We turned on to Water Street. A row of houses greeted my father and I. Confusion set in. There’s a concert here? Where’s 2A? We found it. A normal house with grass and siding and the normal damage of a St. Cathrines legacy. The 20somethings in ratted t-shirts, skinny jeans and ironic glasses gave it away. 2A was a basement apartment made into a venue.
My dad knew the bands. My sister’s former robotics team had deep roots in the Niagara indie scene. They greeted him with handshakes and hellos. I stood aside. I missed a lot during my married days. I was a fish in outer space, my 53 year old father having more rapport with them than I.
Its my constant flaw that I close down in new crowds. Its a reflex. Its hindered my approaching. I usually have to down a few to break it. After the approach stage is over, I’m solid. The ego and the humor and the caveman take control. Getting a number is not the problem, taking that first step is.
The band we came to see, The Dirty Nil, played first. They harken back to early punk with melody and experiments mixed in. They are rock. They have stage presence, blowing the other two bands out of the water with their wildness. By the end of the short set, the frontman in his trademark red, white and blue dress shirt, was soaked in sweat, sore and had a smile larger than any other. Every moment on that stage was his and he made it memorable for all.
I’ve taken up the guitar after years of lame excuses and self-doubt. After just three weeks of practice using Rocksmith, I’m gaining a lot of skill. I started horribly. Barely able to land my fingers on single notes. Yesterday, before the concert, I breezed through my 20th play of a Black Keys song. Granted, the skill level is still low, but fuck if it ain’t cool as hell to play music.
Like approaching, I push through the tough parts. My fingers slip, my hand cramps and I pick the wrong string. Yet, I get music out and I keep at it. My hand is still not dexterious enough for many chords. But, eventually, I’ll be ready to create my own. Pair it with my writing skill. Make some art. And, enjoy every moment I rock out in my parents basement to the sounds of my personal progression.