It’s dark and dingy. The only lights in the place focused ominously on the stage. Creating ambiance. Hinting of things to come. We wait, our hearts heavy with the burden of expectation.
That last group really sucked. They assaulted our ears with their shitty timing and even shittier stage presence. They did care though. They seemed to love being up there, if the twenty-minute encore was any indication. At least someone was feeling it. We sure as hell weren’t. The silence following their departure from the stage a sweet reprieve.
Then it starts. A hulking, bearded mass of a man takes the mic. A thunderous clash of drums and guitars commands our attention. And our attention is rapt the instant the set begins. Fists clenched and face contorted with feeling, the singer wracked the crowd with the primal screams erupting from the molten-metal core of his being.
This is it. This is what we came for. A kick-ass metal show.
As I stood there swaying with the music, watching our friend Jim own the stage, I thought about how amazing it felt to be there supporting him. How vastly his band had exceeded our expectations. How impressive they were. Every note an indication of how much passion these guys have for their music and the time they’ve spent perfecting it. I was astonished, we all were.
Jim’s band, Sinthetik, was astounding. They melted our faces and blew our minds with their badass sound. They were raw and unforgiving. They were melodic and mesmerizing. Their shit was tight.
It made me feel alive. It made me feel invincible. And it made me want to live my life with the same ferocity of the music. So I did.
After the show, we heaped our praises on Jim, and made our way to the bar up the street. The Magpie. My friend The Magpie’s namesake. It was dim and inviting.
I laughed with my friends, tossed back my drinks, and danced with abandon.
It was an amazing night. The metal show the perfect catalyst for my weekend of living it up.
The next day brought with it another flurry of activity. D and I had tickets to the Toronto Auto Show, and we were planning on watching the hockey game at Joce’s place. We picked ourselves up and shook of the grime of the night before. We made our way down to the auto show.
We came into direct contact with approximately a billion people at the show. It was insanely crowded. But through the throngs of auto-crazed maniacs, I was able to snap a few pics.
My personal favourite is the massive Mercedes van. Seriously, if you’re going to drive around looking like a sex offender, you may as well do it in style.
We powered through the exhibits. Although it was fun, we were relieved when it was over. We probably should have gone during a weekday.
Our next priority was making it over to Maple Leaf Square by 4:00pm so we could score some free tickets to the hockey game that night. Neill texted us about it earlier in the day, the ticket giveaway, and since we were going to be in the area anyways, we figured we may as well try. Also, since we were planning on watching the game at Joce’s, wouldn’t it be awesome if instead we showed up with tickets and told them we were going to the game instead? Hells yeah, that would be so awesome!
Carlton, the Toronto Maple Leafs mascot, was going to be at Maple Leaf Square at 4:00pm. And if you could find him, you could have tickets to the game. Not to worry, we found Carlton.
We also ran into Batman while we were there. So that was awesome too!
He’s really into hockey.
I should also point out that the game was actually held in Ottawa. But since Ottawa is a bunch of dicks and tried to ban Leafs fans from their games, Toronto decided to show their fans some love. Admission to the game was free, and you got to watch it on the jumbo-tron. And every person at the game got a free 24 ounce fountain pop, a slice of pizza or hot dog, a bag of popcorn, and a candy bar. So screw you Ottawa! We’re gonna make it on our own.
And we had an awesome time. It felt great to be a part of something like this. To stick it to the man. Leafs fans or not, you simply cannot segregate or banish willing fans from the games. What were you even thinking Ottawa? What a boneheaded thing to do.
The Leafs did lose though. And it was an embarrassing loss. I’m not even a Leafs fan, but I am a fan of a good time. Going to the games is fun, and people should not be denied admittance to them based on their fandom. That’s so ridiculous.
It started with the casual acceptance of an invitation, and became one of the most outrageous weekends of my life. When adventure beckons, I come running.
I love my friends, I love my city, and I love living.