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Dawn Landes @ Lee’s Palace

      . : : March 29th, 2010 : : . As a taper, it’s customary for me to arrive at a venue fairly early. Not long after the doors open, I’m usually inside the venue finding a good spot that will afford me decent sight lines and ensuring superior sound (for both my ears and my microphones). I take the time to put on my mics, install fresh batteries, wipe the tape, set the levels, etc. I’ve usually settled in position while most patrons are still lingering at the bar or mulling over the merch stand. As I usually attend concerts…

Nada Surf @ Lee’s Palace

. : : March 29th, 2010 : : . Let me preface by saying that I have seen Nada Surf perform live about a dozen times. From tiny record store basements to shiny Apple Store show floors to expansive theatres and concert halls. If Nada Surf has played it, the odds are pretty good I’ve seen it. I’m a pretty devoted fan of the band, and have traveled far and wide to see them. The story of how and why I am such a big fan will be better served elsewhere, but for the purpose of this particular entry, I’m going to fast forward to March…

Rocky Votolato @ Drake Underground

. : : April 5th, 2010 : : . On a warm late summer evening in 2007, Rocky Votolato performed at the intimate El Mocambo in downtown Toronto backed by a full band. The small room was packed with loud, rambunctious fans. Several hoards of people congregated on the sidewalk outside the venue, enjoying the show from the large, open window at the other side of the bar.  It was my first time seeing my favourite troubadour who had won me over upon the release of wonderful album Makers, which still stands near the top of my all-time favourites list. Just under three years later, Rocky returned…

Rocky Votolato @ El Mocambo

. : : September 29th, 2007 : : . There are nights when things just don’t go right for tapers. For example, I’ve suffered from cheap batteries from the local convenience store that wouldn’t keep the recorder powered long enough to tape an entire song. I’ve had microphones come unplugged or rub against my clothing for the whole set. I’ve brought the wrong cables, or brought the right cables but forget the tape. I’ve ended up beside the loudest, drunkest, most obnoxious frat boy in the venue, but packed like a sardine, unable to move. I’ve had a 60-minute set mysteriously erased…