Out to a Great Concert : Stars

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Not only did we get to see a great concert last Wednesday, but this concert was held outdoors on a beautiful evening and happened to be free! The band was Stars and the show was one of the many sponsored events offered by the city in honour of Toronto hosting the 2015 Pan Am Games.

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I’ve liked Stars’ music for a long time but had never had the chance to see them play live, so when I saw them on the list of performers that would be gracing the stage set up in the square in front of City Hall, I did a little happy dance and made plans to be there.

Nick isn’t as familiar with Stars’ music and I am, but he trusts my tastes so was happy to come along. We arrived a bit early so had some time to kill …

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toronto-city-hall

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There’s this statue of Winston Churchill to the west of City Hall. Created in 1977 by Croatian sculptor Oscar Nemon, it was cast from the same mold as one that stands at the British House of Commons.

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And onto the concert …

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I absolutely love the female lead Amy Millan’s voice and the perfect harmonies sung by her and co-vocalist here Torquil Campbell. (Amy, Feist and Emily Haines used to sing together in Broken Social Scene.)

The members grew up in Toronto and some of them first met in high school here. The band formed in 1999, and moved to Montreal shortly after. In the 15+ years they’ve been together, they’ve toured extensively and have recently released their 7th studio album. If you’d like you can read their wiki page here, but a better read in my opinion is this recent entertaining interview with Amy and Torquil in NOW Magazine.

This song, Your Ex-Lover is Dead, is my favourite song of theirs, and since they have so much material I didn’t expect to hear it that night. But then, I heard those opening notes and I pretty near melted right there. I’ve put the lyrics at the end of this post if you’d like to read them.

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The show was awesome — an example of what can happen when musicians meet at a young age and stick together for a long time.

When asked, Nick said that what stuck out for him, in addition to their obvious musical skills, was the fact that they sound so different from anything else. Theirs is truly original and unique songwriting.

We both loved their entertaining show and thank them and Toronto for giving us such a gift. We weren’t alone in our appreciation, as the place was packed, full of very enthusiastic fans.

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Lyrics to Stars – Your Ex-Lover is Dead

God that was strange to see you again
Introduced by a friend of a friend
Smiled and said ‘yes I think we’ve met before’
In that instant it started to pour,
Captured a taxi despite all the rain
We drove in silence across Pont Champlain
And all of the time you thought I was sad
I was trying to remember your name…

This scar is a fleck on my porcelain skin
Tried to reach deep but you couldn’t get in
Now you’re outside me
You see all the beauty
Repent all your sin

It’s nothing but time and a face that you lose
I chose to feel it and you couldn’t choose
I’ll write you a postcard
I’ll send you the news
From a house down the road from real love…

Live through this, and you won’t look back…
Live through this, and you won’t look back…
Live through this, and you won’t look back…

There’s one thing I want to say, so I’ll be brave
You were what I wanted
I gave what I gave
I’m not sorry I met you
I’m not sorry it’s over
I’m not sorry there’s nothing to say

I’m not sorry there’s nothing to say…

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Posted in Concerts, Streets of Toronto | 2 Comments

Classic Cars, My Parents and Their Dog

selfie-with-mom-and-dad

I recently had a week away visiting my mom and dad, where they live in a city called Barrie, that’s about an hour and a half drive directly north of Toronto.

When they moved there a few years ago, I have to say, I didn’t quite understand their reasons for picking it. We had no family ties there, nor any history with the city, but they had been there many times and had decided that that was where they wanted to live.

Now that I’ve gotten to know the city myself, I completely understand their love for it. It’s a very pretty place, with fantastic restaurants (including one of my favourites anywhere, Shirley’s) and a lovely lakefront with a long walking path. Add to that the fact that it seems there is always something interesting going on somewhere in Barrie, and you have a very nice place to take a little holiday. Of course, for me, it has the added benefit of the chance to spend time with my parents and their cute dog, Kiki.

Nick drove me up in our 2012 Mustang on the Monday, stayed for lunch and a visit and then returned home, to work and take care of Eddie our cat. I stayed the week and took the bus home on Friday. (The reason I mention the kind of car we have will be clear in a minute. Well, I say “our” car but it’s really his car, as I don’t drive.)

On Wednesday evening I lucked onto seeing something that left me in awe. I had been seated in my parents’ kitchen, having a glass of wine when looking out the window, I saw quite a few gorgeous classic sports cars drive by. I saw so many that I mentioned it to my parents. It turns out that the cars were all heading over to a park along the waterfront for the “Barrie Thunder Classics Cruise Night“.

I just had to go have a look so my father and I went over.

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What awaited me was completely unexpected and completely stunning. I can’t say how many beautiful cars were lined up on the two huge fields, but there were so many! They must have just parked as they arrived, because they weren’t sorted in any way. According to the website, they “invite owners of classics, muscle, sports cars, rats, rods and other unique rides to come down and enjoy great music, food and conversation”. I think the cars have to be pre-1985.

It was almost unbelievable that all these unique cars were just parked there for people to admire. There was no admission fee or much to purchase aside from a snack from a food truck, so I guess the whole thing was set up to give the public the simple enjoyment of seeing such special vehicles close up like that.

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I kept a particular eye out for vintage Mustangs, and took pictures for Nick to see. He oohed-and-aahed over them and agreed that next time we go to Barrie, we’ll make sure he’ll be there on a Wednesday because they do this every week from May to September.

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And here are some shots of the scenery and us …

waterfront

lake

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me

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kiki

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^ Kiki is a Chihuahua, a mother dog rescued from a puppy mill. She lives the good life now! ^

Thank you very much for dropping over.
xo loulou

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Posted in Getting Out of Town | 4 Comments