Sunday, 5 August 2012

BLOG -- The Black Keys Concert @ Molson Amphitheatre (August 4, 2012)

In my last blog about The Black Keys, I put some disclaimer at the beginning, saying that the entry may not be interesting. This was before I knew just how popular The Black Keys was. There won't be any disclaimers here.

Me and The Black Keys (Part 2)
Since attending The Black Keys' concert in March, I've bought the El Camino album (as I said I would) and have listened to it often. Sometimes I even dance to it (at home in my room -- awkwardly, I'm sure).

I enjoy every song on that album, which is a rare thing. Even with my favourite music artists or groups, there's usually at least one song I don't like or care much about on an album. With El Camino, I can listen to it -- start to finish -- and I'm satisfied throughout. My favourite songs on that album are 'Nova Baby', 'Hell of a Season', 'Mind Eraser', 'Dead and Gone', and of course, 'Lonely Boy'.

The Little Details
Date of Concert: August 4, 2012
Venue: Molson Amphitheatre (Toronto, Ontario)
Time: 8:15 PM
Ticket Price Total: $77.75
Seating: Section 203, Row N, Seat 29

Before 7:00 PM -- Second English Concert Jitters
Even though this was my second time experiencing an English concert, it would be my first time at the Molson Amphitheatre. I was really nervous about that. One reason was the location. There are no buses or streetcars that take you directly there -- you'll have to walk from the stop. Another reason, and this is the main one, was the concert time. The concert starts at 8:15 PM. All that was running through my mind was this:

The last concert at the ACC started late and it was supposed to start at 7:30 PM. That concert ended around 11 PM. This concert is supposed to start at 8:15 PM. If this concert starts late... how late would it end?? Would I still be able to get home by subway?

Going by myself also adds a bit of worry in the back of my head (especially if I've never been there before).

7:00 PM-ish -- @ Molson Amphitheatre
Getting to the Molson Amphitheatre wasn't so bad after all. Once I got off the streetcar / bus stop, I just followed other people who were also on their way to the concert.

Before going through the gates and getting my ticket (I already bought my ticket online, but the ticket had to be printed there), security stopped me and told me that I had to throw out my bottled water (no outside food or drinks allowed).

Once I got my ticket, I walked around for a bit, passing all the vendors that were selling booze. I definitely did not want to consume anything that would make me dehydrated and want to go to the washroom (especially on a day that's on heat alert). But I knew I had to get something. I was looking for water, haha.

When I finally found some, I went to my seat and waited. As I waited, I prayed that beer won't be spilt on me like last time. I figured that since every vendor was selling beer and outside food and drinks were not allowed, the chances of it happening again were high.

View of the stage from my seat.
Much better than last time.

8:15 PM -- Pre-show (The Shins)

The Shins

I've never heard of The Shins before this concert (I should probably blog about me and my exposure to music one day). One of my team-mates told me that they're really good except for their latest album. So I made sure to keep an open mind -- that if I didn't like what I heard, I may possibly like some of their older stuff.

I didn't really enjoy The Shins very much. Even though I was sitting much closer to the stage (compared to my last concert experience), I still couldn't make out much of what they were singing. So all I could rely on (to say if I liked something or not) was the music and melody. A lot of the music didn't really click with me, though there were a few numbers I liked.

Close to the end of the pre-show, some raindrops hit my shoulders. Instinctively, I looked around (as well as some nearby audience members). Even though we were under a canopy, there were open slits along the "walls" so the rain was coming through there. And we were getting hit, though not too badly. Thankfully, I brought a longsleeve.

Somehow, watching a concert under pouring rain (and lightning / thunder) while being partially protected made things a little bit more exciting.

I was a bit worried about my boss, though, who had bought lawn chair seats (those seats are NOT under a canopy).

9:15 PM -- Intermission
Nothing really happened here. I just stayed in my seat, occasionally sipping my water, and looking at the dark, cloudy sky that shot lightning at times. Anybody who left their seats would come back wet. Some of the audience members were wearing the same glass frames as Patrick Carney. Immediately, I thought, I've got to do that for next time!

9:40-ish PM -- The Black Keys

The Black Keys (yeah, my cell phone camera is really crappy)

As soon as The Black Keys walked on stage, everybody who was sitting immediately stood up and cheered, myself included this time. Just like last time, I felt the change in energy / excitement between the pre-show and the main show. I was charged! When The Black Keys played their first number (a song from a previous album), everybody around me started moving to the beat, and I joined them.

Their playlist seemed the same as their last concert, which was good and bad. Good that I'll hear a lot of good stuff and know what they are. Bad that some songs I was hoping to hear this time, won't be played. I really, really want to hear 'Hell of a Season' live! I admit that it's not a really dancey song, but I want to hear it!

After their first number, the crowd was so hot and energetic that I had to take off my longsleeve (just after I put it on like 40 minutes ago, haha). For songs I didn't recognize, I just swayed to the beat. For songs from El Camino, I went "wild" (well, as wild as a shy girl can get) and moved to the music, singing along and clapping at times. I hope nobody noticed.

I especially enjoyed 'Dead and Gone', 'Gold on the Ceiling', and 'Money Maker'. 'Little Black Submarine' was also really good, but I enjoyed the atmosphere more at the ACC -- when everything can go black, so that audience members can make that "sea of starlight" effect.

Patrick Carney on their large electronic screen.

Dan Auerbach on their large electronic screen.

Their last number, 'Lonely Boy', just like last time, had the largest response and energy from the audience.

Once that song ended, the stage went completely dark. The Black Keys said their thanks and walked off the stage. Everybody cheered and clapped. I tried to cheer, but my voice was super tired. I also knew what was coming. Sure enough, a large disco ball was slowly coming down from the ceiling.

10:55-ish PM -- Encore


The encore was awesome! They played the same numbers as last time, but they still played greatly and were met with tons of energy and excitement from the audience. The show ended around 11:10 PM.

Overall Experience
Even though the playlist was pretty much the same as their last concert, I still greatly enjoyed myself. My experiences between the two were also actually pretty different. I mean, I was dancing this time, and "immersing" myself with the music. Last time I was sitting through most of it, wanting to "immerse" myself but was too shy. Last time, beer was spilt on my hair. This time, that didn't happen -- yaaayyyyyyyyy!

The only non-enjoyable thing this time (besides not being allowed to bring bottled water) was the ridiculously long trek home. The rain had stopped by that time, but still!

11:10 PM -- Concert ended.
11:45 PM -- Got out of the venue and to the bus stop.
12:15 AM -- Got on the subway at Union Station.
1:00 AM -- Got home.

Almost 2 hours to get home. And I don't live that far. :/

I think I'm going to check out The Black Keys' older stuff now. I want to go "wild" for all their numbers next time. ;)


Even though you're not really allowed to record performances, some people did anyway. Here are a few Youtube videos from that night (videos may change if I find better quality ones):

 I Got Mine

Little Black Submarine

Nova Baby

This was a long blog. If you've made it this far, thanks for reading! :)

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