Since Thursday Mizz J and I have been on a bit of a marathon, musically-speaking.
When not working, doodling in the drywall dust that covers every surface of my home, or obsessively watching Die Antwoord videos (Don’t ask, I can’t explain it. I can’t even figure out what they are rapping about half the time. In fact I understand the English lyrics in equal measure to the Afrikaans.), I took in a lot of live music Thursday to Sunday.
Thursday night was the long anticipated Paul McCartney show at the First Ontario Centre, in Hamilton.
Hamilton was…er…interesting. Plenty of street people. Even more so than Toronto, it seemed to me.
We got there early and, because it was so stinking hot outside, hung out in Jackson Square Mall beside the event location.
We had to wait for a bit to use the washrooms off of the food court as 3 of the 5 stalls were out of order. Not a good sign. One stall was occupied for a very long time. A mom and her 7 year old daughter were waiting there too, for the occupant – her other daughter, as it turned out. Finally she emerged, looking all of about 12 (Mizz J said she looked 14), and waving around a pregnancy test in progress. I don’t know what the verdict was or how it was received. It was so awkward I avoided any eye contact with the whole scene and thankfully we got our business done and outta there very soon after that.
And then there was Macca, worth every moment of heat, discomfort and being exposed to the seedier, sadder side of life:
Sir Paul put on an incredible 3 hour show without a break – not even to take a sip of water. For a brief moment there I too could see my future self as a 74 year old ball of vegetarian energy but then I remembered who I really was…*cough*carnivore*cough*.
Got back to the Village around 130 am and hit my new bed around 2 am:
I will not lie. Up at 6 am, Friday was a struggle to get through. So much so that I despaired as to how I was going to manage Hillside Festival on Saturday and seeing the Temperance Movement at the Toronto Festival of Beer on Sunday. (And then back to work on Monday). It didn’t help that the temps were in the mid thirties (degrees Celsius) with the humidity making it feel like the forties. And both events were outdoors.
So Mizz J and I did the wise thing. We went to Hillside fairly early and left fairly early too – the heat and humidity were relentless and no amount of shade, breeze or misting could alleviate it – only make it barely tolerable.
I really enjoyed the relaxed, inclusive and friendly vibe of Hillside. I kinda felt like I had found my tribe. Mizz J and I took in several workshops as well as overhearing some performances as we wandered around, trying to stick to whatever shade was available. I would go again, but this time take my bathing suit and maybe even camp there for the weekend.
But in the end the heat did us in, so we left a lot earlier than we had planned, to get into some air-conditioned comfort and recover for the next day’s festival in Toronto.
To be continued.