You’d think that a guy who was in Toronto specifically to climb the steps of the CN Tower for charity would want to take it easy the night before the climb, maybe eat a healthy meal and get a good night’s sleep ahead of his 7am alarm clock setting. And I probably would have done exactly that had my favourite guitar player not been playing just a reasonable drive down the highway.
Such were the conditions that found me at the Moonshine Cafe in Oakville, Ontario on April 20th, 2012 (dude!) seeing the amazing Sisters Euclid, featuring Kevin Breit on guitar. The place was indeed very cafe-like; I sat at a round, comfortable table with m’lady and my local friend Kevin and nursed a pair of beers over as many sets. (I did have an uphill mini-marathon to endure the next morning after all, plus I was driving.)
I highlight Kevin specifically amongst the Sisters but really I shouldn’t. While his musical prowess and guitar wizardry can never be overstated, with this, his main ensemble, he really is just one of the four overwhelmingly important wheels on the bus.
First there’s Gary Taylor, a great drummer who’s playing is consistently amplified by his constant smile. You know he’s having a good time all the time and his positive emotion comes out in his playing. Then there is Ian DeSouza. As far as I know Kevin Breit’s longest-standing musical partner is the prolific Sister’s bassist and when they play together they sound like a single four-handed musical machine.
This would probably have been one of the first times I had seen Mark Lalama appear as a permanent member of the band. I had seen him sit in with the band a few times when the previous keyboard player couldn’t make a gig and it seemed inevitable that he would someday join the band proper. He really brings a lot of vim and vigour to the group and he confidently stands toe-to-toe with Kevin Breit (and Ian DeSouza) while Gary smiles out a snappy beat underneath it all.
And this is what happened all night over those two beers: great musicians doing their thing for a small, very appreciative crowd. Did staying at the show until the last note of the encore had faded help my time climbing the steps of the CN Tower the next morning? Definitely not.
Was it a good decision for me to go and see the Sisters Euclid perform incredible music for the umpteenth time ahead of such a physical challenge anyway? Unquestionably yes.
Life is all about priorities.