Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Pat Robitaille and Everyone at the Albion (4/20)

As pointed out by every band of the night, it was the 4:20 afterparty at the Albion, which I'm sure Pat Robitaille was aware of and planned on, but it was also the final day of exams at the university which I doubt he'd prepared for. This lead to debauchery, dancing, and drunken drumming which may sound like fun, but were detrimental to the show.

The name of the openers eluded me all night, however I can get away with not reviewing them according to my general policy, since they played primarily cover songs with their mish-mash of members and hundred effect pedals (most of which weren't put to use). I can fill the gap with descriptions of the atrocious behaviour happening all around. From the onset the drunk couple who'd disgustingly been making out on a chair beside the merch table hit the dancefloor (yes just the two of them) with a full pint glass each, which was soon a half glass with most of the difference splashing its way to the floor. A few songs later the band asked headliner, Pat, to join them on stage and before he could even make it there, he was accosted by a man asking him if he could play the bongos, while a second drunk girl (dg2) removed his hat. Once he finally made it to stage and started playing he was joined by dg2 who decided she wanted pics with all her dg's and was going to take them from the stage. However dg1 thought she was just up there to dance and hopped up as well, still with the pint glass and lurched overtop the boards of expensive effect pedals. In the meantime her dance partner, the "accomplished" bongo-er, slipped onto the side stage and started pounding out some percussion that could have been for any song but the one being played. Sheesh!

I did catch the second artist - it was D.(iane) Archer and she played the keys and sang on a number of funky, rockin' songs. It wasn't horrible and got the dancefloor legitimately going, and not only due to the alcohol coursing through it. The full rendition (excessive) cover of Come Together and an old '80s song were a little much. To make up for that though the entertainment was provided by a third drunk girl. First she attempted to hijack another girl's man but forcing herself in front of him for a dance. Immediately upon being rebuffed she slid up on the guy beside him and was again shot down. Only a minute later she'd slithered back to the sound guy, and struck out for the third time in 5 mins when she reached for a dial and had her hand smacked away. You'd think that'd be enough rejection for any one person but instead she turned around to fiddle with none other than Pat Robitaille's scarf, while he did his best to avoid her for the rest of the night until his set began.

This setting did not lend itself to a Pat Robitaille show. Trying to cut through the din with his acoustic guitar, intricate loops, and guitar-slapping percussion proved nearly impossible as the beer continued to flow. Even excellent songs such as Found Blue Skies and No Superman were lost in the unwarranted frenzy on the floor. This in addition to the artists who kept appearing on the stage wanting to lend an instrument. It seemed like an open-door policy as people came up mid-song to pick up a guitar, or some drumsticks (the opening band members, semi-acceptable) but then the accomplished bongo guy started up again, this time with strikeout girl smacking the same bongo between beats. After the song Pat remarked that they must have been "playing along to the Weird Al Yankovic song in their heads." As well, some godforsaken audience member got a hold of the shaker and wouldn't let go all night. By the end of the extended Floyd number, fleshed out with much of the opening band, I had to call it a night - there were just too many distractions. A high crowd would have been putty in Pat's hands, but this intoxicated one overwhelmed and ruined the sound.


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  2. hey this is pat... as much as bad reviews suck, i gotta agree with this one. it was like trying to play a show while a firetruck tested its sirens 10 feet away. impossible! i hope you aren't discouraged from coming out to a show again. no more touring the week exams finish.

  3. Pat, I've seen what you can do so I won't hold this time against you..