I still can’t quite think of the right words to describe my weekend. It’s taking all my energy to write this post because I don’t even know how to put my thoughts together and say exactly how completely happy I was to have made it out to Gananoque.
It’s hard to explain to someone who’s never experienced the feeling; the one where someone or something makes you feel so completely happy that you don’t even know what to do with yourself. Every single time The New Cities hit the stage that’s exactly how I feel. The show this past Friday was my 23rd TNC show & I can honestly say that I was just as excited to see them then as I was a year ago. Although some stuff didn’t exactly work the way it was supposed to, I still had the most amazing time.
The day started off pretty early. I met Jenia & Lisa at 8am and we drove down to Gananoque almost right away. We got in line by 11:30am and were FINALLY let in by 1PM. We really wanted to be front row and weren’t sure how many people they were expecting so we literally ran to save ourselves some spots. Turns out we didn’t have to because the festival was so badly organized. We were about 40 people there until much later in the afternoon.
We spent a couple hours sitting by the barricade drinking water, hiding from the scorching heat & listening to bands soundcheck. I think my favorite was getting to listen to Faber sing 2 songs at like 2PM and getting his new single, G-Get Up & Dance stuck in my head for literally the ENTIRE rest of the weekend (and still now). Not long after his soundcheck, bands started performing.
The highlights of the day were definitely We Are The Take, Stereos, Plain White T’s, The New Cities, Faber Drive & Simple Plan. WATT took the stage around 4PM but they were put on some random small side-stage that no one took the time to go to. Jenia, Lisa & I were the only people who watched besides a few other curious people & one diehard fan front row. It was really upsetting to see the guys play to such a small crowd when they’re so good- but then I remember that it was less then a year ago that TNC were doing the exact same thing. It was probably really demoralizing but I know that this band is going to be really big someday. They all have to start somewhere!
It was actually my fourth time seeing Stereos play & I have to say I’m still really torn as to whether I really like them yet or not. I think that they know how to put on a really good show and you can clearly see how much fun they’re having… but it’s hard when you can’t sing along to a band’s set that you’ve seen so many times. They definitely need to release their album soon- But I do always enjoy seeing them play.
Plain White T’s put on a really cute set. The lead singer, Tom, was absolutely adorable on stage, no other word for it. Although I only knew one song it was really nice to see the band’s entire set front row.
The New Cities put on an amazing set as always. It never gets old to be front row for them. Although I’ve seen their set from many different distances, there’s no better way to really experience their live energy then at the very front. What I really like about bands like TNC, Simple Plan and a few others is that you can tell that they really see who’s in front of them. Some bands just play a set and probably see the hundreds or thousands of people in front of them as blurs… but there are some bands that you can tell really see who they’re singing to and I think that’s a really great quality. It’s really amazing to be able to truly be a part of the performance.
Faber went onstage next. It was really good to see him play again. I’ve only seen him perform once and it was with the former band lineup but I had just as much fun this time around, if not more with Jenia singing and dancing like complete lunatics to G-Get Up & Dance. I swear, that song is STILL in my head.
Last but not least was Simple Plan. It was my first time seeing SP perform an entire set- the only other times I’d seen them was at V-Fest when I saw about half their set from pretty far back, and at St-Jean I danced my way through the crowd as Jenia and I tried to leave while they played. This time was completely different, I was actually front row getting to see the guys interact with the crowd and put on an overall really awesome show. I have to say I was really proud to know that they were from Montreal while I was watching them. I think sometimes I forget just how much talent we have in Canada & in Montreal. This festival was a good reminder of that.
Only about 400 people or so ended up showing up for the festival that night. The grounds were absolutely massive- easily enough to fit the 35 000 that had showed up in St-Jean. It kind of sucked for all the bands that drove all the way out to play but at the same time it was cool for the fans to get to experience such an intimate festival. I really liked it because it gave us the chance at the end of the night to go see TNC at their merch table. People left pretty quickly so we got to hang out and catch up with the guys more then we have all summer. I really missed just hanging out, joking and laughing with all of them. That’s definitely something I’m not going to miss about festivals; I’m looking forward to the smaller venue shows where I don’t feel like I’m a lost face in the crowd. Sometimes it’s a lot of fun to be a part of something really big like the hot air ballon festival… but absolutely nothing beats getting to be the last people to leave.
Besides having an absolutely amazing time (and leaving out about a million little details), this weekend really reminded me of some things that I was beginning to forget. The more shows I go to, the more I realize how much I want this to be a part of the rest of my life. I was also reminded of the reason I spend money to go to shows and to never doubt certain things (or people). It was written in the stars for us to end up at that show, especially after everything we went through to get there. I’m happy beyond words that we were able to end the summer festival season the way we did. ❤