Thursday, July 31, 2003

start me up

Unprecidented i know, but here is today's thrid post, though officially it is after midnight so i guess this is really tomorrow's post.

It's on everyone's mind and deserves some serious discussion - the Stones concert in Toronto. The concert to end all concerts and 'put Toronto back on the map'. If you are like me, Toronto was never really off the map...

At first i really scoffed at the idea that the government (or Mel?) was going to pay ten million dollars (said in Dr. Evil's voice) to the Rolling Stones, who don't have enough money to begin with, to come to Toronto to revive its tourist slump in the wake of SARS. In my mind the notion was ridiculous. i ridiculed it. But now having seen the highlights on television, i feel that i have really missed out on something. Having admitted that, i still don't know what the long term economic effects on TO will be.

And its not about seeing the bands, it is about being somewhere with half a million other people and eating Alberta beef. It was a multi generational affair celebrating Toronto, and even though out here on the west coast it is not cool to celebrate Toronto i still wished i was a part of it. Having been to other highly attended events, such as Nagnathaiya in Banaras (ok, only a few thousand go to it) , i can tell you that the feeling that comes from being somewhere with that many other people for the same purpose is a powerful expereince (cf. my still unwritten dissertation for more on the feeling ofcommunitas).

The concert also looked fabulous, if you don't mind having 300,000 people between you and the stage. I would have loved to have been there pumping my fist to AC/DC and belting out the tunes with Getty. Not to mention that it looks like the Stones put on a wonderful show. Where does their energy come from? Mick is roughly the same age as my dad and yet i can't imagine my Dad racing back and forth across the stage with such ferocity. But my dad is an accountant not a rock star. Mick never stops. It was enough to make a grown man cry.

And on a truly Canadian note, from what i have heard so far, there was only one arrest. Ah, what a non confrontation lot were are.

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