We arrived in Bala, after a brief but needed stop at Weber’s, at 7:30pm. There were a number of people milling about near the entrance tot he venue, but nothing like the “chaos” we had been led to believe we would see. The line-up was only about 30 people long, and moved quite quickly. The ticketless concert is a great idea and would be great to see it tried at larger venues.
This was my first Kee experience and I was surprised at the layout of the facility. It is a rectangle room with the stage along one of the long sides, not the short as one would expect. The stage is also about 6 feet high, ensuring that everyone has a good view, regardless of their height or position in the room. The room is lined by a balcony, but this space was reserved for VIPs (Lindros & Coffey, and a few other NHLers were up there).
The floor filled up slowly, and front row access was easy until about 8:45pm. The band took the stage around 9:20 and ripped into a blistering set punctuated by a back-to-back combo from Day For Night. The crowd, fueled by beer and fresh Muskoka air coming in off the lake and through the open windows, were into it from minute the band took the stage until the house lights and music were turned on after they left.
The encore, despite my thoughts to the contrary, seemed to sate most of the crowd. For me, and some in my group, it left us a little disappointed. (This band has set such a high standard for us, that unless a total rarity is played, we are not satisfied.)
The show rates an 84/100 for me. Great DFN combo, lots of animated behaviour from Gordie, and killer grooves from Gord/Johnny, complete with bass-in-the-air showmanship.
Lots of booze consumed, and we watched more than a few drunks get carried out. Post show there was a pretty good COPS-style take down, complete with pepper spray, (and some crying).
Post-show highlight of the night:
Girl walks up to police who have resisting-arrest drunk in cuffs and asks, “Is there anything I can do to help? I’ve got a place for him to stay.”
Cops: “So do we.”