Notes from the Road - Maia Davies Entry #3
By Maia Davies, Ladies of the Canyon on Jul 22, 2011
Notes from the Road is Music Canada’s artist tour diary. Canadian
artists on tour around the world will share their stories of fans, gigs
and the “good, bad and the ugly” of touring!
Montreal is a Showbiz City
Thursday July 21st in Montreal. My band is casually recording demos for an upcoming record, which for me means lots of time to enjoy my beautiful hometown.
Last night I attended the Cirque du Soleil's new "Totem" show in the stunning setting of Old Montreal, with its beautifully lit 19th century architecture, cobbled streets by the water and flower gardens. A couple of thousand fellow citizens and tourists gathered for what would prove to be a world-class spectacle, an otherworldly entertainment feat that pretty much blows any other show's production value out of the water. And drew an audience that loves it, buys it, feeds it. There is a showbiz buzz in this town (mainly the French-Canadian side of it I have noticed) that values and supports an old-school philosophy of the art of the show. You see it with Spectra's Montreal Jazz Fest programming, in the Place des Arts' stunning attention to sound quality, in high budget television variety shows' commitment to entertain. Though, yes, it can border on cheesy at times, there is no denying the flawless attention Montreal's professional artistic entertainment industry pays to maintaining real-deal SHOWBIZ. I'm not sure if I'm alone in this observation, but I feel this glitzy notion is just not nearly as present in the live entertainment world elsewhere in Canada. Why get into this racket if you're not going to go all out? Where are the high standards of stage equipment and sound in every small theatre, the professional and passionate lighting tech, the consideration for artist care, the dedication to the mighty suspension of disbelief, the audience member who is riveted and bursting to throw his elation right back at the stage. My romanticized view of 1940's New York has this standard, so does the Las Vegas of the Rat Pack. I love that this is the reality of much of the industry in this amazing town, that the dream lives on, and most of all, that I get to be a part of it. What a joy to see people believe.