Sunday, 26 June 2011

Great Big Sea in the great big mountains

As part of their 100th anniversary celebrations, Parks Canada turned the administration building and Cascade Gardens in Banff into a large concert bowl Saturday, and hosted a concert featuring that iconic Canadian band, Great Big Sea. The opening act was Dustin Bentall and Kendel Carson:
Dustin on the left, Kendel on the right
I found their set interesting. For an event promoting itself as "family friendly" and offering $10 tickets for kids, their opening song was about prostitutes and one near the end was about being stoned.

Great Big Sea played for 90 minutes and appeared to be having a great time. For me the highlight of the show was a series of songs scattered throughout the show featuring arching vocals by Sean McCann, including General Taylor, and the title track from their new album Safe Upon The Shore.
Sean on the drum I can't spell 
Mr. Hallett, the man of many instruments 
Alan, looking like he stepped off the set of Robin Hood 
A more pensive Mr. McCann 
Mr. Doyle again
The venue was wonderful. They only sold 3,000 tickets but there was room on the grass for at least 4,500, so we weren't packed in like sardines, which was nice. The profits from the food sales were going to charities, and while I didn't have any, the BBQ beef ribs looked awesome. $2 from every ticket went to the Bear Guardian program. There was a great space up front for the dancing party crowd that is always present at a GBS concert, and the grass allowed those who didn't want to stand for 90 minutes to chill in their chairs, all with a backdrop of Cascade Mountain.
One of the many times we all just had to stand
It rained on and off all day, and while it threatened during the concert several times, the sun actually broke out once or twice and it did not rain until 10 minutes after the concert was over. But it wasn't warm (only about 14°) and there was a cool breeze blowing, so getting up to dance was a nice way to warm up.

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