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Whatever will be will be

November 29, 2012

Some things just aren’t meant to be. Back in 2007, after I’d moved back from Toronto to the West Coast, I was supposed to fly to Toronto in March for the farewell show of my favourite band, the Rheostatics, at the famed Massey Hall.

Instead, I was stuck in a hospital bed in my hometown recuperating from a serious gastrointestinal disorder (Too much info, I know). I was despondent and couldn’t listen to the band for more than a year. I have still yet to bring myself to check out any video clips on YouTube from the show.

You can imagine my excitement then when I learned via the band’s Facebook page that the original group was reforming for two nights, Dec. 5 and 6, to celebrate the 65th anniversary of Toronto’s famed Horseshoe Tavern.

At first, I hedged, then I told myself I had to at least try to go. Within an hour or so after the tickets went on sale, I bought a ticket online for the second night, found a relatively cheap flight and booked a hostel room.

Something though was tempering my enthusiasm. I knew deep down not to get excited until this thing actually happened, and sure enough, on Monday, there was a Facebook update via member Dave Bidini that the band, despite sounding great in rehearsals, could not go through with the reunion shows because lead guitarist Martin Tielli was unable to perform. (There is talk online that it is a result of serious performance anxiety, though nothing was confirmed. Bidini said he might talk about it in his National Post column.)

As bummed out as I was, I wasn’t as crushed the second time around. Maybe it’s the fact that everyone is missing the show too. Maybe it’s that I feel for Martin, whatever the actual reason is. Maybe it’s the fact that my crazy life recently just got crazier and suddenly missing a concert – even a Rheostatics’ one – does not seem as important as it would under normal circumstances. (For the record, I think the last time I had anything resembling a normal life was around 2003/2004.)

Anyway, I’m still going to plough through my Rheos’ collection and remember why I love this band so much and recall how lucky I was to see them four times, especially the first time at the Town Pump in Vancouver when I barely got in.

On the off chance Martin is reading this, we still love you, even if you “sing like a woman.” (It’s an inside joke from their last album.)

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From → Essays, Live music

One Comment
  1. I know this feeling intimately. My favourite band broke up in 2007. I’d never seen them because they never toured Canada, but when they announced they were breaking up, I bought tickets to their last gig in a fit of madness. They ended up cancelling the gig and I’m pretty sure I cried for three days. As luck would have it, I met their keyboardist two years later and berated him for doing such an awful thing to me. He was mostly upset that I never got reimbursed for the tickets, which I thought was missing the point a bit.

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