On Friday night Brian and I went to the James Blunt concert. It was at the Saddledome which seats about 20,000 people, so it was pretty big. Blunt was awesome and although we didn’t have great seats I could still see a lot and of course, there is always something special about live music. There was a British couple behind us and the guy kept yelling, “Go’on Jamie Lad” – it was quite funny. Near the end of the concert Blunt asked everyone to stand up and so we did. Most of the people around us stood up as well, although reluctantly. At one point the guy behind us cheering and yelling and said, “What’s wrong with this lot?” and his girlfriend responded quite loudly, “You’re not in England anymore love…you’re in boring Canada.” Which of course, got me thinking.
While living in Korea I encountered the idea of the “boring Canadian” for the first time. Prior to that I had only heard what party animals we were. It is strange to me that each of these stereotypes can coexist but they seem to. I have found Calgary to be very conservative and at the three last concerts I have been to, unlikely to move or sway to music. This bugs me. It’s one thing at a James Blunt concert given the style and music and the size of Saddledome but the Blue October concert was exactly the same. And the music was hard and the venue was small – two things conducive to a raucous party. Instead it was sober and static.
I realized that growing up in Fort Mac was a unique experience that until recently I took for granted. People who live up there do everything at full speed. Any concert or party I went to was loud, crazy and fun. You ran the risk of being stabbed but it was a good time. People work hard and they play even harder. Growing up I took for granted that when you want out, it was balls to the wall.
I left the concert feeling a little discouraged and frustrated. Sobriety can be contagious and it took the wind out of my sails a little bit. It reaffirmed my desire to get what I can from Calgary and then get out.