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26 May 06

the joel plaskett emergency got it on

joel plaskett and his newly revamped emergency band swung by the phoenix concert theatre last night for a rock and roll spectacle, and i was lucky enough to be in attendance. by my count, that was the 10th time i’ve seen joel since thrush hermit split up (not including the 8 times i saw the hermit), and it was by far the biggest and rock-n-rollest of the bunch. picture a packed house at the phoenix, presumably the largest joel has ever played before as the headliner (which probably explains why he took pictures of the crowd ahead of time) with a pretty elaborate light show and a LOT of screaming/singing along fans. all that was missing was the old thrush hermit flashing rock and roll sign (which, incidentally, makes a return appearance in the camouflage nights video for it could be love if you pay attention).

anyway, the show itself was pretty solid, with the exception of the crazy birthday party celebrants beside us who insisted on singing along (with the few words they knew), screaming randomly, and talking over joel’s solo numbers. we were on the balcony which offered a fantastic viewpoint (and definitely beat trying to see over the mob on the main floor) so i guess it evened out. joel and company tore through a 90 minute set including songs from truthfully, truthfully, la di da and the new make a little noise ep, mixing a few acoustic songs (including by the light of the moon, a stripped down version of true patriot love, and the old thrush hermit classic before you leave) with lots of up tempo rock numbers. i had two minor complaints: the long and bizarre extended jam in the middle of maybe we should just go home, and the fact that i had a lot of trouble hearing his stage banter at various times throughout the show. stupid acoustics/yelly people around me. it wasn’t as good as his set at hugh’s room last year, but really, what is?

a couple more notes: joel introduced a rug that he bought on the west coast a couple weeks ago known as sweet leaf (pictured, courtesy of captiveight’s flickr set from the edmonton show). this was a bit of a surreal but amusing inclusion, claiming that she was to blame for his forgetting a few lyrics to extraordinary. additionally, i thought i was going to go home mcgettiganless (since a new bassist has been added to the emergency band), but ian surprised us by joining the band on stage for a couple of songs during the encore (wearing a shirt that appeared to be shockingly hole-less), which was especially appropriate given the number of references joel made to their old pre-hermit band, nabisco fonzie. pete elkas also joined in the fun and played a few songs on keys and guitar, as an added bonus.

one more thing: i sadly missed two hours traffic, ’cause i’m old and rarely make it to shows for openers anymore, but what i’ve heard from them has been enjoyable. perhaps next time.

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Pronunciation: 'ch&mp
Function: noun
Etymology: perhaps blend of chunk and lump
Date: 1883

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