ECMA Concert Series: MODABO, BARACHOIS, GREAT BIG SEA
Capitol Theatre – Saturday, February 15
by alexis rudderham
When Modabo, a 3 piece band with their only instrument being an acoustic guitar, started to play to the sold out crowd at Moncton’s beautiful Capitol Theatre, I noticed that no one in the place was moved. Being able to relate to the music somewhat, I and the guy I was with were the only 2 people in the whole place stomping our feet and clapping our hands. After their second song the lady next to me asked me to stop because it was “rude and barbaric”. To think that at all those ceilidhs I was being rude and barbaric.
Not being able to read the crowd at all and not being able to figure out why nobody seemed to be having fun or dancing to what I thought was great music, I finally de-cided that maybe this kind of music was not popular in Moncton and that they just didn’t like it. But I couldn’t have been more wrong because their set ended to a standing ovation (and I don’t think it was because they were getting off the stage).
As the next band played the night got even weirder. Barachois, a French band from PEI, did anything to make people laugh (they dressed as women, put buckets on people’s heads) and then, finally, the audience started to respond. At this point I was tempted to turn to the barbaric lady next to me and ask her to stop clapping. But I decided against it because the more people having fun now would mean more peo-ple having fun when Great Big Sea got on. With Barachois loosening up the audience I prayed that they would do more than just sit down when Great Big Sea came on. But the night continued as before, with 400 people just sitting lifeless as Great Big Sea tried desperately to liven them up a little. It tells you how bad the night was when 4 Newfoundlanders couldn’t get a crowd goin.
Finally I had had enough. I could hear the row of teenagers behind me talking about whether or not they should get up and dance so I decided for them, jumped out of my seat, grabbed the whole row and dragged them down in front of the stage. Within seconds the whole lower half of the theatre was dancing and having a ball. Seeing the relieved look on the band’s faces I felt my job as a Cape Bretoner had been done. And then I realized that this crowd didn’t know what to do at this kind of concert. When Allan Doyle asked everyone to get up and dance, he didn’t mean on stage! But that’s what half of them were doing. Bassist Darryl Power looked at me as if to say “What the hell are these people doin?” It looked like Great Big Sea was ready to break into laughter when the roadies weren’t able to get the crowd off the stage. They had to dance them away from the stage. Great Big Sea had been playing really good all night but this got them pumped. And as they ripped into the last Mary Mac with great force brightly coloured streamers and pieces of paper flew up from the stage, every colour and every size. What a way to end the night. This just goes to show GBS know what they are doing when the can take a dead crowd and revive them. Way to go guys. On the way back to the hotel I saw hundreds of people with streamers strung over their shoulders and in their hair dancing down the street going on about how UNREAL! the show was. Where were these people during the concert??????????? Moncton is definitely a strange place or maybe it’s just my rude and barbaric upbringing.