Things were very different on my side of the fence. There was no protesting, no vandalism, no people on the street (other than all the officers). After spending 8 hours inside what was a rather peaceful environment, it was really hard for me to believe that so much damage was done merely 3-4 blocks away. So continuing on with my story, it was time for me to leave the safety zone and go home.
I ended up leaving the hotel at around 8:30pm with one of the bellmen who had just finished his shift. Figured it was safer to have some company. We walked all the way down to Lake Shore to exit the security zone and shared a taxi home from there. By the time I got home I was fairly exhausted, but I went online to read more about what had happened on the other side of the fence earlier in the day. What I saw and read was mind-boggling. Having been at the heart of the G20 all day and not having seen any of the riot, I couldn’t find a way to comprehend what had happened. While I was struggling to find some understanding, my homie Danny called me out to show me his videos of the riot on Queen St. He told me he wasn’t able to get to the New Era store for FM’s meet & greet because the cops had blocked off the street. I figured we were out of luck.
There we were sitting at a Timmies and it was close to midnight. The “Animal” album was sitting on the table as we talked about some of the songs on it. Then he was going to show me the riot videos. Before he hands me his camera, he warns me about the gory image I’m about to see. I say “whatever” and turn my attention to the screen. THIS was the “gory image” I saw:
My initial reaction was “WHAT THE HELL?!?!” (Where’s all the crazy people on the street that I’m supposed to see?!) THEN I clued in…he tricked me!! lol Turns out he did make it to the store just in time when the riot had died down. AND he got my CD signed! :D
After a pretty crazy Saturday, I was on very little sleep going into Sunday. I just hoped that the protests wouldn’t extend far on Queen St. to affect Far*East Movement’s gig @ Tattoo. Danny and I met up with Adrienne and Robin for dinner before heading over to the venue. Not knowing when show time was, we got there pretty early, and Adri & Robin stuck around until about 12:30p when they had to get going.
Danny and I spent the remainder of the time securing my spot at the far left side of the stage. Through experience I’ve found that to be the best spot when I’m at the front because I can get most of the stage into the frame. When you’re front and center, there’s no way of getting everyone on stage with a basic digi-cam. Anyway, I totally wasn’t feeling the music that was being played while we waited and can say I was actually BORED listening to it. But given how long I’ve waited for FM to come to Toronto, I wasn’t going to miss it for the world!
It was crazy when FM finally hit the stage. Their music alone gets you hyped and they know how to work the crowd. It was exactly the way I imagined it to be. My only complaint is that their set was TOO SHORT! Even though I spent the majority of my time watching the performance through my camera, it was still worth it. Like most shows I go to, I have a very vague memory of the performance itself since I’m so focused on taking pictures. I’m always about the photos because to me it helps bring back memories of what I felt at that moment in time. FM was so full of energy that catching them at the right time with the right lighting was difficult. Out of the 140 pix I took, barely half of them were decent.
By the time it was over, I was pretty hyped but exhausted. It had been a crazy weekend of seeing world leaders and seeing my favourite music group perform live. That’s pretty damn cool. There was really nothing more I could ask for. Danny asked me to go with him for a smoke break, so we stepped outside. Then SURPRISE! Kev Nish from FM comes outside, asks Danny for a smoke, and we end up chatting with him! Could my weekend get any crazier?! We hung around chatting and took some pics before Danny and I left. The guys were super cool and totally down-to-earth. Their response to hearing my CD being short-shipped shows how great they are at taking care of their fans.
When I finally got home, I was dead tired. But I was so pumped from everything that I was totally wired and couldn’t sleep. I went into work at 7am that morning with NO sleep and put on my usual morning playlist (which happens to be entirely FM lol). As I was listening to “Get That Money”, I thought about how crazy it was that only hours ago I was there meeting the guys who made the song. (We were talking about how unbreathable Kev’s jacket is lol) To know that I was talking with the people whose voices I’ve listened to repeatedly for the last 2 years is just CRAZY. Although a lot of what I experienced this weekend was not expected, I’m thankful for everything that happened. This weekend has been the best thing to happen to me in a really long time.