As we approach our very first show with two new band members in the live line-up, some memories brought me back when i was myself one of the ''new boys'' in the live re-incarnation of the band, back in 2008. Just to be offered to join the band was a big thing for me, even if Mystery was indeed a complete mystery to me. I knew Michel from a common friend, as he was playing with a rush tribute with two friends of mine. As for the other musicians, Benoit Dupuis was the only one i've never heard of. The idea of playing with the drum monster steve gagné who i only knew from reputation as a session player with many of quebec's big name in showbusiness, dean baldwin who i already played with in a previous short lived cover band, and benoit david who i saw with his yes tribute only months before, it was more than enough to get definitely excited about this new gig....but i had to pick up my jaw on the floor when michel, at our first meeting, told me he had plans to get mystery back on stage for the first time in many years with a performance at the bell center in Montreal, as the opening act for ''The Musical Box''(!!) I just coul'nt believe it, doing the bell center, temple of one of the most prestigious hockey team ever, as opening act for one of this monster tribute band (and genesis being my all time favourite band). i thought ''thats it, If it has to stop after that, i'm all happy!''. This was crazy, beyond all my wildest dreams.
Usually i'm a bit nervous a day or two before a big show. No need to say i was much, much more nervous than usual just minutes before going up on stage. And the guys from TMB were equally nervous: on that specific night, after the successful recreations of the original's ''foxtrot'', ''selling england'' and ''lamb'' tours, they were doing the very first of a (hopefully back then) long series of a new show: the 1976's ''trick of the tail'' tour. Anyone had seen them knows what to expect; same light effects and lasers, slides,...two drums, ''bruford's'' tama and ''collins'' premier kit were both identical except for the cymbal stands, two sets of moog taurus on stage (one was a pk5 controller with a fake moog casing), all same amps, all same keyboards minus a 88 note midi controller and a bunch of foot triggers for some odd background keyboard parts (totally legit cheating if you ask me), ..as a genesis freak, walking around, lurking around, take pictures and capture this surreal moment that could happen only once in my lifetime, was almost as exhilarating as doing the show itself. That day the long haired bearded fat guy was in prog heaven!
Despite the absence of a real soundcheck, we had a better sound than the musical box, as i recall being told. The set was short, 25 minutes, it went faster than the speed of light in my memories. I could'nt hear anything from the band but the drums, and the minute i moved a feet away from my monitor, i could'nt even hear myself at all....very strange. But no need to say, i had a blast, and the audience, expected to be more interested in old progressive relics than the neo-prog flavour of our set, seemed to enjoyed the show very much. And as soon as it was over, i left the stage with my equipment and rushed to my seat to see TMB's performance. Their show needed some improvement, but it was still magnificient, every detail was there, and the laser's in los endos and supper's ready were stunning..its an old effect, but still impressive even by today's standards. In all it was a great evening, and even with all we ever did since, that one will always remain as 'the special one' in my heart. ''Listen to this, Frank! This is you on stage at the bell center, you f---ing made it, dude!''....believe it or not, i still have that answering machine recording from one of my friends on his cell phone, you can hear snippets of what 'i think' is ''the preacher's fall'', somewhere in the highly distorted background....
A few words about a more heavy subject. Earlier this week, the sad news spreaded and we all reacted in shock, We lost the great Robin Williams, one of my favourite actor's ever. Who could ever forget his incredible performances in mrs. Doubtfire, dead poet society, and that moment, first time i heard of him, screaming ''gooooood morning vietnaaaammmm''..
William's death will be used as a major wake up call, and yet again it shows that no amount of money or fame can fix someone with severe depression....
...Then it reminded me of one of my uncle's who died of a suicide, and also an old friend of mine - i know it sounds weird but i just recently discovered she also committed suicide, 20 years ago- I don't wanna go too deep in this but my point here is, we all see lots of desperate people around us without realizing it, and then it happens to someone we know, we feel powerless...all i really need to say here is, if you or anybody you know need help, there is absolutely no need to be alone, there is help out there! Oh and by the way, to those who said that suicide is a selfish act, (including this guy from fox news who said williams was a coward), all i wanna say is, just quit your day job and put to benefit your amazing talents of reading into desperate people's mind! There, i said it, sorry if it offended anyone...
...RIP mr. Williams!
On a much lighter note, tomorrow (or tonight, because i do post this column quite late on thurday's usually), its the big night for mystery, another chapter begins. Excited about it would be an understatement! See you there!!
...and that is all for this week, thank for reading!
for those about to prog, me salute you