Friday, July 1, 2016

Fire Aid for Fort McMurray Concert June 29th 2016

On Wednesday night Janis and I went to the Fire Aid for Fort McMurray benefit concert held here in Edmonton at Commonwealth Stadium. This show was put on as benefit with all proceeds from the concert going to help with the rebuilding of Fort McMurray after the devastating wild fire that ripped through the city in early May. On the bill were many of Canada's biggest bands all pulling together for a good cause. The show started at 2 in the afternoon with a stage set up outside the stadium for the tail gate party with many local bands performing, not sure how many bands played as it rained like a motherfucker most of the afternoon. I was starting to question whether I really wanted to go sit in the rain all night for this show that got started at 5pm in the stadium. But like typical Alberta weather, by 5 o'clock the clouds had parted and the sun came out and it ended up being a beautiful night for an outdoor concert.

But after not getting off work til 5, it wasn't til a little after 7 by the time we got to the show. So sadly we missed a few performers I would have liked to have seen, like Ian Tyson and Alan Doyle of Great Big Sea fame. We got there and were heading down to the general admission floor section just as Nova Scotia's The Rankin Family were wrapping things up. As we headed down the stairs you could hear the band playing there Celtic style music and seeing the people in the stands taking in the sun, bouncing beach balls around the crowd and people dancing in the aisles and singing, it looked like the audience was having a good time. This was looking like a crowd already having fun.

So by the time we got to the floor we were there in time to catch Dean Brody, who is some country musician who I don't care about, not a fan of that kind of country music at all, seemed like boring generic crap. Luckily his set was only twenty minutes long, as were all the bands sets except for the two headliners Blue Rodeo and Nickelback. They had two stages set up, so we ignored Dean Brody and got ourselves situated in front of the other stage for Randy Bachman and The Sadies, who I really wanted to see, that was a big reason I wanted to come out to the show was for this match up, as I am a huge Sadies fan.

By the time Randy Bachman of BTO and Guess Who fame backed by the awesome band The Sadies hit the stage Janis I were right in front of the stage, and the stadium was starting to fill up. My guess would be about 30,000 people in attendance. This was my second time seeing Randy Bachman in concert and twelfth time seeing The Sadies. With the set being only twenty minutes long the band rocked it out playing BTO songs "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet", "Let It Ride" and Guess Who songs "No Time", "American Woman" and closing out with another BTO classic "Takin' Care Of Business". An awesome short set and probably the most rocking of the evening.

Randy Bachman with The Sadies.

After shuffling our way over to the main stage it was time for Corb Lund and the Hurtin' Albertans. This was my tenth time seeing Corb Lund live. Corb's set was rocking as well from start to finish playing all older tunes opening with "Hurtin Albertan" which segued into Stompin' Tom's "The Hockey Song" then a great oil workers song "Roughest Neck Around" which was a great choice in song considering Fort McMurray is the hub of Canada's oil production industry. Next was another great old song called "Five Dollar Bill" and closing out with "Rye Whiskey/Time To Switch To Whiskey" that song really had the crowd singing along. A great set by Corb Lund and his band.

Corb Lund.

Now it was time to climb the thousand stairs (Janis' estimation) up to the main concourse to step out for a smoke and get another beer. Therefore we didn't get to see Barney Bentall, we could hear him but couldn't see him. It was during this time, that I got a nice surprise. I saw a lady selling beers so I went to line up and grab a beer when the guy in front of me was buying a few beers for what I thought were his friends, he turned around to me and asked me what I was drinking. I told him I was drinking Molson Canadian, that is when he said to the lady "and this guy here will have two Canadian's as well", this guy was standing in line buying people beers. I saw him buy at least twelve beers for people. At 10 dollars a pop, this guy was doling out cash like crazy. Talk about being in the right place at the right time! I thanked him very much for the beers, cheered him and was on my way. So to whoever you were, that was an awesome of you and again thank you SO much.

Next up was Dallas Green of City and Colour/Alexisonfire doing a solo set. Now I have to admit I am not all that familiar with his music, but was pleasantly surprised by how good he was. Dallas has an awesome voice and is a decent songwriter too. He closed out his set with a great version of the Tragically Hip song "Bobcaygeon", that was a nice surprise. Good set.

Dallas Green of City and Colour.

The headliner of the night for us Blue Rodeo was up next as we weren't sticking around to see Nickelback, and this was the main reason Janis wanted to go as she is a big fan of Blue Rodeo, and I myself too am a fan of them. This was my third time seeing Blue Rodeo in concert and again they didn't disappoint. I've said it before and I'll say it again, they are like Canada's version of the Grateful Dead, maybe a little more country and not as psychedelic, but the longevity of them being together thirty plus years and the teaming up of Greg Keelor (Canada's Jerry Garcia) and Jim Cuddy feed off each other so well and the meshing of their voices and the way they each do their own songs.

Blue Rodeo's set was about an hour with them doing these songs that I know "Head Over Heels", "Diamond Mine", "5 Days In May" and closing out their set with the song "Lost Together" in which many of the other performers from the day joined them on stage for the song. That song seemed to take on even more meaning considering what this show was all about. A great set by a great Canadian band, beautiful weather, great audience, awesome music and all in the name of raising money for the rebuild of Fort McMurray. The concert raised over two million dollars. We got the hell out of the stadium before Nickelback came on. Janis and I had a whole lot of fun at the show. Good times!!!

Blue Rodeo.

T-shirt that I won't wear in public because of the Nickelback on it, but hey the shirt was only 20 dollars and it went to a good cause.

No comments:

Post a Comment