. : : March 24th, 2011 : : .
This wasn’t the first time I’d seen Hannah Georgas live, it wasn’t the last time, and it wasn’t even the best time that week!
Her Junofest performance at The Drake Underground is one of my favourite concert memories and solidified me as a fan but I also saw her play only two nights earlier at the outdoor Metro Square Juno Block Party show, where her performance was sandwiched between Shad and City & Colour.
You wouldn’t know it from following my blog though, as this tape has never seen the light of day before today.
It was an outdoor show in the thralls of winter; I remember it being frigid cold, fairly windy, and as a free show, well-attended. By the time I arrived, there was no chance I was getting anywhere close to the stage and I remember hanging a good distance back — by the soundboard I think, or perhaps it was a vendor?
Revisiting this tape, it appeared that I never even bothered to try and polish it. Listening back, it’s unclear specifically why.
The tape is cut short: did I get too cold and give up? did my batteries die? did my friend get bored and drag me away? Honestly, I don’t remember. But it’s unquestionably incomplete, and I do remember not even bothering to stay for City & Colour for whatever that reason was.
There was wind, but it doesn’t show up as badly on the tape as I might’ve guessed. There’s also a lot of chatting happening in the background, but that’s expected of an outdoor free show where any passersby may stop with a moment’s curiosity.
I’m guessing, however, that by the time I got around to sorting through my recordings that week, I already had a superior tape of the superior show and just outright neglected it.
When I decided to dust it off, I was surprised to find that it’s actually very listenable and it’s a shame there isn’t more here.
There’s also a curiosity afforded by hindsight: the set opened with two as-of-yet unreleased songs that wouldn’t appear for another 20-months on her self-titled sophomore album, The Waiting Game, and Shortie. Performing new material isn’t uncanny in and of itself, but this was being broadcast live on Sirius Satellite Radio, and was a party celebrating the awards nominations and promoting for her debut album, This Is Good. Focusing on something new fans wouldn’t be able to find for almost two years is either foolish or boldly confident.
I didn’t know this at the time, however. I had seen her powerful performance opening for Royal Wood four months earlier, and I’m sure I’d given her disc a couple of spins since but hadn’t invested enough into it or her earlier EP to know definitively what was on there or not. No one else seemed bothered by the peculiar set choice at the time, either. Rather, the gathered crowd bounced and bobbed along quite amicably.
I do have strange flashes of memories of this show: I clearly remember the taste of the Apple Cinnamon Tea I was sipping to keep warm. I remember Hannah being bundled in a tremendously warm-looking jacket, scarf and toque (beanie, for my American readers). I remember the feeling of being frustrated with how horribly my Blackberry was taking pictures and iPhone users around me were zooming in and getting crisp photos. I remember the chill in the February air that has a way of sneaking through layers of clothing. I remember the buzz of excitement in the (mostly female) crowd for headliner City & Colour.
Alas, more pertinent details have been lost to the annals of time.
Which is why, I suppose, my blog tends to be very anecdotal about the process of recording and the events leading up to (and I guess occasionally, following) the performances. In a very real way, this blog is my musical diary. My summary of the experiences. My lyrics, capturing a place and time not only for myself, but to perform for you, dear reader, for your enjoyment.
If these posts are my songs, here’s an old one I forgot about, but somehow fell in love with again. Maybe some of you will feel the same?