Monday 4 February 2008

WinterCity and Weakerthans

We had not really any idea what we were in for when we, along with Whitney, headed downtown mostly just to glance upon the visage of that peerless (in my opinion) Canadian "people's poet" (if i may use the hackneyed phrase), John K Samson. Or to put it another way, to take advantage of the free The Weakerthans show, for something to do. What we met with was flame. Walls of flame.

The concert was a part of the City of Toronto "WinterCity" festival.

Another part of it, which we did not know of, was an art installation consisting of hundreds and hundreds of pots of fire, set in tree-like and glob structures. Off to the side were tubes of fire, tubes inscribed with some sort of writing or symbols the flames shot up through. Throughout the area were metal mesh cylinders filled with lit charcoal; these served as "warming stations" which people huddled around when cold... and looked pretty interesting, glowing red, with occasional sparks. It was wonderful, visually and functionally.

After we wandered amidst the mesmerising fire for a while, eventually, beyond the flames, the Weakerthans took the stage. I was particularly amused (as John Samson himself seemed to me to be) when half way through the performance they, standing at the very foot of the purple-lighted arcs of Canada's largest city's city hall, played their song "Confessions of a Futon-revolutionist" which contains the wry words:

Let's plant a bomb at city hall and kill an MLA.

It's rather likely the people who booked The Weakerthans had no idea this little nugget might unearthed for the (literally, at least) inflamed crowds (alas)! But I'm glad at least that we apparently still live in a country were this happy opportunity of words and location could poetically and unpolitical-correctly occur, and no one yet that I know of has been arrested or reprimanded for it, nor pitiful mass-media idiocy covered it (as one might imagine occurring in certain other large areas of the planet).

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