Highlight of the Edmonton show:
1. Hearing more applause after every song.
2. A full stage Viking stomp by Ferdy Belland.
During the last triumphant chorus of “Gravity Pulls”, Ferdy Belland did a full Viking stomp across the stage – at least 3 gigantic strides with his bass held aloft like Thor’s thunderbolt.
Belland mostly strides the stage at will. When he lifts his bass high he gets a look of murderous intensity that would make anyone get out of his way IMMEDIATELY. Unless, of course, Grief is flailing around like a leaf in a hurricane. That’s almost more dangerous because he keeps his head down as he flails, so unless you want to get hit, watch out.
I can’t participate in all that whirling dervish/rampaging Viking fun. I’m trapped behind (protected?) by my keyboard stack. I just get the best seat in the house for every show.
Drummers really get the shaft onstage, I think. At least I can stand up when I play and the audience can sort of see what I’m doing. Mike is sitting behind a forest of drums, cymbals, and hardware. He is very fascinating to watch as he plays, and I’m the only one who can see it because I set up beside him. If you’re watching from the front, all you can see is a bunch of cymbals and drums and glimpses of his head whenever Ferdy and Keith aren’t tango-ing by.
We haven’t had any moments of dramatic chaos onstage yet. Occasionally Grief and Belland are stomping and flailing simultaneously, drumsticks are splintering and wooden shrapnel is bouncing off my keyboards (and me). My keyboard stack teeters ominously as Ferdy’s Viking stomps shake the stage. Sometimes I see Grief barreling towards me, head down and eyes closed. He rushes by, sweat flying as he narrowly avoids head-butting my keyboard stack directly into the drumset.
Imagine all of this taking place in a swirling vortex of overwhelming volume. I think the physical chaos is merely an expression of the sonic chaos that is issuing forth in all its splendid fury. Or maybe it’s vice versa. I’m not sure it matters. At any rate, Belland provided a classic Viking stomp moment last night and I for one am grateful.
We’re almost in Saskatoon. I had the pleasure of drinking in the beauty of the prairies today. Intermittent clumps of trees, very gentle rolling hills tinged with green…quite pretty, but really just a backdrop for the main show – the sky, the sky, the sky.
It’s just so big and open and perfectly hemispheric. Today it was full of banks of the fluffiest cumulus clouds, back lit by the fading late afternoon sun. Between the glowing clouds, the sky is palest, barely blue tinged with indigo and lavender as the sun continues to sink.
Good grief. That’s what I get for writing in the van. Overwrought cloud paragraphs. Well, I’ve got the time for it and there’s something delicious about reading, writing, driving on an empty highway, and staring blankly out a window at sky and clouds and hills while the majority of people are working hard, crossing swords with the same jerks that exist in every workplace, forcing themselves to do some job that they hate. I used to do that every day, and I’ve concluded that I prefer my present job of daydreaming, reading, playing rock and roll, and spending Friday afternoons like this one trying to describe glowing clouds.
I wonder what’s for dinner tonight. We’re hoping to have time to cook before we play.