I usually have a difficult time picking a “favorite” of any one thing. Taste in something is so hard to predict and depends so much on mood that whenever I try to choose a favorite, that particular thing is dismissed immediately and replace with five other things in quick succession before I give up. That being said, Great Big Sea is and has for a while, been my favorite band.
The last (and first) time I saw them in concert was two summers ago when my friend and I took a road trip and followed them up the west coast, crazy roadie style…
(…without all the crazy roadie stuff of course.)
It was such a blast and they are as good live as you dream your favorite band will be. Their banter and stories were funny, their four part harmonies brought more than one tear to my eye and their upbeat, feel-good Canadian tunes brought us dancing to our feet. As soon the last concert was over, I was looking forward to the day I would get to see them in concert again.
That day had finally come and in my own fair city, none the less!
They played at the Fillmore, one of my favorite venues in San Francisco. It is just the right size, small enough to make the concert feel more intimate and lets you actually get a chance to see the band. I’d been there once before, as a high schooler to see Flogging Molly. That particular concert sticks out in my memory as it was the first time my sister and I ever crowd surfed, expressly against the wishes of our mother which just so happened to make it that much more fun.
My sister was visiting from Virginia so we were able to relive our misguided youths together. Reminiscing and dancing with her was such a treat. She didn’t know their music but we each had a beer in our hands so the rest didn’t really matter. She thought some of their songs were a little hokey to which I asked what she expected from a band that sings traditional sea shanties and songs about dead horses and hockey. She said touche to that and we danced some more.
They also played one of my favorite songs and one I had never heard them sing live: The River Driver. (Which I talk about a bit in this post.)
Thanks for coming to San Francisco, boys. Happy twenty years together and here’s to another twenty!