This year, live music took on a whole new life for me. Well actually, it provided a whole new life for me.
When I moved to Peterborough just over a year ago, I could never have anticipated how quickly and significantly my life would change. Live music has not only been my refuge but also my connection to this community. There is an abundance of live music and phenomenal local musicians in town and I’ve lost count of how many shows I have attended. I’ve also had the true joy of bringing my kids to matinee shows and outdoor festivals. They read their books or draw pictures while letting the notes wash over them. They recognize local celebrities on the streets and I catch them humming their favourite songs during quiet moments. This energy. This love. I can’t get enough. And thankfully I don’t have to.
Live music in ptbo feels like soul-nurturing jasmine tea over-flowing my chipped but unbreakable cup (with a shot of whiskey thrown in for good measure).
I’ve watched bands whom I’ve adored for years and stumbled upon new and instant favourites. I’ve watched them perform in small intimate spaces in a haze of love. And I’ve watched them under the warmth of the sun and the glow of the twilights while wearing flowers as crowns and arms as scarves. In these moments when I’m surrounded by people sharing the same love for the music that consumes us, I feel a true sense of belonging (finally!).
Quite often I attend shows without any previous knowledge of the artist. Sometimes I head out with peeps and other times I venture out on my own. Discovering new favourites while meeting new friends is glorious memory-making material. But then again, I’m a sucker for surprise adventures.
When I was in high school, my best friends blindfolded me and drove me to London to watch my favourite local band, Myth of Innocence. They only took the blindfold off once so that I could pee on the side of the road. (oh, country living how I miss you.)
This year was like that, only minus the peeing. It was that feeling of not having any idea where I’m going but having complete faith that whatever is on the other side of this ride is going to be so incredibly rad. With lots of warm belly laughs and the most love-filled people along the way.
As a Christmas present to myself (and you!), I’ve created a playlist of some of my 2016 highlights. Although it is not exhaustive, every single song holds a distinct moment of joy. Each artist brings a smile. All venues provided the most deserving ambience.
I encourage you to listen over and over and over to these songs and to spend some heart-to-heart time with each artist. I wish for you the same warm feelings each note brings to me. You’ll have to create your own memories for mine are sacred. But who knows, maybe we’ll create a memory or two together in 2017.
(in no particular order)
Corin Raymond, spotted at Gilmour Street Music Hall (Rob & Annie’s living room!)
- Hot June Night