18 Hours in Vancouver

IMG_6959  IMG_6964IMG_6965 IMG_6967 IMG_6971  IMG_6975 IMG_6980 IMG_6985 IMG_6996 IMG_7000 IMG_7002 IMG_7025 IMG_7056 IMG_7073 Mum wasn't too proud of this decision. Last week I decided to go to Vancouver for less than a day to see one of my all-time favourite artists: Mr. Samuel Smith. After my Electronics class, I drove my butt to the airport to catch a flight, had a quick bite to eat beside some more than obnoxious Fort Mac workers and got some work done before boarding.

I landed in the slightly overcast Vancouver and headed to the Four Seasons in down town. With a gorgeous lobby and more than caring staff, I checked in and got ready to head to the venue. Heading to the Orpheum 3 hours before the show started was a mistake on my part, Sam had been in there for at least 2 hours before I even landed, so my chances of catching him before the show was a bust. I also gave up the opportunity to grab a bite to eat at Chipotle.

Whilst waiting for the doors to open, and peaking through windows to catch a glimpse of God's gift to the world, I made small talk with a couple of other folks. Two of these folks were "professional groupies" (rolling my eyes whilst writing this) and they explained to me how they have connections and blah blah with guest lists blah blah, and scheming how they were going to get tickets to get in. I smiled and was just happy to have my own way of getting in, lol. As I lined up to get in, I befriended these two lovely girls named Maria and Mary (photo above). We bonded over our love for Sam and instantly clicked. I finally got to express my excitement with someone either than myself.

After getting in, I treated myself with a cider when out of no where an older woman came up to me and screamed "I'm sorry I just have to tell someone, I was just talking to a band member". Gabriella, also came alone. Being a mother of three, she felt a tad left out, but we both agreed that talent in music is something that can bring all ages together. We too also hit it off, as she explained to me her life story full of concerts and following her favourite artists. I only hope to have a life like hers when I'm older. We talked about her kids and about how we both discovered Sam. It helped that she was an acoustic engineer as well, nerds unite!

And soon enough, the show started with The Broods opening. I discovered The Broods whilst I was in New Zealand this past May, so I was really excited to see them live. The bro-sis combo did a phenomenal job, and Georgia's vocals were spot on, in my opinion. My favourites being: Never Gonna Change, Bridges, and Mother & Father. Their deep electronic beats definitely warmed me up for Sam. Sam came on moments after the opening set and opened with Nirvana. Speechless. That's all I can say about his show. Sure, he may not be the best visual performer out there, but just being in the same room as him made me light-headed. He sounded better than he does on track. He's also a lot taller in person. Of course, I sobbed when he sang Lay Me Down, but I mean, it was bound to happen. A highlight of his performance was his dance along in Restart. I would have never pictured a happy Sam Smith smiling and dancing along to his own music, it was just odd to me. However, I enjoyed the tutorial and showed off his fun personality. Did I mention how humble he was? Jesus he is perfection. He mentioned how much he loved Vancouver sushi as well! He killed his most popular songs: Stay With Me, Not In That Way, Latch and Leave Your Lover. But to a long time fan like myself, I really enjoyed "Lay Me Down", one of his first tracks he had ever written.

Along with his dance moves, Sam impressed me with his How Will I Know cover. I wasn't completely taken back when I listened to it on youtube months earlier, but wow in person, it was great. From such an amazing performance, I did have 2 issues. Obviously, these issues don't out weigh the angelic performance he did, but I still couldn't look past it. First off, he didn't sing Not In That Way, one of my favourite songs off his album. It definitely was a personal song for him, and especially for me. Secondly, when he talked about his album and his inspiration, he kept referencing "that person" that broke his heart and didn't love him back. It killed me to see him hold back the truth about that person being a man. I guess from a marketing stand point, sometimes it isn't always good to be completely truthful to the public. I mean, maybe 60 percent of the crowd were girls, but that doesn't mean they aren't understanding enough to relate to your heart break. Straight heart break is identical to gay heart break, as simple as that. Don't get me wrong, it didn't take away from his performance. But Sam's album is more personal to me than anything I've ever listened to in my life, maybe that's why I'm so protective over it. All in all, he didn't disappoint. It has been a dream of mine for the past couple years to see him live.

I, like many others, decided to stick around to catch him on his way out. However, he had a show the next day in Seattle and he tweeted that he couldn't meet anyone after the show because he had to hit the road. He was swarmed with body guards from the venue exit to his bus. I managed to shake his hand and give him a thank you note for all he's done. I've never seen such a crazy crowd before. But I was so glad to shake his hand and have him say thank you. The entire night was such a surreal experience, to this day I sometimes wonder if it actually happened. After the show and swarming crowds of fans I headed back to my hotel and stopped for a slice of pizza. My 5:30 am wake up call hit me hard, and I almost forgot where I was. But I left bright and early the next day to make it home in time for a Lab.

If you've read this entire post, wow, you must be bored and really intrigued about what I'm doing (even though it's nothing special). But like I said, this blog truly is for me to look back on, and have a reminder of what kind of trouble I got into in my 20s. But I sure don't mind if it grabs the attention of others as well. My experiences are things I don't mind sharing. Heck, that's why I started this in the first place! So happy reading, and have a phenomenal day.

 

Jon