Basia Bulat, I Love You, But…

We went to our first music show of the year on Saturday night with my brother- and sister-in-law at the Casbah in Hamilton, Ontario. My brother-in-law invited us to come with them to see Basia Bulat last month. My husband said yes to him and then he told me he said yes for us and then I googled the venue and found out it was a standing-room only venue. I just knew I wouldn’t be having the greatest time of my life that night.

After having Lebanese food for dinner at the restaurant next door to the venue, we joined the line-up and stood in line for about half an hour. It was a little chilly and I left my hat and gloves in the car which was parked several blocks away. It wasn’t the proudest moment of my life, but I survived. I am Canadian after all.

Once we got in, we noticed that the few seats at the back of the room were all taken already, so we just stood by the wall, thinking that at least if we got tired, we could always lean against the wall. I learned later that leaning against the wall didn’t really help to alleviate sore feet caused by standing too long.

About an hour later, once all 200 people with tickets were in (it was a sold-out show), the first opening act finally started playing. It was a folk-ish pop duo called Ash & Bloom. They were okay. My feet had already started to get sore by then but I was still able to enjoy the music a little bit. I could hardly see what was going on on the stage because (1) I’m short and (2) the tallest people in the room seemed to be all gathered right in front of the stage blocking the view for every one. Jerks.

Then it was back to standing around waiting for the next opening act to play (not that there was any other choice). It was probably only half an hour or so of waiting but it felt more like an hour to me. My feet had started throbbing by then. I leaned my back against the wall and rested one foot against the wall alternately, but it didn’t really help because as soon as I got it back on the floor, it started throbbing again. I closed my eyes and tried to go to my happy place. No workie.

The second opening act was the Weather Station. They played some really mellow songs. I still couldn’t see what was going on on the stage so I decided to just do some people-watching. It was kind of interesting. There was this one guy who was probably the biggest fan of the Weather Station. At some point, he shushed the whole room and people actually went quiet! Craziness! He was also the person who clapped the loudest after every song. Such dedication. As for my feet, they were hurting so much by then it just couldn’t get any worse.

The wait between the Weather Station and Basia Bulat was the longest wait ever! I was really wishing Basia would start playing right away, but no such luck. She was on the stage for the longest time getting things ready before her performance but then she left the stage and didn’t come back until about half an hour later. I gave her a death stare when she walked past me on her way back to the stage. How dare she made me wait this long on my sore, sore feet! Fortunately for her, she didn’t notice or she would’ve freaked out. I give the best death stares. :-)

The first several songs she played were from her new album. I didn’t know any of them. I only knew the stuff from her first two albums, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I don’t know what to think about her newer songs. They sound a bit too much like Feist’s. When she played her older songs that night, they were played in a dancey kind of way, which I didn’t really care for. We didn’t bother to wait until the end of her show. We left during the first encore. Our feet were just too sore.

I love you, Basia Bulat, but my love for you was at all time low that night. I love you a lot more when you’re playing an acoustic solo show in a small venue with seating (emphasis on seating). I know it’s hardly an unconditional love, but that’s all I can afford to give you. And that’s the secret I would’ve told you when you asked for it that night [she did ask the audience to tell her a secret but no takers], if I had been one of those people who would tell secrets to a room full of strangers.



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