September 27, 2009

There's an Arc(tic tour)

Hey Rosetta! played The Mad Trapper bar in Inuvik Sept. 10 for an audience of about 150 people as part of a fundraiser on the St. John's band's "arctic" tour, consisting of stops in Iqaluit, Inuvik and Yellowknife. The show raised $2,000 for a children's charity. I took off my reporter's hat to check it out.

"Never seen so many white people in the Trapper all at once," someone commented, to big laughs. Funny because it's true.

No showy chitchat means more space for conversation as we sit. Seems strange not to dance but we're not there yet.

The cellist's frayed bow curls over the strings like a mischievous moustache. I glance over to see if you've noticed this silly juxtaposition of images. You're not looking at the band.

You look so serious/The night is serving us/But you look so serious

This wasn't what you expected, you mouth to me, leaning across the table, but in a good way.

"Do you play any instruments?"
"Yes. The radio."

I watch the piano keys move under red stage lights and turn around to see lines of shadows waiting at the bar.

And a smile is what I least expect/In the clutches of this darkness

Everyone listens.

Better make it a double; don't want to wait anymore.

The tallest guy in here is dancing now - finally, someone is. He looks like he forgets how to stop and it seems to be catching on.

You pull a camera out of your jacket pocket and we find ourselves up front in an explosion of sound to represent a first-time view of the Northern Lights.

Cymbals clanging, violin screeching, drums thumping until we all stop thinking.

Tired eyes/Open wide/Either side, all these/Veins of lights

At the edge of the stage you tuck your camera away, step back, into the dance.

And then we're just standing there, surrounded by applause. Three hours snaps by.

Are you a wolf? / Warm in your pinstripes?

We walk past the clapping crowd out into a cloud of smoke after the second encore, just as the house band strums its first familiar chord. A reversal.

The only thing I've ever learned/is when trusting a stranger/Your trust will be returned.