It was just 2 weeks ago, I was tuning the radio and among the hissings and hums, I heard a ripper of a guitar solo followed up by a ginormous shrill wail! I instantly thought to myself, “what is this??!” followed by the sudden realization that I needed to hear more. Skip ahead a little and I’m going out to see the Dirty Nil in Toronto at the Phoenix Concert Theatre during Canadian Music Week and it was the most fun I’ve had in months.
And that’s coming off an already noteworthy week.
You see, I’m a pretty unassuming guy. I blend in well, which allows me to notice things. Cool things, like spotting notable Canadians going about their day in the city, like actress Laura Vandervoot while she’s checking out her groceries at the local Metro in Liberty Village.
Who knew Metro would be the place to stake out celebs in the city?
Anyways, back to my story about the Dirty Nil in Toronto at The Phoenix Concert Theatre…
With the minute hand of my watch hitting 30 after 5, I saved all my work, packed up my project notes and called it a day. My friends were going to meet me and with 4 tickets in hand I was ready to kick off the weekend.
Straight after work I met up with Kevin and after a customary bro-hug upon greeting, we walked down the street to Liberty Commons at Big Rock Brewery for beers and some grub. My friend Matt arrived and we got the opportunity to catch up with each other’s lives. Caitlyn who was suppose to join us that night, dropped the let down that she would no longer be attending. That’s when Matt’s friend Greg showed up. We invited him to our table and after a round and a few chuckles I offered him the extra ticket.
Matt and Greg had to split but would meet back up with us later at the show. I paid the bill and made a quick stop to the washroom. Meanwhile, Kevin grabbed a few cans from the brew store and hailed an Uber. We crushed those suckers and arrived at The Phoenix around 8:30. We befriended the Bouncer, who would let us skip the massive line for the sold out show if we returned at 9.
That was a sweet deal for us because it gave us a chance to sneak off to the side of the venue to burn a spliff.
Another Chance Encounter
While Kevin and I were leaned up against a fence reminiscing about old Stereokid shows, Luke Bentham of The Dirty Nil, wearing a red hoodie, strutted past us and hopped into their tour van. Moments later we could hear him practising his vocals inside. If I had to guess he was probably changing into that signature studded shirt he always preforms in. It felt like another surreal chance encounter.
We made one last pit stop at a gas station up the road to tinkle and buy some water. Because we’re responsible like that. Headed back to the venue, walked past the line to the same Bouncer out front who let us right in. While checking through security, none other than the Arkells‘ frontman Max Kerman was behind us. I remember he was eager to introduce his girlfriend to everyone. (It’s like these celeb sightings never stop.)
On With The Show
Once inside, we got another round of drinks and proceeded to the concert theatre where we walked in on The Dirty Nil performing the first song of their set.
|Bathed in Light opened the night.
|I captured one of my favourite songs, Auf Wiedersehen.
|They did a cover of Unchained by Van Halen.
Fans were crowd surfing and moshing the entire set. At times, I could have sworn I felt the floor of the Phoenix Concert Theatre buckling from everyone jumping up and down.
During the show, Matt and Greg showed back up. They had met up and brought Adam and a few others. We were in full force! We reconvened at the bar for one last round to set us into the night.
With all of us there together toasting one another, it reminded me of why I do what I do; why I work so hard. It’s to enjoy moments like this with my friends. There’s a spontaneity to living in the city, where you can hear brand new music on the radio and instantly get hooked on a new band. You can run a search online for tour dates and see they’re playing a sold out show the immediate Friday. But still find people selling tickets on Facebook, enough for myself and 3 friends.
It’s that endearment for spontaneity that caused Kevin and I to surprise-lift Adam up above the crowd where he was carried away. As he crowd surfed past the horizon of all the crowd’s heads, so too did any of my anxieties from the work week get whisked away.
Footage of The Dirty Nil in Toronto at the Phoenix Concert Theatre
I found these clips from a YouTube Channel. It looks like someone got access to all the shows during Canadian Music Week and filmed clips from a bunch of different artists. These are just a few I selected.
This is the bit that I heard on the radio that got me into The Dirty Nil, which I mentioned at the beginning.
Oh yeah, did I mention Tokyo Police Club also played that night.