I took this photo last April while on a bit of an assignment by Rebecca to “just get some shots of Robson Street”. She sends me out of photowalks from time to time to gather shots for various material that she publishes. Going back through some old photos, I rediscovered this one.
This really captures why we like the West End of Vancouver as much as we do. We you get down to this end of Robson, things slow down a little, and the city isn’t as loud. This was in April when it was just starting to get warm and the sun bathed the city for much longer than anyone expected.
I especially like the nice convertible in this shot, patiently waiting for the guy crossing the street. If this were a Sunday morning, that would probably be a Lamborghini and in multiples of three to five. They seem to have a bit of a driving club around these parts when the weather is nice enough to bring them out.
Unfortunately, traffic made us too late to catch Ra Ra Riot, but the New Pornographers put on a really great performance, in their hometown no less. My time inside ended as they kicked into “Use It”, but their set was pretty fantastic from what I got to hear.
The highlight of the night was certainly Death Cab For Cutie, a band that I’ve been following for a number of years, from their indie label days to their hefty deal with one of the big boys. This was certainly a treat, but shooting from the front of a stage that’s about five feet high and in low light wasn’t easy.
This was my first time seeing these guys in all the years I’ve been following their music. A funny story is when I was at SXSW in 2003, I was doing the typical bounce around the city one of the nights to see as much live music as I possibly could. If you’ve been to Austin, TX during the madness that is SXSW, you know how this goes.
Death Cab was a band that I had played a number of times and really liked during my days at KRUI, but I wasn’t completely familiar with their library of tunes nor really knew what they looked like. After seeing another one of my other favorite acts, Shiner, I was supposed to link up with our whole crew from the station at the Death Cab For Cutie performance a few blocks away. Of course, this is SXSW, so getting from one part of the city to another, in a town that you’ve never been to before, with all sorts of loudness and craziness coming from what seems like everywhere, I ended up in the wrong venue.
The odd thing is, the act on stage, who I thought for a brief moment was actually Death Cab For Cutie, was actually The Promise Ring. Those guys were amazing, and I’m really thankful I made this mistake because they ended up calling it quits not too long after (splitting up to another act worth checking out, Maritime, comprised of members from another favorite band but now also defunct, The Dismemberment Plan).
Death Cab For Cutie put on an amazing show that I got to finish watching from my seat. They played a lot of good stuff from their first few albums, which are probably my favorites in terms of their catalog. The sound was also excellent, something that is often not so great in large venues like this. Still, there is a large part of me that wishes I could see them perform in a small venue during those earlier days in Austin.
You can see all my photos from the show on Flickr.
Just to highlight the very well organized event, here’s a few of my favorite shots from the day.
It’s a bit of a tradition to bring out a table full of chocolate and vanilla cupcakes with red and white frosting, all arranged as the flag of Canada. Once the day is officially opened by the mayor of Surrey, people can come up and get one from various members of the city council, including the mayor herself, Diane Watts.
54-40 headlined the main stage and put on a stellar performance.
I have plenty more shots in my set on Flickr. Many thanks to the organizers of Surrey Canada Day 2009 for their hosting and making sure the day was a success. I keep being impressed with the events that Surrey puts on. Their events planning crew really know what it means to have something to do with your family and friends.