Wednesday, June 20, 2007

True Colors Recap

Last night was a very unique and uplifting experience, and I don't think I'm ever going to forget it. Speaking of course about the "True Colors Tour" (to benefit the Human Rights Campaign --and Toronto Pride as it turns out.) I've never been to an event (other than Pride) where all the gay folk outnumbered everyone else so blatantly and it was wonderfully liberating to just "be" there. It was an opportunity for friends, and couples and loved-ones in general to relax and be themselves.
Openly-expressed affection was absolutely everywhere and over the course of the evening you couldn't help but feel overwhelmed with gratitude to the organizers... and just downright proud to be a Canadian. We (gay folk) really do have a lot to be thankful for, living where we can be acknowledged for who we are, have same-sex work benefits, insurance policies and the like and the right to be married. Even in the US, (where everything is supposed to be life, liberty and apple pie) they don't enjoy the same liberties and freedoms that we do. And admittedly, sometimes we take that for granted. Last night was a huge reminder.

Now, on the downside... I largely didn't enjoy the music. Granted, we arrived late and near the end of The Dresdon Dolls (I may have misspelled that) set. They were OK. Very artistic, but not very melodic material. Certainly not boring. The entire evening was plagued with sound-system issues and I think the chick from the dolls was a little new to the whole "performing live" mic technique, so most of her vocals were distorted and more than a little unintelligible.

Deborah Harry... ehhhh heh heh... ssssss... let's just say she still sings well. I've never been a fan, not even of Blondie... and quite honestly Deborah Harry's "tired, truck-stop hooker with a hangover" image as a gay icon just mystifies me. But oh well. Good for her. She's there for a good cause, and you have to give her kudos for that. Even if you wished someone off-stage would tell her.... "Uhh, y'know what? You really don't have to move if you don't want to. It won't take anything away from your art." (with reference to her... umm.... dancing??? strutting??? about the stage) I told my boss that she was a bit "sad", to which she replied "Yeah she kind of has that "old whore that's been ridden-hard and put-away wet" look to her." Even now that makes me laugh.

Erasure... I don't get it. I understand they're pioneers. One of, if not the first openly gay pop bands. But the lead-singer dude... god-awful. Again, I was never a fan of Erasure, and I was surprised to learn that I had actually heard a good 3 or 4 songs before in my life. They're lyrics were good. I'll give them that. I also thought it was cool that their entire ensemble (band) consisted of 3 back-up singers and a guy with a MacBook. Too bad the lead singer sounds like Robert Smith (from The Cure) being forced through a juicer by some sharp object. Harsh, yeah. I know. I did enjoy how much the crowd enjoyed them though. The crowd WENT NUTS for Erasure. So Hey... it's all good. I wasn't harmed by it. Just had to derive pleasure from watching everyone else have such a good time.

Cyndi Lauper, was truly wonderful. She opened her show with "I've Got a Hole in My Heart That Goes All the Way to China". lol It was great. This was my first time ever seeing her live and she was just as sweet, and wacky, and down-to-earth as I ever imagined her to be. She was down running around in the audience and shaking hands with the fans. The whole tour was her baby and her vision. And for that, I'm just in awe of what a wonderful lady she is. She played quite a few new songs from her upcoming album, and a few of the classics ("Time After Time", "Money Changes Everything", "I Drove All Night", "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun", and "She Bop" one of my personal favs.) I loved that she covered a Prince song... ("When U Were Mine") cool is that? And she had just the right energy. Again, sound problems were a real issue. There was one point where she was talking to the crowd and introducing a song and there was no sound whatsoever until midway through the song. God only knows what she was saying. I regret not being able to hear. While Cyndi was on-stage the crowd was in a state of perpetual movement whether to the ballads or the up-tempo stuff. One big party. And overall a very emotionally moving evening. For her finale, the entire ensemble of acts from the evening came out on stage to perform "Take a Chance on Me" by ABBA, with giant multi-coloured balloons being launched into the audience. And then the show closed with everyone, (audience included) singing "True Colors". An opportunity for much hugging and swaying... and feeling the freedom to be whole, and safe from the negativity that all gay people endure at one point or another. It was gratifying, and nurturing.

