Sometimes TSOundcheck rocks, as well as rox0rs.
The Toronto Symphony has a program where they sell tickets to people under 30 for practically nothing. I make use of it only occasionally, but it's a pretty good deal for hearing some pretty great music if you're into that sort of thing. Anyway, because of the program, I get periodic mailings about things that are going on at the Symphony, and a couple of weeks ago, I got one about Sonic Bloom. Sonic Bloom is a symphony fundraiser that does the by now semi-pedestrian thing of pairing pop artists with the symphony. Tickets to the show were as much as $500 a piece. My pair cost me $40 altogether, and was four rows back on the floor. Not stunningly perfect seats by symphony standards, but since the accoustics in the rebuilt Roy Thomson Hall are better than at the local hole in the wall clubs where I usually see shows, that's probably not a big problem.
I decided to go because they had some pretty damned cool pop acts on the bill. Headlining the show were the Barenaked Ladies, who I love, because I'm Canadian and also a geek, and thus both constitutionally and sub-culturally obligated to love them. Also on the bill were Sarah Slean (If you ever meet me in person, ask me to tell you the very long, involved story about road construction, parking tickets, Sarah Slean and The Facts of Life, it's really quite amusing, or so people tell me. Possibly they are only being polite.), Matt Dusk and a couple of the Timminseses from the Cowboy Junkies.
First up was the incredibly gracious Margo Timmins. She dedicated her performance to the ushers in the hall, since she had been one in the early days of Roy Thomson Hall. She sang three songs. Gorgeous, countryish singer-songwritery stuff backed by a full orchestra, it was lovely. I'm looking forward to the new Junkies album.
Next up was Sarah Slean. More singer-songwritery stuff, but Sarah is a bit, uh, different, in her sensibilities. The third song she played could have been inserted into the Rocky Horror Picture Show and not seemed a little bit out of place. The well-heeled symphony audience loved it all.
Matt Dusk is a tragically uninteresting Frank Sinatra wannabe who completely wasted the opportunity to play in front of a symphony and was wearing pants that were at least 2 sizes too small. The less said about him, the better.
The Barenaked Ladies are hopelessly geeky and thus endlessly amusing. There was a mix of classic goofy moments, and some more touching tributes to ex-band members and former music teachers (apparently you have to actually, like, study, to play the bass, who knew?).
And that was the very coolest night I've spent in a very long time...