Lovely Music Marred by Horrible Audience
Honestly, I am not a fan of heavy rock or heavy metal, so I did not listen to Triumph in their heyday. However, when I read Rik Emmett‘s description I thought I would enjoy the show.
An acoustic show by a former heavy rock musician sounded interesting and promising, and Emmett delievered on that promise. He took the stage with fellow Canadian guitarist Dave Dunlop and launched into a song that his fans knew and which evoked a standing ovation from some. From there, the set included both vocal and instrumental numbers. The set list included at least two songs made famous by Triumph (‘Magic Power of the Music in Me’ and ‘Suitcase Blues’) for which Emmett changed the style; I do not know how many others were Triumph songs.
I especially enjoyed the instrumental numbers; to me, they highlighted that a good guitarist is a good guitarist, regardless of the style of music being played, and also that a good guitarist can frequently play several styles quite successfully. Emmett and Dunlop currently play songs infused with flamenco, jazz and blues. One of the instrumental numbers was ‘Three Clouds Across the Moon’ and it was gorgeous.
They played ‘The Galaxy Song’, an Eric Idle song that was the theme song of Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life. That evoked some powerful memories!
As far as the music is concerned, the show was lovely. Emmett and Dunlop are excellent guitarists and fine vocalists. I could have listened to them play longer than their 75 minute set. Emmett is witty and told some stories about his Triumph days.
The audience, however, was terrible. I applaud Club Passim for bringing artists to the venue that are outside their usual wheelhouse. The problem with that, unfortunately, is an artist’s fans who attend a show there frequently do not understand or appreciate the vibe that makes Club Passim as special as it is and may ruin it for others. At this show, it meant people singing along so loudly that I thought Emmett had looped his own voice and also standing in the middle of the space to take photos. The singing especially was thoroughly obnoxious and the perpetrators were oblivious to the looks – or chose to ignore them – that could have killed (not literally of course).
To music fans: when you go to a venue for the first time, please take the time to soak in the atmosphere of the venue especially when it is a venue as historic as Club Passim. You might be pleasantly surprised.