Day #1 4/3
I wondered if this would have been all worth it after eight hours of driving from Jersey to Montreal. Once Ms. Stout and I arrived, we crashed at the hotel. In no time at all, it was time to wait on line at the theater.
Ms. Stout and I could have dealt without the homeless skell accosting and harassing us while were waiting. There were 70 people on the line at the time and why he chose us two to try and sell his artwork is well beyond me. Ms. Stout threatened to call the cops and I was contemplating using the portable chair Ms. Stout was using in case this asshole had any ideas. eventually he went away.
It could have marred the night, but Im happy to say that it did not.
First of all, props must be given to the staff at the Olympia Theater, and the marillion staff. When informed that Ms. Stout is handicapped, they offered to accomodate us early the next two nights for baclony seating.After that incident out in the street, the worm was turning.
The opening act were Sun Domingo, a trio of bass, drums, and guitar..At first, I found them bland , but they greatly improved with each number. The last piece, an instrumental, was blistering..
Marillion took the stage shortly therafter. This was one of the more lively concerts I have ever been to in memory.. Hoageth era marillion is quite distinctive and unique,different form Fish era marillion. marillion is one of those bands you can`t categroize. Some songs are commercial,while others are long pieces.
The band performed all of `Season`s End, the first Hogarth era album back in 1989. A flawless performance if there ever was one. Steve Rothery is truly one of the best guitarists around today. His style is graceful and fluid. Pete Trewavas and Ian Mosley were crisp and melodic on bass and drums respectively. Mark kelly is quite atmospheric with his keyboard work, although he can rip into solos every now and again. The fact that the band can relpicate the sound of this album twenty years on speaks volumes about their talent. Steve Hogarth, otherwise known as `h', was in phenomenal voice. The man looks and sounds great!! he is close to fifty years old and he takes care of his voice quite well.Ms. Stout and I were in heaven wioth such material as `Holloway Girl' and Easter.'
After a brief intermission, the band treated the audiecne to some b-sides and delved intot the lateste release Happiness id the road. Admittedly, this an album my better half likes better than I, but live, it came to life. here was `h', at his most engaging, dressed up in coustumes, scurrying about the stage and standing on ledges. The man was amatser of merriment with an impish sense of humor. `h' is also adept on keyboards and rhythm guitar.
`Simply friggin` awesome', to use a cliche. I was cheeering and screaming at the top of my lungs, and I normally don`t ever do that. It takes a lot to impress me.
After it was all done, the band came out to take pictures and sign whatever was put in front of them graciously. Theya re gentleman who really cherish the fan base , and they give back a lot.
Day #2, 4/4
It started out a rainy day for us as we walked down Rue St. Catherine towards the main shopping district for breakfast. And by chance, we caught an anti-war Afghanistan war rally.
There were two opening acts; the first was `The Wishing Tree' a Steve Rotherey side project featuring lead singer Hannah Craddick, who has wispy, beautiful voice. Its a softer kind of music opposed to Marillion, but it was still well executed,further displaying Steve Rotherey`s abilities on guitar.
Sundo Doming were the second opening act and their perormanc on this night clearly outstripped the previous night`s . They covered led zep`s Immigrant song, their dedication to customs. But instrumentally is when this trio lets loose. They are quite talented and why cant music like this be popular? Two fo the band members did an incredible drum solo on one kit. The chemistry of the trio is incredibly tight knit. I was so impressed , I purchased a cd of theirs.
How could marillion top the previous night`s performance? well, they did. They did a collection of songs starting form the present day to 1983, when Fish was the lead singer. `h' was all over the stage, once again a master of merriment. The man was reserved as a frontman when he first started with marillion, and it took him a while to be comfortable. He has placed his stamp on the band and has been fully integrated with the band. Quite a colorful character. All of the lyrics are his and they are quite incisive, not mindless. We met a fan who decribed the music as emotional. `It really hits you.'
The fan base is extemely loyal and intense. many travled from afar. Highlights of the song. Highlights were the emotive, spellbinding, When I meet God, Afraid of Sunlight, Cathedral Wall, and The Great Escape.
Prt 2 to be continued.