I watched a good chunk of the Junos last night. I'm going to break my review down into four easily digestible parts: The Crud, The Butt, The Hip and The Rest.
The Crud - This was the show that was supposed to have been opened by Neil Young. I had been quite looking forward to seeing and hearing the godfather of grunge but a recent health setback made this an impossibility. Instead, the Junos were opened by a steaming pile of crapola called Simple Plan.
Way back in August 2003 I called this band out for playing wanna-be-punk and for being nauseatingly mediocre. It remains some kind of safe pop-rock completely void of any soul or integrity. Yuck.
The Butt - I've got nothing against Brent Butt, but if he's Canada's answer to Jerry Seinfeld we're in some serious trouble. Isn't Canada the home of great comedy? We spawn so many hilarious people but I don't think Butt is one of them. I tried to laugh but he wasn't the least bit funny. He made me miss Shania Twain and those hockey outfits from years past.
The Hip - To borrow a line from The Tragically Hip's "Long Time Running", it's been a long time coming but it's well worth the wait. The Hip got some well deserved appreciation last night as we saw tributes from The Great One, the Prime Minister, Geddy Lee and other great Canadians. I liked Rick Mercer's line about the fact there are two Gords in the band, proof of their pure Canadiana. I'm also glad they included a snippet of their live performance of "At The Hundredth Meridian" because that sped up version is the absolute coolest.
The Hip played two of their hits going back to "Fully Completely" off the album of the same name and "Grace, Too" from Day For Night. They were both typically high energy performances that made me realize it's been over four months since I last saw them live and I'm itching to see them again. I'm hoping for a date at the Amp around Canada Day so I can secure a sweet spot on the lawn and get lost in the groove.
The Rest - I thought the performances were pretty darn good. Billy Talent had a big night and rocked the house as always, k-os was his consistent self, Fiest was surprisingly good and KD Lang paid awesome tribute to Neil. KD Lang sounded great and looked...ummm...happy. Good for her.
We've got some cool music coming out of this country. Bands like The Arcade Fire, Hot Hot Heat, Metric, Broken Social Scene and The Dears weren't under the spotlight yesterday but are a big part of this current happening. Enjoy it.