State of Fear

We live in a carefully crafted, expertly maintained state of fear. A fearful, subdued, worried population seems easier to manage in the long run because it is easily influenced and doesn’t show too much initiative, nor does it too actively seek change. The trick is to keep the crowds ignorant of their own fear; to…


Longing for genius

How frustrating to have been given a brain, just like one is given a paintbrush, and be obliged to go through life clumsily and randomly using it to stain rough sheets of paper with clashing colors, while others are busily painting Mona Lisas. Lucky is one who knows not of his own mediocrity. Ignorance is…


Fantastic IMAX Deep Sea 3D

[Updated April 3rd, 2006] Did you ever wish you could visit the underwater world and explore the reef from the privileged point of view of its inhabitants? Well you can. Take a few days off the beach on your next vacation and learn to dive. It’ll change the way you look at the ocean forever.…


Burrard Station in bloom

Throughout the lengthy cherry blossoms season, I’ve roamed around the Greater Vancouver seeking the best blooming areas and the most flower covered trees. I explored Kitsilano all the way to UBC, visited the Queen Elizabeth Park, surveyed the Northern end of Commercial Drive. These were all very nice (see the previous post for proof.) But…


The Sisters of Mercy at the Commodore

It was Sunday night, the 26th of March. I could barely believe it, but after pinching myself twice I had to accept the puzzling fact that I was sitting on the mezzanine of Vancouver’s premiere venue, eagerly awaiting the start of the night’s event: the last North American show of the Sisters of Mercy’s 2006 Silver Bullet tour!

I took a sip of my Honey Lager and looked down at the main floor below me. The Commodore Ballroom is located on Granville Street in the heart of the entertainment district and I could see lots of people rushing by in the rain through the windows. It’s a busy area and the line-up at the door had, as usual, been reaching Smithe’s corner; but once inside, the place was pleasant and did not feel overcrowded. A mixed and very well behaved crowd wandered by and most of the side tables were already occupied…

One has to be of a certain generation to have witnessed the 80’s alternative movement, I thought, and that was clearly reflected by the public’s average age. Of course a lot of black was still being worn as well as black make-up and hair, yet none of the very fancy goth fashion I had expected. Maybe Vancouver isn’t that extreme in its musical tastes after all.

I spent some time reflecting on the obvious fact that I’ve never been much of a concert person myself and do not think so highly of the “fan” behavior. The last live show I attended was in the late 80’s when I saw Pink Floyd at the Montreal Olympic Stadium. But the Commodore can hardly be compared to a stadium. It looks and feels like a theatre and its design makes for a very intimate setting. With a maximum capacity of 900 persons, it is definitely a small audience, play and have fun place and I suppose the bands must like it for that reason.

The place filled up slowly and finally the guest singer started playing, but I have to say he didn’t impress me at all. The sound wasn’t very good and people pretty much ignored him and talked, except for the few hardcore fans pressed against the stage and who weren’t going to be distracted away from the place where their idols eventually would show up.

And then at last, after much waiting, the lights were dimmed once more, smoke hissed on the stage, the spotlights wildly came to life and Doktor Avalanche started playing his typical electric beat. The crowd roared, instinctively moving forward. And then appearing through the smoke like ghosts, they were there. The Sisters of Mercy.