Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Memorial Event for Adrian Bromley (Part 1)
A few days after Adrian passed away, his friend Noel Peters at Inertia Entertainment announced a memorial event for January 17th at the Opera House, the same venue that hosted the Day of the Equinox Festival that Adrian and Noel masterminded in 2005. Admission would be pay what you can with all proceeds going to charity, and a clutch of Adrian’s favourite local bands would be playing. I didn’t think twice about it—I bought a plane ticket and was off to Toronto at dawn last Friday.

Days prior, I'd been getting a little nervous about the trip. I’m not a gung-ho traveler, and I hate flying. Going solo isn't my favourite option either. Then a few days before the trip I was in the lunchroom at work, and, lost in my thoughts about the day at hand, I had a vivid flash of expectation in which I imagined going back to my desk, sitting down and seeing an MSN message from Adrian that said, “You coming to Toronto this weekend?” That was when I knew I’d made the right choice to go.

Toronto was having a nasty cold snap, and a good portion of downtown was blacked out when I arrived. Thankfully my hotel was outside the blackout zone, and a couple short, frigid sprints from the airport terminal to the bus and from the bus to the hotel were all the hardships I had to face. That night I met with my friends Adam and Rain for drinks, dinner, and jazz at The Rex. Great company, great music, and a nice way to ease into the weekend.

Saturday I took the streetcar across College to Soundscapes, where I hauled a fistful of really upsetting CDs. Man, I love that place.

Another friend had invited me to an all-ages show (dapslove ALL AGES Vol. 1)at Rolly’s Garage, so that was my next stop. Rolly’s Garage is exactly that—a working garage-cum-weekend gig/art space for the kids. The concession sold candy and pizza and hot chocolate. It was adorable. I caught three bands on a five-band bill.

The first band was Tonka and Puma, a bass/drums duo who punk-rocked their way through some joyously ragged material with great spirit.

Next up, The Bicycles smacked me upside my head with their harmony-packed ’70s-style pop overload. Brilliant.

Skeleton Me, who followed, were a little more subdued and rootsy, and, in an effort to keep us warm, played three Bruce Springsteen songs with “fire” in the title.

I had to jet after that to get back to the hotel in time for dinner with my good pal Joan, who went to high school with my wife and is cooler than just about anyone you or I know. I hadn't seen her since our wedding, so we had a lot to catch up on. Then it was time to head back out to the Opera House to give Adrian a proper sendoff.

No comments: