Canada Day Celebrations – II

After Bono and The Edge performed early Saturday afternoon, I left Parliament Hill. Since I didn’t have to wait in line for hours to get onto the site, I figured I could take a break and go back in the evening for the later portions of the show.

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Late at night there was still a lineup to go through security.

The early evening thunderstorm had almost abated when I headed out again at 9. I opted for the light rail O-Train instead of the bus. It was right there and in the past I have found evening bus service on Canada Day to be sporadic.

The train was mostly empty when I got on, not surprising for 9:20 p.m., though they waited for it to fill up before it left. Given the lineups earlier in the day, and the rain, no-one in their right mind was headed to Parliament Hill. There seemed to be more people leaving the Transitway station, heading home, than trying to get downtown.

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Gordon Lightfoot

Some of the people taking the train may not have been planning to transfer to a bus for the remainder of the trip to Parliament Hill. I think you would get a pretty good view of the fireworks from the end of the train line, and be able to beat the crowds for the trip home. It was certainly tempting…

At 10 p.m. when I arrived the massive daytime crowds were gone. From news reports many people had just given up trying to get through security and onto the Hill. With fireworks starting at 11 people probably didn’t want to take the chance of missing them.

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Cirque de Soleil

I arrived just in time to catch Gordon Lightfoot’s one song, the haunting “If You Could Read My Mind.” Nice choice, but not what I was expecting.

Lightfoot performed at this event 25 years ago – and 50 years ago at Canada’s centennial. I was expecting the song he wrote for that centennial, the “Canadian Railroad Trilogy.” Oh well.

The worst part of the evening was Alessia Cara. No, it wasn’t her performance, it was the person standing behind me in the audience. He decided to sing along. At least I think he did. He was shouting the song lyrics with all the tunefulness of a pig being slaughtered. Turns out there is never a police officer around when you need one, because his attempt at music was definitely criminal.

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Alessia Cara

Once again I found the whole musical aspect of the show frustrating. I think that critique will have to wait for another day. The only real winners are the musicians, and even they must at times find it frustrating. The only evening performance that seemed complete was a number by Cirque de Soleil. I guess I have different standards for acrobats.

The music ended with a whimper, not a bang. They brought all the performers out once more for a singalong. What song would you have chosen to mark Canada’s 150th birthday? Nope, that wasn’t it. They got the crowd to sing “Ahead By A Century,” a Tragically Hip staple. Great tune from a great Canadian band, but not an anthemic close to the celebrations. Or maybe I just don’t get it.

And then there were the fireworks – that’s tomorrow’s post.

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