Over the last month, I’ve performed more in my hometown of Oakville more than downtown Toronto or those other 905 suburbs. It’s weird how these things happen, but I had 5 gigs all in row, all within a mile radius of each other in Oakville.
The 2016 Thanksgiving weekend was one in Toronto that was particularly ‘crazy’ as summer baseball continued. The Toronto Blue Jays were just on the cusp of winning their spot in a American league final, and at the same time – the crazy US debate of Presidential Nominees Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton was going on – at the same time. I’m sure (i know i was) we were all turning back and forth from Trump to Jays, from Jays to Trump. It was such a nutty night.
I was slated at performing just outside Rogers Center at the Fox Fiddle City Centre. It was nuts – people all decked out in their Blue Jays uniforms tense and hopefull.
And at 10:30pm as the Jays won the game, and Toronto and Canada went nuts – the cheering was insane inside the Fox aswell as outside on the street…and at the same time, people were talking about Trump and Clinton (while cheering)..what a weird world we live in.
I myself was asked to start performing, so i kicked off one of the longest straight shows i’ve done, performing from 10:30pm to 1:30am straight (no breaks) – leading a crowd of 300+ Torontoians in chants, songs, and claps. I’ve never heard so much ‘cheering’ for my songs ever before. It was nuts, but the ‘high’ of that night (Sunday Oct.9th) will live for a couple more weeks in my brain.
It’s not everyday you get to perform at a car wash, and at the same time help a local charity. Infact I don’t know any fellow musician peers who ever had the opportunity to perform while soap, water, and dryer vents pumped around them cleaning sports cars.
The charity “100 Guys Who Care” is a GTA based Charity “man only group” that basically ‘networks’, and ‘raises and donates’ to a charity voted as ‘best’ of the groups choice. Their September location for their event was Denny’s Car Wash in Oakville. A great location, I alongside ‘The Ol fashion Butchery’ of Oakville , and my friends at ‘Cameron’s Brewery’ put on a great show of – Burgers – Beer and Live Music, while sports cars graced the backdrop.
I remember the moon looking so bright as I sang Elton John’s ‘Rocket Man’ as well as singing Tragically Hips “Wheat Kings” , transforming a Charity Event to a night at the Cottage – with grand sports cars.
In the end the organizers thanked me and told me that it was an ‘over the top’ event . A great time had by all, for such a great cause. Thanks Guys!
To me, the true test of any performer is to see if you can do mulitple gigs in 1 day – in different locations. When i was a kid, in 1985 I saw on TV Phil Collins perform (the song ‘Against All Odds’) in London UK, then hop onto a plane and perform (Yes the same song ‘Against All Odds’) in Philadelphia USA. All within 15hrs. In 1985 (ok, today, it would be faster).
In the 1960’s Bealtes would do 2-3 shows a day – afternoon, evening, night in different cities and performers like Sinatra and Elvis in the 70’s would do afternoon, evening, and midnight shows.
In the early 1990’s U2 would do a show in Italy, fly back to Dublin Ireland, work on their album Zooropa, sleep on a plane and do a show the next day in Germany. How they got through this lifestyle was – uhh, i have not idea (i don’t think they had RedBull in the 1960’s), but its kinda the ‘performer’ code to do double shows when your in demand.
I myself am ‘in demand’ right now – being thrusted into ‘multiple gig territory’. The current record for me was 4 shows in 2 days. – Thursday Kelseys Burloak, 6:30pm – 9:30pm to Madison 10:30pm – 1:30am, and Friday – Davisville Fionn MacCools – 7:30pm to 10pm and back to again the Madison 10:30pm – 1:30am.
Here’s a map of my driving routes over the last month.
After a long ‘eighteen’ holes on the green, members of Oakville’s Glen Abbey Golf Course were treated not only with a 5 course meal, but a 5 course setlist (from me) of hit songs from the 1950’s to around 2010 (The appetizer is ‘Sitting at the dock of the Bay’, the salad is “Hotel California”, the main course is “Mrs Robinson” with a side of “Free Falling”, with a dessert of Beatles “Ticket to Ride” and Elton Johns “Tiny Dancer” (with a 50 more songs in between). By dessert, I was taking song requests via “Human iPod” styles , which made it a sweet hole-in-one ‘musically’ speaking.
I know I brand myself as a “Human IPod“, playing and mashing songs from every era to please audiences, and create lasting memories. It might sound like a ‘pitch’, but when it works, there’s proof in the audiences faces…..Some musicians just talk about how good a gig was (how they connected with an audience, etc), but you sometimes never actually see it for how crazy good it was (apart from the odd photo). But sometimes your lucky to capture these moments on film. And further to this, your lucky if you know how to turn it into a Flipagram (The latest and greatest way to create ‘moments’). This was the case from a recent show at the Madison. Ok, it’s 2am, the house lights are on, my guitar is put away, the piano and PA are turned off, and this crowd just wants more songs from me. Who needs a DJ? This is the power of live music, this is the stuff that you can’t let get to your head, because it’s not real. The amount of cheering and screaming I’ve been experiencing over the past month has been pretty over whelming. Who knew a mash of crowd pleasing songs could turn into a 15 minute encore of screaming millennial Torontoians? Click the link below to see the Flipagram.