I was so excited to see Stewart Copeland play at the Dominion Chalmers Church on April 5th, 2016 that I bought a ticket despite knowing I’d be in Vermont that week snowboarding from a timeshare in Stowe. The concert was presented by the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival and it was to feature one of my favourite rock drummers alongside a host of modern contemporary players so I figured it would be well worth the midweek drive back home to Ottawa.
And I figured right.
I was in the balcony (as usual) where I sat enthralled for the entire performance. From the very first percussive hit Copeland proved he was the consummate professional, completely at home playing though complex time shifts with seriously good players of serious music. There were pairings, trios and full ensembles featuring the half-dozen or so players in tow for the concert, and all of it was cerebral, soulful, and aesthetic gold.
There was not even a hint of a Police tune the whole night and I wasn’t disappointed (or surprised) in the least.
The musicianship was so utterly top-notch and the music so engaging I was on the edge of my seat even during the numerous pieces when my little drumming hero was offstage. As a matter of fact a piano/sax duet with Stewart Copeland nowhere in sight was probably the show highlight for me though of course I was enthralled during every tune he did play on, which was most of them.
Kudos to the Ottawa Chamber Festival for bringing such a rare, unique show to the city, and for presenting it in such a great venue. It was certainly well worth driving back for.
That said, an unseasonably warm April meant they were mowing lawns in Stowe when I arrived for my vacation (not to mention Stowe’s record-low snowfall that year) so with no snowboarding to be had I didn’t end up going back to the US for the rest of the week after all.