Friday, December 04, 2009

Singing with the Hidden Cameras

I was working at Sellution in 2003 when I first heard The Hidden Cameras. It was pretty much the perfect job because I got to rearrange furniture and listen to the CBC all day. It's rare that a band wins me over the first time I hear them, but that's what happened when Definitely not the Opera played the song Boys of Melody (you can listen to it - and others - here).

The first time I saw the Hidden Cameras perform was shortly after I heard them on the radio. I brought Ananda, and we danced around and cheered so loudly that I think we confused the band. The second time Joel Gibb, the lead singer, was in a bad mood, but it was still fun. I still regret not buying a "Music is my boyfriend" t-shirt.

The third time was a couple of weeks ago. It's notable because I watched the concert FROM THE STAGE. I was in the "choir" thanks to an invitation from my friend Galen, who knows one of the fellows touring with the band. The Hidden Cameras invite locals to take part in their shows on occasion, and Victoria was a chosen city this time around.

Meeting Joel and practicing before the show were the best parts of the experience. I could actually hear myself sing, and I think I held my own (even though I may have been the only choir member who isn't in another band).

The actual show was a bizarre experience.

Two minutes before we went on stage, we found out that we had to put on golden ghost costumes.

As soon as Michael saw us come on stage, he knew that I was probably freaking out. I don't like wearing masks and I don't like being around people wearing masks (one of the reasons why I'm conflicted about Halloween). I couldn't recognize any of my fellow choir members, and it was actually difficult to see where we were walking. All of us were a little confused - about when we were supposed to be on stage, about whether we could remember the 10 songs that we were supposed to sing, about where we were supposed to stand, about whether anyone could hear us since we could barely hear ourselves. It was a bit of a mess, but I relaxed after the first song and tried to get into the costume.

Since I was so focused on remembering my parts, I didn't get to enjoy the show in the usual way. There were other benefits, of course. I loved singing with Galen and Kelby - I usually watch them perform in Elephant Island, so it was a treat to join them on stage. I also loved singing with the ladies of Gentleman Reg. They opened for The Hidden Cameras, and they joined us in the choir since they're familiar with the songs. They have such beautiful voices! They were angels in blond wigs who helped us remember our parts, and I love them for it.

We took off the ghost costumes eventually (they were hot, yo), so I have proof that I was on stage. In a v-neck sweater. Hey, I went to the show from work, so that's what you get.

Thanks for the invite Galen. I love this photo of you.


Jen said...

Erin! I DID buy a Music Is My Boyfriend shirt! I will have to see if I can find it! The neck was a little tight so I never wore it!

Way to sing in the choir, dude. Long post too!

Erin Riley said...

Jen! I think I knew you bought that t-shirt, even though we didn't know each other at the time. I wonder if you could work it into a sewing project somehow. A pillow, perhaps? I hate t-shirts with tight necks, almost as much as I hate masks.

Flex days are great for writing long blog posts!

galen said...

Nice post, Erin. That was a very fun and funny night. I agree that the rehearsal was more fun than the performance, although I do seem to be having a pretty good time in that photo.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm impressed! Good for you! You even overcame a fear to get the job done!

Sellution was great - I loved coming by to visit you, listen to CBC and look at furniture. I still have that nice teak tray.

Erin C.

Lydia said...

I had a Music is my Boyfriend T-shirt too! Why do I give things away so obsessively?! Anyway, thanks for reminding me of it.