The benefit of Kathleen Edwards doing a two-night stand in Regina: I can tell you, albeit a little late in the day, that you need to get down there if there are still tickets. Last night, she was incredible.
Doors opened at 7:30 p.m. but I wound up showing up a little before eight to find that seemingly every chair in the whole Cultural Exchange was out and being used. If I had to guess, I would’ve said that people had brought chairs from home for the show. The upshot of that was, after a presenter read Jenn Grant’s press bio aloud, I wound up watching Grant open the show off to the side of the stage, feeling a little awkward for standing.
Grant and her husband/accompanist were great. I believe they were playing nice guitars but, not being a fellow trained in such things, I can’t be sure. If anyone wants to tweet pictures of nice guitars at @prairiedogmag, I’ll get my editor to collect them up and I’ll confirm whether or not they’re the nice guitars in question.
Grant was playing some songs off her very recently released album, The Everything Wild. There was an interesting Eastern influence to her singing and songs that you don’t normally associate with an East coast Canadian folk lady.
After she left the stage, I decided to take a seat on the floor in front of the stage. It was roughly the same seat I had had for the Spider-Man 3 premier: dead center of the front row, craning my neck up. When Edwards came on, though, before she even began to play, she told everyone this was a standing-friendly show.
I found out later that the Regina Folk Festival, who were running this as part of their concert series, had set a few chairs off to the side but that all the fine folks who showed up right when the doors opened filled those up and then started pulling chairs out and setting them up themselves. I heard they were even grabbing them from the Club, if what I heard is to be believed.
First, it’s awesome that they were there and ready to go. I love the fact that the RFF Concert Series can run on time and I can get to bed at a reasonable hour. But it was a busy show, and Edwards solo-prone touring band isn’t necessarily sit-down music, so I don’t blame Edwards for giving folks like me the go-ahead to stand in front of the chair dwellers.
Edwards seemed thrown off by a technical difficulty with her monitors. I guess for a lot of the show, she couldn’t properly hear her vocals. From the crowd, you couldn’t tell. She’s a fantastic vocalist and a wonderful performer. Songs that are great on record — like from her latest, Voyageur — are incredible live. I easily could’ve watched her for another hour, to the point where I would be going to tonight’s show if it weren’t for the first of the U.S. presidential debates.
I’m not going to get in specific moments because it would feel a bit like a spoiler. Needless to say, if you’re sitting around on the night of Wednesday, October 3 with nothing else going on, see if tickets are still available. Last I heard, they had a tiny number on hand.