp. Some people don’t look any different than they did in 1996 (or whatever year the band you’re seeing was huge), bad haircut and all. If someone was to observe the outfit I wore, they would have said “she must have just come from the office”. Which I totally did, and I’m okay with that.

Sean and I used to go to a lot of shows before Flora was born and we had more disposable income. Now that concerts are an occasional event for us, I definitely appreciate all the little nuances more. We make the same jokes every time and we still laugh. We still love going together and that’s the best part of all.


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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada
This work by Melissa Price-Mitchell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada.
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