174. Walk Like A Giant: Neil Young and Crazy Horse with Patti Smith, November 24, 2012

Neil Patti 2012 Ottawa Ticket

Tonight’s the night … to walk like a giant.

174. Walk Like A Giant: Neil Young and Crazy Horse with Patti Smith, Scotiabank Place, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Saturday November 24, 2012, $73.11.

You can never be sure which iteration of “Neil Young” you’re going to get when you see him live — or which segments of his fanbase will predominate at a given show.  This was my sixth time seeing Neil in four decades and most of those gigs have certainly been distinct from one another, with sometimes decidedly different patrons at the fore. Read the rest of this entry »


020b. Waiting In Vain: 20 Performances I Missed, 1980-2011

nxtc handbill london 1980XTC at Centennial Hall, London, Ontario, Monday November 24, 1980. Too bad the show never happened (Thanks to MZ for the scan of her handbill).

You’ve got the warm ticket in your hot little hands, anticipation is building, and you just know it’s going to be a great experience and a fun night out.

But it doesn’t always work that way.  Shows get cancelled or artists are pulled from advertised lineups owing to illness or personal emergencies.  Or ticket demand is too high — or too low.  Or shows go ahead but it is you that is ill or can’t afford to get yourself there (as you’ll see, that’s a popular one for me during my university years). Or the weather turns crap. Or rides vanish. Or someone joins a cult. And on it goes. Read the rest of this entry »


084. People Have the Power: Patti Smith’s Live Return, July 5, 1995

PattiSmith95

After 16 years of retirement and family life, Patti Smith marked her return to full-length live music performance with this Toronto show.

084. People Have the Power: Patti Smith with Carolyn Striho and the Detroit Energy Asylum, The Phoenix, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Wednesday July 5, 1995, $20.75.

“Life is an adventure of our own design intercepted by fate and a series of lucky and unlucky accidents.”  Patti Smith from the 2008 film Dream of Life.

The ‘90s was such a black and white decade for me.  I know as I ponder the specifics that I’m overgeneralizing, but I always remember it as a time wherein I had stretches when it seemed like my luck was truly blessed, everything falling seemingly effortlessly into place.  Then there were those other stretches when it seemed as if the skies would not stop crapping all over me. Read the rest of this entry »