Tuesday, June 30, 2009
I hope everyone who celebrated Pride, enjoyed it. I went to a "Big gay BBQ" on Saturday, after celebrating my girlfriend’s birthday with friends on Friday night, which was a heavy, intense night of laughter, good conversations, food, sharing deep dark secrets, and almost no sleep.
After the BBQ, I spent some QT shopping with my amazing mother, who then dropped me off in the village for more Pride festivities.
Voglie (a cool little bar) was bumping with MJ's greatest hits and drunken girls dancing on tables, fire escapes and chairs. Everywhere you turned there were hugs and kisses and greetings of "Happy Pride". My marvelous friend "D" and her lovely girlfriend "A" introduced me to their friends and supplied me with endless entertainment for the couple of hours that we sat at Voglie. I'm so glad they were around, because otherwise I probably would have wandered aimlessly for two hours waiting for Esthero to perform.
Esthero. Esthero. Esthero.... is 'heaven sent', to quote her lyrics and one amazing gay man's t-shirt.
The main reason I had come to the village was to see Esthero. I love that woman's music and have wanted to see her perform live for probably ten years. Her 35 minute set started at 6:00 and "D", "A", and I rushed over to wait in line and see that beautiful woman up close.
With a horn section, guitarist, keyboardist, bassist and two back up singers (with a lot of attitude), Esthero's voice and band rang out over the crowd and got everyone moving. I've never seen an artist get an entire crowd to clap for almost a complete song, or to raise their fists in support of a "Musical Revolution" (which was her final encore). "We all want a better life" could be heard out of the mouths of everyone watching, people were ecstatic.
Esthero, with a smoke in one hand, mic in the other, brought her mom up on stage for a dance. Then, as I alluded to previously, a gorgeous gay man whose t-shirt read, "Esthero is heaven sent", was brought up on stage to dance with the lovely lady. There was talk of pride, human rights, and Canada as the best country in the world. When her encore performance was complete, the crowd went absolutely wild (again), leaving the singer choked up, and visibly humbled to tears.
I didn't make it to enjoy any other Pride activities, or Jazz Fest performances, but Esthero's performance, the atmosphere and spirit, and the friends I experienced it with, made me so grateful to be where I am.
Friday, June 26, 2009
I love the summer (and I’ll get to that more in an upcoming post), but I’m particularly excited about this weekend/next week in the city.
Not only is it one of my best friend’s birthdays today, but it’s Pride Weekend, the TO Jazz Festival kicks off today, and next Wednesday is Canada Day (Yay for no work), and the first day of Toronto’s Fringe Festival. To top it off, my birthday is next Saturday, and yes I’m having a minor “quarter life crisis”, but let’s not talk about that...
Pride is always an amazing time of year. The Villlage is bustling with movement, music, and greetings of “Happy Pride”. It’s like Christmas for the LGBT community and their friends. I’ll be standing proud alongside my LGBT friends, and enjoying amazing barbeques, parties, and (hopefully) music. I just found out Esthero (who I LOVE) is playing at Pride on Saturday, but I’m supposed to be going to a different pride party on the lake. I might have to do some juggling, but I’m sure it’ll be great either way!
Come out and support: www.pridetoronto.com
Toronto JAZZ Fest
There are a few shows I would love to get out to, but can’t afford, so I think I’ll try and check out the acts at The Rex on Sunday. I will also aim to see the Darius Nargolwalla Trio at Whistler’s on Monday or Tuesday, after all, it’s just steps from my door. Then maybe, I’ll check out DJ Lolita at Lolita’s Lust for some dancing on my birthday.
To see Jazz Fest events go to www.tojazz.com.
Toronto’s Fringe Festival sounds like it’s going to be amazing this year. I’ve never actually been to Fringe before, and I probably would have missed it this year, except that I HAVE to go see The Goodbye Rounds. Written by my genius friend by Robbie Shapiro & his friend Josh Saltzman, it sounds like an incredible production. Based on the updates I’ve been getting from the Director, it’ll be a great success.
For more details and play listings, visit www.fringetoronto.com.
I hope you all enjoy your weekend whatever your plans are!
Monday, June 22, 2009
Working the door at the Cameron House was an experience unlike any other. From outside the curtain, keeping the line in order, I listened to 15 incredible acts.
With industry execs, photographers, journalists, publicisits, and managers galour, the general public who made it in to see the acts lucked out.
For anyone who made it out to the Hideout or Horseshoe for extended hours, drinks, dancing and more great bands, you'll know that this year's NXNE was a huge success.
Can't wait until next year.