I really enjoy getting to know Canadian singers and songwriters. I didn’t always appreciate it. Probably because I listened to radio stations like Q92 or MIX96 which play(ed) the latest hits over and over ad nauseum, or CHOM that were stuck in their old “Classic Rock” genres. You know the type of typical radio station? Led Zeppelin seem to have only four songs, Aerosmith as well, AC/DC has two and Kiss has one. Ugh. As for new stuff? Fuggedaboutit. You never heard anything new. Of course Classic Rock does imply they play the “classic” stuff. But again, they would only play the same few songs from the same old groups. Hey, I love me a dose of “For Those About To Rock” once in a while, just not necessarily once or twice a day.
Now, I’m not saying things are still the same over there. I have occasionally tuned in and been surprised to hear a Serena Ryder song. So, I’m thinking they are realising that we do have some really good Canadian rockers that are not old enough to be classics. Yet. As for Canadian content? Maybe a little bit of Bryan Adams or Rush or Sam Roberts Band because they are actually known south of the border…
What doesn’t help is that here in Quebec, the English rock or folk hardly gets played at all. Except on my now favourite CBC Music. So I can actually watch the Junos (Canadian version of Music Awards) and know who is being nominated!
I digress. I know, I know… I often do! Back to my originally scheduled programming! I bought my two Serena Ryder tickets ages, nay, eons ago, without knowing who would join me. Put up a Facebook message and one friend, Tony, agreed to join me.
We met at the Burgundy Lion Pub which is right next door to my now-favourite venue, The Corona Theatre, for a burger and a steak. It was early so we got a table… right beside the courtyard. I dunno man, I know we Quebecers will stretch out our eating outside as long as we can but heaters or no heaters, it was bloody cold. And they kept opening the door – first to turn on said heaters, again for the fools to attempt to sit out there, and finally for those said fools to come back in once they realised how foolish they were being to find a spot inside!
The Corona is a first-come, first-served theatre so I didn’t want to go in last minute. I figured there would be a line-up starting around 6:30-7:00 so we made sure to leave the pub by 7, latest. Turns out, they were letting everyone in because of the rain. Cool. Walk in. Damn. It’s a standing concert. I am too old for that shit… Kinda wished I was up in the balcony but that section was closed off. Guess they didn’t sell that many tickets after all.
I had no idea there was an opening act for Serena Ryder. What a wonderful surprise she turned out to be! Jordane (Labrie), with her guitarist Clément Desjardins, blew me away. The girl’s got a set of pipes on her! Her first album comes out mid-January.
And, for a reason I cannot fathom, I did NOT capture any of Jordane’s original French songs but took two little snippets of her singing in English.
During their train trip across Canada, Clément’s guitar got badly damaged and he acquired the banjo from a pawn shop. He was quite pleased with himself for learning how to play it 😉
And then Jordane had to sing that song that she had been listening to since she was a young girl… Patsy Cline’s Crazy:
A lovely twenty-minute set, I must say. To hear her sing in French, just click here.
A short break and in came Serena by herself with nothing but her guitar. She interacts with the audience and of course, she was right there so we felt we were in her inner circle. She sang a few songs alone on the stage before her band of two came in… a guitarist and drummer (which, unfortunately I cannot remember their names and have given up with the Internets).
A little “Weak in the Knees”…
The Corona is such a great venue. Would be fabulous if there were seats, but hey… I sat for Andy Kim’s Christmas special and I sat up on the balcony for George Ezra. Now I can say I’ve had the full experience! Numb toes and all (you realise after a certain amount of time that the floor is on a slight slant…)
Of course, I shall leave you with a few snippets… “Oh What I Wouldn’t Do” and “A Little Bit Red”
I was most pleased to have been able to see Serena live in such a perfect venue.