I couldn’t believe it. Kim Mitchell, like the real Kim Mitchell playing on campus at my very own university. I had shelled out to see him at the Moncton Coliseum the one time he came close; I mean I was a fan. And just a stroll through the university tunnels would take me to what was in effect a small, private concert featuring the heart of one of my favourite rock bands ever, Max Webster.
Through the tunnels I went on September 16th, 1989 to Porter Hall, arriving nice and early and taking my place up front against the rail. A group called The Wisconsin Johnsins opened up. They were a fun band backed by the hardest hitting drummer I’ve ever seen. I swear the guy broke fifty sticks during their forty minute set. At one point I saw him break three drumsticks in a row: break, grab new stick and…break, grab another new stick and…break, grab another…The band also included a bass player from Moncton, which gave me a little hometown boost of pride.
Kim Mitchell came on and killed it. I brought a rare Max Webster poster with me, a record store-issued album-release poster for Live Magnetic Air, and I held it up for him to see. Kim was clearly not very impressed, focussed as he was on promoting his more radio friendly (and lucrative) solo material.
Which I’m also a big fan of. I had a wonderful, sweaty time and raved about the show all night with friends back on my floor in residence over rye and cokes. (This was back when res was res, thank ye gods.)
Moreover, I spent the night reeling over the fact that this was to be my new life. A community full of young, eager minds on a campus rife with concerts, bars and other social amenities in a city replete with it’s fair share of big-name entertainment. And here I was with a van, a guitar, and a mini-fridge.
I was all set. Now I just needed to find a band.