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The W - Music - SLCR #368: The Headstones (November 25, 2022)
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KJames199
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Since: 10.12.01
From: #yqr

Since last post: 42 days
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This was maybe the most concerty concert since we went back to doing stuff. Loud. Bright lights. So many people.

Granted, it was a band that was big when I was in university now playing the casino circuit, so it’s a concerty concert for people of a certain age, by people of a certain age. But I am of said certain age, getting more certain with every passing year.

In regards to said certain age, we got to the end of the workweek and the idea of going out to a show felt daunting. You know what’s nice? My house. I mean, not really; if you’ve seen it, you know it does a passable job of keeping the elements out and that’s about it. But it’s there, and we were already there. Did we really want to go elsewhere?

Ultimately, I guess we did. We arrived at the casino and the opener was already playing. I got a new Apple Watch a few weeks ago, and immediately upon walking into the show lounge, I was introduced to one of the new watch’s new features: the loud environment warning. “Repeated, long-term exposure to sounds at this level can damage your hearing,” it says. I know, watch.

The opener was Arcana Kings, formerly known as the Johnny McCuaig Band. The new name is probably an improvement, if only because I’ve never understood the Person’s Name Band format. Be a solo act or a band, not both at once. Anyway, to the best of my knowledge, I’d never seen them before, but I knew the name as they’re originally from Regina. This was fine. They had bagpipes, played by the aforementioned Johnny McCuaig, which worked for me and made them more interesting than your average bar band. They closed with a crowd-pleasing cover of It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll).

As for the Headstones, look, I really like the Headstones. For a few years there, I was seeing ridiculous numbers of concerts, and those shows elevated the Headstones in my eyes more than almost any other band I saw. They went from “I know of them, I’ve heard a few songs, they’re fine, I guess, I dunno” to one of my favourite bands of their era. They put on better live shows than their contemporaries that are still going concerns, and you know you’re going to have a good time.

But you also know exactly what you’re going to get. They’ll play all the hits, they’ll cover New Orleans is Sinking and House of the Rising Sun, you’ll get to sing along with the one that goes “fuck you, fuck you, fuck you and only you” (it’s called Fuck You), Hugh Dillon will wade out into the crowd with a long-corded mic and make the roadies’ lives difficult. (He came right up to me! I got to duck under the cord!) There were a few new songs - they just put out a new album - but then there are always a few new songs.

All of which is to say I didn’t dig this like I usually do, but it’s a me thing and not a them thing. Apart from just being tired and lazy at the end of the week, this was easily the loudest show I’d been to in years, and the most crowded show too. And we’re still masking, but judging from the crowd, we’re the only ones. (Mika overheard someone calling our masks “silly,” and if that’s the most flack we take over them, fine by me, especially since I didn’t even notice.) But between the volume and the people - and the strobe lights, and the prerecorded screechy noise they played upon ending their set - it wasn’t the best time I’d ever had. All we have coming up are smaller sit-down shows and that might be fine for now.

UPCOMING CONCERTS:
• Pierre Kwenders w/Selci and DJ Hendrika (January 27)
• Hawksley Workman w/Mauvey (January 28)
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