front row

Written by travisr on September 24th, 2015

I like k.d. lang.  Enough to notice that I wanted to get to see Balletlujah.  Enough maybe even to remember her on The Muppets growing up.

I saw k.d. live in Summer 2006, discovering the world.  So naturally, I thought about that a bit.  It was a big summer.  A Montreal summer.  So as I sat in one of Alberta’s two Jubilee’s I thought about the Olympic O.  And all of that.  There was a moment before k.d. sang then when people stomped their feet to stop a Member of Parliament from speaking, and I had never experienced anything like that before.  Ever.

But, what I didn’t know ballet or music could do, the song before the final song (spoiler: Hallelujah), was really bring me back in time.

k.d. lang’s cover of Jane Siberry’s “Love is Everything” put me in 2004–not so long before 2006.  Smack dab in the middle of it.  Pretty instantly.   In winter.  Freezing cold winter.  Hymns of the 49th Parallel was out and I wouldn’t have discovered it on my own.  Listening to the song and the narrative of the ballet, I was on Whyte Ave in the freezing cold winter, hearing all the rest of it, in the Grand Am that didn’t always start, and at the legislature skating, and smelling Thierry Mugler pear green cologne no idea at all Calgary life lie ahead.  Behind on everything.  Serving tables, and that’s actually probably why.  Trying mussels.   A favourite zip up sweater.

And she was there in the audience watching, too.  Probably not thinking about Montreal.  Or Radio-Canada.  Or breaking up or mussels. Well.  Actually she probably was a bit, the breaking up part, that theme was pretty prevalent.

But interesting to grieve a bit and give gratitude a bit for what was and what wasn’t in an art form mostly unfamiliar to me alongside ms. lang.  With that unfamiliar, some unexpected.  So I’m glad.


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