Oh... and before I run... Margaret Cho... HYSTERICAL. She was the epitome of funny. I especially enjoyed the "Yo Puss" rap. I'm going to look for it online, and post it if I can.

Sorry Shawn; no pics. But I did send Cyndi some major Kitty-Luv-Energy!


Misster Kitty said...

Now THAT was a reivew! I actually feel, in some sort of lame-o way that I was there... just from reading this. And knowing that Mz Lauper got her some Misster-Kitty love-vibes.

I certainly won't admit to loving old Erasure, lest I incur some wrathful comments Heh. I wish I coulda seen them too.

Not having been to THAT many concerts in time, but then again enough, I don't actually expect to expperience great sound anymore. It's more the overal experience... Case in point, Scissor Sisters back in March. The concert was Fab because... The Crowd was fab. The band were fab and hilariously funny and totally entertaining, but the sound just sucked.

Glad to hear you guys had a great time... I'll try and not be jealous for too long... Green is not one of my better summer colours.

John said...

Don't be afraid of wrathful comments from be based on personal preferences. I think everybody should take joy in what they enjoy and nevermind what anyone else thinks. It's alright in my book to enjoy any music as long as it speaks to you or moves you. : D

I think you would've enjoyed the show and the experience. I feel silly for saying it, but it truly was a benchmark in public freedom for gay folk. Like a moment in history.
(that sounds so dramatic, but honestly... yeah... that's what it was like.)

Misster Kitty said...

I know what you mean. We were at the Opening and Closing of the Out Games last year, along with many of the events. It was spine-tingling at the opening. It was affirming and a REAL source of pride! The stadium was not completely full, but it was nearly there. And everywhere you looked... Gays and Lesbians and TG and drag queens and even a few straight people! (eek!) ... you name it. It was such a moment. I get goosebumps still thinking about it. Actually my Profile Pic for my Blog was from the Opening Games. The picture is actually un-altered - the big O was, for a few moments flooded with Blue and Pink lights, it was FAB-U.

Yea I'd love to have been at the concert. I really should have planned on being there. I spank myself for not... (ok so then it's not a complete loss. heh)

Even tho me and Didier live in the village and are surrounded in a gay-positive/friendly environment, NOTHING can top the feeling last year during the games / pride. It was over the top. It was as if the whole city was the Gay Village, with only the odd 'straight village' here and there. I was working at Alamo Rent A Car last year during the games (shut up! I know!) but it was not all bad... I met the whole German Men's synchro team, a couple of em hotties. Met two fantabulous journalists from Australia - a lesbian couple, one was aboriginal. They actually came back for a 2nd rental cause they loved just hanging in the office chatting with me and my co-worker. There were competitors coming in from all over the globe renting cars for weekend jaunts to Toronto, the States, Quebec City. They all wore their passes so you knew right away when they came in that they were family... but then some didn't really need the tags! HA!

I remember when we headed back to the village after the Opening. The Metro was a total mad scene... well not mad.. more like fab! I've never been in one of the Metro cars, that was so over-packed with people before or since. But you know what... it was SO MUCH FUN! There were competitors, and spectators and the odd poor unsuspecting heterosexual hehehe. English, French, Germans, Japanese, Mexicans, Spanish, South Africans, Australians... you name it. Men, Women, Drag Kings and Queens. Black, White, Yellow... It was such a mix of everything. And people were just talking to everyone like they knew them forever. We were all on SUCH a high. Jocking, laughing, sometimes pinching and touching HEH! It was 5 stops to the Village and it was the most enjoyable Gay Sardine experience of y life.

Wish we had more of these moments, but I'll cheresh everyone we get.