So, you like The Stills. Not love, but you definitely really like some of their songs, and you heard their new album, Without Feathers, and you went “yeah, you know what? I like it! Sucks to your mixed reviews, Pitchfork and Dose!” And you’re perusing the latest Eye Weekly, and see an ad for a contest: holy shit! It’s for free tickets to go see The Stills at The Phoenix on May 12th, plus you get to meet the band backstage, and you get their “complete discography” (2 LPs), too. Now, Eye Weekly is pretty good with the concert odds – you’ve entered to win stuff a few times before, and seem to win every other time – so you figure, why not try this time, too? You totally loved “Gender Bombs” for like two months. That was your favourite walking song.
Your Stills adventure continues after the jump.
And, wouldn’t you know it, you win! Wowzers! Now, you don’t win paper tickets – your name’s just on the guest list. So to find out when the show starts, you (naturally) Google it. 8:00 PM.
It’ll be a little tight, because you’re working a 10 hour shift at work just before it, and have to run home and grab your camera (your beautiful, baby of a camera, that you love more than pretty much anything) and some food. You rush back downtown, and you just barely make it to The Phoenix in time. Like, just. It’s 7:59, but, as you walk up the street, you realize that there’s no crowd outside. “Godamnit,” you say to your friend, “we must be early.”
But you’re not early; you’re late. you can tell when you walk into the building and hear The Stills playing “Changes Are No Good”. But, whatever, at least you’ve got your camera. About that. Coat check insists that you have to have a media pass to bring your camera in. You’re not media, really, (“I work for my school’s paper,” you insist, as if that’ll help) but it doesn’t matter, because even if you were Walter Cronkite, you still don’t have a media pass.
So you have to check your camera (I guess Changes aren’t so Good, haha). The Phoenix’s coat check, essentially, gives you an involuntary camera abortion, one that costs $1.25. Of course, you left all your money at home, because you prefer credit cards (who doesn’t accept Mastercard?) and didn’t think you’d have to pay for anything. So coat check will be a bit of a problem. But the girl working it is very nice, and she lets you leave your bag there – no charge. No camera, very (very) late, but you saved $1.25. Things are looking up.
So, you walk into a concert, realizing that you’re probably about an hour and a half late, and all you have is your friends respectable but shit-I-wish-I-had-my-D70 point-and-shoot camera. The band plays a few tight, solid songs, and you feel all warm and tingly. They’re pretty good live. Fun to watch, very cool guys, and the songs all sound great. And they’re having fun! Fun is good!
Oh, but they’re done…already. That kindof sucks. You were only there for like…30 minutes, and you were in the very very back. Uh…well, I guess you still get to meet the band! You go back to coat check, pick up your camera, and then you head backstage. They’re pretty cool, actually, for post-punk turned darkish-indie-rockish Montrealers. You talk about Pitchfork (blah and blah), and Rolling Stone (cool, but why the comparisons to Interpol all the time?). After confessing that you were a little late, you tell them how cool the 30 minutes of the show that you caught were (“totally cool”), and mention shared favourite bands (Wilco). You ask them who they think is over-rated (no specifics, but “so many people”). They tell you that you missed “Gender Bombs” (and a guest apperance by Broken Social Scene’s drummer). You shake a few hands (“this is David, he won the Eye contest”), take a few photos (see above) and you are pretty relaxed. But you’re a little dissapointed, because you kinda liked The Stills, and you could tell they kinda liked you, too. But, as the band walks out, you know that your night is done. It’s been an hour after you walked into The Phoenix’s doors.
And, on the walk home, wearing only shorts and a t-shirt and carrying your backpack, with “Gender Bombs” stuck in your head, you decide to write a Torontoist post about your night, in the second person.