. : : May 4th, 2018 : : .
Concert-going wise, I have a few regrets.
Many of them either before I was old enough to afford my own tickets or after I started a family of my own, and expendable income became a distant, laughable memory of the past.
From the latter category: Kathleen Edwards, seemingly out of nowhere, was advertised to have an opening slot for Matt Mays at Massey Hall.
Now, I’m not gonna lie: I have no idea who Matt Mays is. I’m an admittedly horrible Canadian. But I do know Massey Hall, and I’ve written here before about how it’s probably my least favourite venue in the city.
Shitty, bassy sound. Poor sight lines. Inflated prices based on nothing more than some faded, decades-old historical significance. I honestly don’t remember ever leaving that venue without thinking the sound sucked.
I’ve seen some great concerts there, don’t get me wrong, but if I could have plucked the band and audience and dropped them in literally any other venue in town, I can pretty much guarantee I would’ve had a better time — including the ginormous mega sports arenas.
With empty pockets, no interest in the main act, and a strong distaste for the venue, I made the hard decision to sit this one out.
It is, as far as I know, the only Kathleen Edwards show in Toronto I’ve missed since June 2007. She even played Supertramp‘s The Logical Song, which was one of my then recently-passed father’s favourites. Between seeing Kathleen again, half a decade after her retirement, and hearing that song, I might’ve sobbed like a baby. It probably would’ve actually been really special to be there.
This recording underscores part of the beauty of live taping. I wasn’t there. Couldn’t be there. Didn’t make it. Wish I was.
And I may never have heard this recording without the Kathleen Edwards private concert I’ve written about in the previous blog entry. That community I talked about — the fellowship in fandom — bloomed many-a flower, and a relationship with another Kathleen Edwards taper is one of them.
This recording in particular has a bit of a story behind it. The taper, who wishes to remain anonymous, originally brought a nice Tascam recording device to the venue but forgot it in the car. He decided against going back to get it because the performance was being taped for a program called Massey Hall Live that would be shared on YouTube in full…or so it was promised.
Kathleen’s set never ended up making it online.
The taper had the foresight to capture the show with his backup rig — his iPhone — anyway.
There’s a reason why more tapers don’t usually tape with just the cellphone they carry in their pocket. The sound quality isn’t usually all that fantastic. This taper, since having learned better, also recorded the set with the gain too high, causing the audio to “clip.” In a venue as bass-y and muddy as Massey Hall, that usually is a recipe spelling disaster.
Aware of my work on this blog and my previous KE recordings, he sent me his raw WAV files and gave me blessing to try and work my magic. With a bit of elbow grease, I think I cleaned up the recording well-enough to be very listenable and enjoyable.
While the tape may never be the holy grail among Kathleen Edwards’ fans, it succeeds where I most need it to: it transports me back to that night in May of 2018.
I can now play the recording, close my eyes, put on headphones, and (if only for an hour) correct one of life’s past regrets. How many chances on this floating green and blue mud ball do we get to do that?
- Ashes to Ashes
- Empty Threat
- Asking For Flowers
- The Logical Song [Supertramp]
- Take It With You When You Go
- Six O’Clock News
- Options Open
- 12 Bellvue