Monday, March 20, 2006


On Thursday, I left the Moncton train station. I had a cabin, which was well worth paying for. It was a 14+-hour trip to Montreal, and I would have been crippled had I been travelling in a regular seat.

On Friday, my train arrived in Montreal at 8am. I had a 90-minute stopover (where I had a great conversation with a ViaRail employee named Carl, who taught me what a nid-de-poule is).

I arrived in Ottawa at about 11:45, where I met my sister. It was great to see her after three months back in Charlottetown. I was fairly sleep-deprived after my restless night in the little train berth, but still, Marilyn and I hung out and ate.

At 7pm(ish), my cousin Kris picked Marilyn and I up to drive out to the former Corel Centre, now the Scotiabank Centre (rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?) to see our Coldplay concert.

I know some might be saying, hey, Catherine, how do you justify travelling to Ontario for a concert when you’re constantly complaining about being jobless and penniless? I say, call me Miss Sweet. Then I say, I dunno. Having no money, not doing anything and not going anywhere for months on end is fairly oppressive, so digging into the line of credit for a little therapeutic trip is worth it.

Back to reality (oop, there goes gravity?): Kristina, her friend Jen(n?), Marilyn and I all agreed that Coldplay wasn’t our favourite band, but we didn’t change the radio station when they came on and we weren’t sick of their music. That was our gauge. I think only Kris and I have CDs of theirs, and I only have one. We also agreed that Chris Martin was cute and it how it be a mixed blessing to be an unrecognized Other Member of the band.

Kris and Jen(n) went off to their seats, which were separate from Marilyn’s and mine. We were almost as far from the stage as we could get, which actually wasn’t that bad because we were almost at a 90 degree angle with the stage, so we could see the whole thing.

The opening act was on when Marilyn and I entered, and a couple of songs in, I realized I recognized the music. I told Marilyn that I had heard this guy on, and then I said, yeah, I think it’s that guy who went solo after his band had a huge hit that I didn’t particularly like. You know, that symphony song. Ugh, what’s it called. And then his last song was “Bittersweet Symphony” and it was Richard Ashcroft from The Verve. Well, I still don’t really like that song, but his set was great. There were moments where he sorta sounded like a more rock ‘n’ roll version of Van Morrison. Is his stuff played here on commercial radio? It was good, anyway.

More than half and hour after Ashcroft finished, Coldplay finally came out. In the interim, about 5 joints were passed around us, and the middle-aged couple next to me seemed increasingly agitated. I liked the man, though, despite his armrest-hogging. There were some high teeny-boppers behind us screaming like banshees and the man and I exchanged a look, as if to agree that they should all be sterilized.

Coldplay was great. Martin was a little melodramatic, falling to his knees and bending backwards while singing (actually vocally impressive), and stalking around the stage like he’s the chick in Duran Duran’s “Rio” video. Yeah, that’s right – I just referenced Duran Duran. Deal.

I recognized a lot more of their music than I thought I would, and did enjoy the whole show. At the Brit Awards, they announced that this would be their last tour for a while, and they’re taking a couple of years off. I don’t know why I was surprised that I liked the show so much. I guess I just didn’t expect it to be so good.


Holly said...

Against my better instincts, I will not leave a snide comment about Coldplay.

But I will tell you not to talk to strange men in ViaRail stations, especially named Carl.

And John invites you to see Maiden with him in Toronto this summer. I will also refrain from snide comments about that.

(Spring has arrived, and I find I am more polite today than usual.)

Anonymous said...

I am surpised that someone named Carl would know what a nid-de-poule is. Unless of course his name is actually pronounced Carl (the difference is subtle, I know, but the latter Carl is pronounced with a French accent). By the way, how did you end up talking about nids-de-poule anyhow?

Anyhow, I agree with Holly: stop talking to strangers! Especially strangers in Ontario.


Catherine said...

Holls: I don't know why you'd have any snide comments about Coldplay. Why should they even register on your snark radar?

And Maiden? As in Iron Maiden? (Am I missing umlauts?) Bless him, but I don't know that band at all. Besides, I would be eaten alive. I'd be standing there looking like I took a wrong turn on my way to the Osmonds concert.

Jacks: I was reading a Metro newspaper there, and I came accross an article moaning about les nids-de-poule. I kinda gleaned from the context what they were, but I was curious, so I asked. No harm in asking. Oh, and yeah, it WAS pronounced Carl.

Holls and Jacks: Talking to strangers is always awesome all the time. It rarely goes wrong for me. I've learned my lesson, I will admit, about talking to strangers who are also hobos. Mike always thought I would be stolen when I spoke to strangers in London, and ditto for Turkey. In London, I spoke with a guy that went to school with Amanda Gallant. How cool! That's something I never would have experienced if I wasn't so goddamn friendly, you motherfuckers. I just don't live in a xenophobic bubble, that's all.

And he wasn't a stranger! He was a ViaRail employee! I made that clear!

Holly said...

So I guess since he worked for Via and you have Via baggage, that made you family, huh?

And, frankly, I would have thought that Hamilton would have cured you of talking to strangers.

You can't always tell who's a hobo. And, to tell the truth, I'd take an honest hobo any day over some of the people wearing suits in this province.

Holly said...

And it has just sunk in that you called us motherf*ckers.

Screw you.

The Osmonds would have you burnt at the stake for that kind of language - they may be a little bit country, but you are a little bit bitchy.

Catherine said...

I only swear at those I love. Ask my Mum, it's true. Don't worry. I wouldn't swear at any hobos or businessmen. (That's mostly because those people could potentially give me a job and/or shiv me.)

Krista Sparkles said...

I thought that RIchard Ashcroft had a few moments where he sounded exactly like Neil Diamond.

Glad you liked the show.

Terry said...

My Darling,

I loved your accounts of the concert. Tonight was the Andy Jones: To the Wall performance at the Centre. There were scarcely 150 peeps in seats...and one guy on stage. Hello! Recipe for disaster. Actually it was OK.

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Miss you bunches,