||Air Canada Centre
Day 13: Video report
Fifty Mission Cap live! (High speed connection)
Fifty Mission Cap live! (Low speed connection)
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Day 13: Toronto Concert Review
REVIEW BY: BRYAN FRIEDMAN
Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON
Sunday, December 3, 2000
I came in with the intention of writing something funny; or something
smart, or something elegant. But, after this show, after this night, I'm
afraid I'm capable of nothing of the sort. Rather, I'm left feeling limp,
withered and out of sorts. In short, my mind and body have turned to goo.
Allow me to recap: a subway ride down to Union Station with my brother
Dustin - photographer for the evening - that included contemplative
moments, nervous anxiety and a guy named Pedro who played La Bamba on the
flute. When asked to play a Hip song, he smiled widely, played La Bamba
again and told us that that was the Hippest song he knew. A nice guy, but
he's missing out.
On to the Air Canada Centre, a venue teeming with potential energy. Ross,
our gracious and often benevolent host, took us deep into the recesses of
the Raptor's Lair, where we were sported with 'All Access' passes that -
quite simply - made us Aristocratic Lords for the evening. Talking shop
with Mr. Gord Sinclair, passing casual nods with the rest of the band, and
then feigning a sense of nonchalance after each brief encounter with the
members of The Tragically Hip.
The show. The show…a throbbing sea of bobbing heads that looked as buoys
in Lake Ontario…a string of songs that ranged from the melodic, to the
visceral, to the utterly insane. Long Time Running, and Flamenco, with
Kate and Gord partaking in beautiful duets; Fire in the Hole and Blow at
High Dow - need I say more? And finally, with a grateful solute to this
nearly hometown crowd, Fifty-Mission Cap rattled the walls of the ACC,
paying homage to the memory of Bill Barilko, and a city that treats its
heroes like heroes deserve to be treated.
All in all, the night consisted of fantastic music, a terrific vibe and a
strong sense of unity. I talk not of national unity - although there were
many Canadian flags waving. Rather, the unity came from the recognition of
a great performance, and a band that continues to change its sound, as they
reach new plateaus of musical success. Because, let's face it folks, The
Tragically Hip transcends nationality. While the members may be proudly
and truly Canadian, the band's music and performance should not, and cannot
be defined by borders. We, as Canadians, can choose to have The Hip define
us, but let's not persist on having Canada define the Hip.
Thank you to Ross Walton, John Williams and the people at Jam Music! for
giving me and my brother this incredible experience. It will not soon be
forgotten. Enjoy Fifty-Mission Cap.
By - Bryan Friedman
There is a tight correlation between video and music, and The Tragically Hip - a band that constantly explores new possibilities and changing sounds - is the perfect musical group to link the art of spontaneous video with the ephemeral but potent effects of music.
Music, unlike the plastic arts, is unique in that it cannot be clearly contained. Unlike a painting or sculpture, a musical note cannot be frozen and studied. Music is fluid. And as such it is a distinct symbol of the universal flux that spurs motion, action, reaction, creation and destruction. Music is that most carnal, emotional and necessary art; music is the oldest and dearest of humanity's qualities, and the idea that, while it can be recorded en masse, one musical note can never be sustained in a recorded form, suggests that music is a unique and essential element of our existence. Music is the perfect compatriot of the unconscious, the dream, the fluid and the forever-engaged.
While no art can claim to recreate music in its original state, video - especially with the digital and non-linear editing technology provided by the Avid computers and other editing systems, is beginning to explore possibilities of artistic interpretation that have never been attempted before. The portability of DV cameras, the new hi-res capabilites of even consumer cameras, let alone Pro-sumer, or professional equipment, allows for an unprecendented documented image. While the picture may still lack the fineness of film, the modern video camera provides the possibility for incredibly textured and beautiful images at a much lower cost than film.
This, of course, allows for more footage, and thus more possibilities. Besides, for the purpose of spontaneous documentation, the accessbility of the DV cam makes the slight picture disparity negligible. But even more than the quality of the picture, non-linear editing provides the capability of quick and precise footage manipulation. This gives the editor more time and more options, and when documenting a musical performance, one must utilize all the options available.
While D.A. Pennebaker did well in using film to shoot "Don't Look Back," the subject matter was slightly different than what we have in front of us. The Tragically Hip, unlike Bob Dylan, does not rely solely on a static-type of poetry to deliver its message. Rather, they combine the poetically-spastic lyrics of Gord Downie with a musical carnality that pays complete homage to the notion of music and lyrics as opposite but mutually dependent universal factions: music as the symbol of a chaotic ebullience, and lyrics or poetry as the representation of an Apollonian order and rationale. This distinct and brilliant combination distinguishes The Tragically Hip from the generation of Bob Dylanites, who required a steady, more logical cinematic experience. The Tragically Hip represents an inclusion of the chaotic, and as a result demands a medium that can incorporate that inclusion. Modern video is that medium.
I have seen The Hip on seven different occasions. I have yet to be disappointed. They are all consumate performers, and their live shows are quite literally imbued with an intensity and reverie for life that is unmatched anywhere in the musical or artistic world. They represent a whole line of artistic and creative possibilities, have personally, been an immeasurable influence on my work and life. I consider myself fortunate to have been introduced, as a youngster, to a group of men that have acted, albeit unknowingly and certainly unwittingly, as artistic father-figures.
Gord Downie sings that "when your finger starts to wiggle, landscapes emerge." I am no painter, but I believe very strongly in the artistic capabilites of video. My finger is the video and I believe that if given the chance, I can produce an emaculate, chaotic landscape with The Tragically Hip twitching and jerking in the foreground.
With their music, with their lyrics and with their performances, The Tragically Hip have constructed landscapes of incomparable passion and force. I sincerely hope that I will be given the opportunity to participate in the creation of something that I find inspirational and entirely exciting.
In any case, I think you guys are putting together a wonderful thing here, and I look forward to hearing from you.
P.S. As a film student at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, I have extensive experience on both the Canon XLI and GLI, plus innumerable hours of Avid editing experience.
-- Bryan Friedman
The Tragically Hip thanks the following organizations for helping them with this project:
CANOE.CA, for hosting the contest and tour site.
www.henrys.com for supplying the Panasonic Digital Video camera.
Bootleg Networks, for video editing and encoding.
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