Tori Stalking ’09 Day Two: Montreal 8/11/09

On the road at last! Vacation never feels like vacation until I’m actually leaving the damn city. Bright and early at nine, Suze, Michael and Carole loaded me into the red Focus of rock and off we went. We played a rousing game of Fuck/Marry/Kill with a lot of strange combos I encourage you to take a shot at:

1) Charles Manson, Marilyn Manson, Shirley Manson
2) Amy Winehouse, Sarah Palin, Kim Jong-Il
3) Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, George W Bush

We also allowed Michael to channel his inner half-demon and talk French to us. However, he cannot heal our hymens with his blood when he molesters us, and therefore he’s not as cool as Bill from True Blood. We also unanimously decided that Madonna should not have references to her booty in songs.

We took a detour to a regular stop for Suze and crew, The Big Apple, where insanely delicious pies are available, as well as a goat, llamas and evil wild rabbits (that were hiding, much to Carole’s sadness). They also make apple dumplings – nomm nomm nomm! I grabbed one of those and promptly went into blissful diabetic coma on just half of the delicacy. I think I have finally met my sugar match!

Our drive continued, and all I can say is it was pure madness of the wonderful and hilarious kind. We sang new lyrics to a song that migrated from “She can read, she can read, she can read – she’s black!” to “she can’t read – she’s black!” Suze and I fast became those assholes who sit side by side and tweet to each other. We had a hive mind moment and both tweeted about doing precisely that at the same time. Oh Twitter… To give you a taste, some of my fave tweets of the day:

• Bat For Lashes according to Carole: “She has the whole Kate Bush mystical thing – she sings about unicorns and shit.”
• Most common sentence from @batsuze: “I have to tweet this right now.” And I have to tweet that right now.
• Ahh rain! “Through the gales, our little Ford was tossed…”
• (In response to @AutomaticTLC daring me to boo Tori if she played Jamaica Inn) I could always blame it on a strange form of Tourette’s. @AutomaticTLC’s reply: That’s not very torilike. You must blame it on a demon elf that silently dwindled like bubbling water down the wrong pipe.
• I totally think @therealtoriamos needs to cover Sunglasses At Night. And she would own it!
• Quelle fromage! Je suis faim pour le poutine! (My French teacher would be ashamed). Follow-up: Pardonnez-Moi – J’ai faim pour le poutine! Voila! Je suis tres intelligente!
• Poutine! With bacon! “There I, there I go again/Clogging, clogging arteries…”
• “Rainy days, sweet sangria…” Follow-up: Apparently this is the tour where I am not seeing any shows sober.
• We just saw a business in Montreal with the logo CCUM. Hahahaha.

One of the other highlights of our drive time has been Suze’s GPS unit, Tom (who has a female voice). We’ve debated whether Tom is a man becoming a woman, a woman becoming a man, or a drag queen. Suze has also programmed Tom to say hilarious things in lieu of what it ought to say. For example, instead of announcing the location of gas stations, Tom says, “Syphillis”; when Tom passes hotels, he says, “Team consensual” (which, mispronounced by Tom, sounds like ‘Team con-sense-ual”). Our drive is now a mix of directions and “Carole is gay”, crunching noises and “Crap shits cock motherfucker vagina”, all delivered in cheery female tone.

Upon finally arriving in Montreal, we were soaked in the rain that suddenly started. We wandered around, eventually entering the Montreal gaybourhood, where the streets are blocked off for pedestrians only for the summer. National Bank has a massive hand in this, with pseudo-clotheslines with fake clothes announcing it’s “a great time to hang out”. The best part: a huge clothespin that looks like two people about to make out. We snagged poutine at a diner called Resto du Village, where I clogged my arteries with extra cheese curds and bacon. YUM! It should be illegal to visit Montreal and not consume poutine.

Afterwards, we all met up with Michael’s friend Jamie, who recently moved to Montreal and is an absolute sweetheart. We hit the Sky bar in the neighbourhood and ordered the most awesome thing ever as the sunny skies returned: a 4 litre pitcher of sangria for $31. It served 2 rounds each of 6 people! OMG. I must remember that place for future jaunts to Montreal.

I should probably get to the show, right? It was wonderful, absolutely rocking. As much as I enjoyed Toronto, in terms of variety, tempo and overall quality of song choice, Montreal definitely owned Toronto. Tori was very into her performance, dancing and shimmying her way through each song. Add in some great classics and rarities, and you have everything you need for an amazing time. A few song highlights:

Siren: I never tire of this song, and the new twist in this arrangement is delicious. I’m going to eclare this the best band version of Siren I’ve ever heard. Hot damn!

Little Amsterdam: Maybe it was the five pounds of chocolate Tori claimed she ate today, but this song was dripping with sex for this performance. For a song that has a very morbid undertone, it was very sensual. Incredible – best I’ve heard it.

Glory of the 80s: I LOVE this song so much, so I squealed out loud when it began. Tori was very playful during this song.

Honey: God, I love this song. It’s delicious with Jon on upright bass. So very glad Arman got his request, because he is a total sweetheart.

Beulah Land: One of my favourite b-sides and only the second time I’ve heard this live. It was bang on, and Tori’s vocals were immaculate.

Ophelia: I happen to enjoy this song a lot on the album, but stripped down solo, it’s breathtaking in its sad intensity.

Talula: I really hope Tori never again strays from this new arrangement. It’s very similar to the 2007 arrangement, which has a sassy, almost more upbeat vibe to it. It just makes me want to get up and groove.

Strong Black Vine: Compared to Toronto, Tori was channelling Demon Tori in Montreal, taking her ‘push like a motherfucker’ madness to new extremes. I think this with She’s Your Cocaine back to back would make me implode.

Police Me: I can’t say I care for this one live. The use of prerecorded Tori background loops annoys me, perhaps because it’s just not something she does. A shame since it could be very fun.

Caught a Lite Sneeze: I was really looking to hear this one live, and it did not disappoint.

Post-show, we made the drive from Montreal to Albany to begin our trek to New York City. It was mainly a trek of junk food, ‘kick me in the balls’, Suze’s new additions to Tom’s vocabulary (smegma) and a diversion to Schroon Lake, where a dance was invented in the honour of the Schroons. We then passed Bolton Landing, where Michael Bolton lives. Really. I also know that the reason his hair is so bald on top and long in back is because the Schroons style his hair for him. They nest on his bald spot. Finally collapsing into bed at the hotel at 4am, I was happy, uber-full and exhausted. Oh, tour. I missed you.

MONTREAL SETLIST

• Give
• Siren
• Cornflake Girl
• Little Amsterdam
• Space Dog
• Flavor
• Glory of the 80s
• Honey
• Virginia
• Welcome To England
Lizard Lounge
• Beulah Land
• Ophelia
(band returns)
• China
• Marys of the Sea
• Talula
• Precious Things
• Strong Black Vine
Encore
• Police Me
• Caught a Lite Sneeze
• Big Wheel

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