Thursday, September 03, 2009

PNE and Doc Walker Concert

Sunday, August 27th Meredith and I met up after church and headed into Vancouver for a day at the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE). Finding parking was a nightmare (as it usually is) and we ended up parking in the middle of Hastings Race Course.

Our first order of business once we got into the fair grounds was finding food. We surveyed the various international delights and finally settled on poutine for me and yam fries for her...and we split a deep fried mars bar for dessert. Mmmm love fair food!

There were two main attractions that I specifically wanted to see. The nightly concert (which I'll talk about later) and a stage show called "Celtic Legends" described as "Not your average Irish Dance Show, Celtic Legends combines the vigorous steps of Irish Dance with the traditional sounds of Irish folk music for a truly breathtaking performance." I don't know if "breathtaking" necessarily applies since Mere and I both saw Riverdance live when it was in Vancouver but this show was the same concept, although with less dancing. It was only 30 minutes long but that was enough. The music and dancing were both beautiful but they show itself didn't hold your attention very well.
No matter, there was lots of other stuff to see. We went through the "Home Depot Showcase" where they were displaying all manner of home improvement innovations as well as a "Hand Crafted Artisan Studio Furniture Exhibit – by Eastside Culture Crawl". The picture is turned but hopefully you can see some of the unique pieces that were displayed. My favourite was the "Bad Table"

We toured the "Marketplace" were all the "As Seen on TV" people were hocking their wares. We viewed the "container art" and sand sculptures (more pictures on Facebook if you want to see them, and more details here.

We indulged in mini donuts...well, Mere did. I just took pictures :)

In the "Safeway Farm Country" we arrived just as a calf was being born. We missed seeing it actually drop because the crowd was too thick but we saw it just after. Later in the evening we went back to check on it and I took this picture the.
I noticed the reflection of the ferris wheel on Mere's sun glasses so I made her stop so I could take a picture. If that doesn't say "summer" I don't know what does :)

Around 7 we found some dinner ("Texas Taters" and smoked beef on a bun) and settled in for the Doc Walker concert. We sat up on the bleachers because Mere didn't want to stand for the whole concert. I only lasted for a handful of songs before I left and joined the crowd in front of the stage. The sound from the bleachers was fine but it's so much better to be closer to the band.

This is the third time I've seen Doc Walker in concert but the fourth time I've seen them. The fourth being at the Basics for Babies breakfast a few years ago. They only did three songs there though so it wasn't really a concert. I did have tickets to see them the following April but the concert was cancelled so I missed out.

Because it's been awhile, I was super excited to see them. They did all their singles including:
Forgive Me for Giving a Damn (by request)
Coming Home
Rocket Girl
That Train
She Hasn't Always Been This Way
Get Up
North Dakota Boy
Trying to Get Back to You
Driving with the Brakes On
Beautiful Life
Dave Wasyliw (left) also performed a song that he wrote called "Barbershop". It's not on any of their cd's but I've heard people talk about it on the message board for years so I was excited to finally hear it. I'm happy to report that I love it.

Dave, the lead singer Chris Thornstein and guitarist Murray Pulver are the main members of the band. In all the times I've seen them, they've always had a different bass guitarist and drummer.

Their current bassist is Brent Pearson and the drummer is Steve Broadhurst. Steve he did a fantastic medly of songs including Kiss's "I Was Made for Loving You" and "Staying Alive", the later complete with crazy falsetto. It's hard to describe a country band covering those songs but it totally worked and the crowd ate it up. So fun.

Murray covered some songs during the encore but I was heading back to meet with Mere at that point so I didn't pay attention to what he was singing.

After the concert we had some time to kill before the final show of the night so we got carmel apples and visited the baby calves.

The last show was "KABOOM! A Pyro Musical Spectacular"

A giant countdown celebration to the PNE’s 100th anniversary in 2010, KABOOM! gets the party started. With innovative projection and state-of-the-art lighting, get ready to embark on a high tech trip through one hundred years of PNE History. From the 1910 Grand Opening to the crazy days of Elvis Presley and The Beatles to the grooves of disco, this pyro musical spectacular will transport you through the sights, sounds and music of the past century.

This picture was a "Jail House Rock" number. Note the dancers on the poles...

So, that's another Fair in the books and another amazing concert...and another blog entry that took four days to write and ended up with sideways pictures :P

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