Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Travis Didn't Rain On Me

Last night was a busy entertainment night in Toronto. Kings of Leon and Flight of the Concords were performing, but I was at the Travis concert at the Sound Academy in Toronto. With Travis' most popular song being titled Why Does It Always Rain On Me? it was fitting that yesterday was a rainy and cold day. Fortunately, the rain stopped before the concert (not sure if it rained during the concert) so we didn't get wet on the way there or the way home.

I have said in the past, that I am way too biased to give a fair review so I normally don't write them, but since I haven't seen an official review online yet (I love reading them), I thought I would add my two cents about the concert.

Republic Tigers were the opening act and are definitely worth checking out. My friends hope to see them headline a tour with more material. Personally, I need to know the songs better in order to really appreciate a concert. A year from now, I may kick myself for not taking the time to familiarize myself enough with their music. The lead singer was quite entertaining with his guitar, tambourine and drum...he believes in multi-tasking.

Travis played for over an hour and a half (according to the time of my photos and videos). They covered most of my favourite songs. The sound was great. This was my first concert at the Sound Academy. I had heard horrible things about the sound at The Docks (what it was previously known as so used to avoid it), but since the renovations, they must have improved the sound a lot, because I thought (and others agreed) that Travis sounded amazing.

I don't have the setlist (I wasn't planning on blogging about it), but my personal highlights were:
  • Closer (I got closer in order to get better photos and videos for this one...yes the pun was intended). This may be my favourite Travis song (after the obvious Why Does It Always Rain On Me?)
  • Fran's walkabout in the crowd to sing Falling Down (ok, I couldn't see him, but just the idea of him being in the crowd was fun)
  • Singing to Sing (ok, I sang to most of the songs, but I liked the sound of "singing to Sing")
  • My Eyes and Flowers in the Windows were both played (I had seen one or the other omitted from past setlists, so I was happy they did both).
  • Learning that My Eyes was written about his unborn child...I'm listening to that song differently now.
  • the many mentions of Toronto....I love it when a band mentions where they makes the experience more personal.
  • Selfish Jean is even better live...what a great song!! Amazing how a song that isn't really a happy song, can just bring a huge smile to our faces as we sing to every word.
  • I heard that the gong (during Before You Were Young) was a highlight for many but unfortunately, I missed it - I was pretty much focused on Fran for most of the show because the lighting at the back wasn't as good and I had to pick where to look around the heads. The stage may not be as high as at other venues, or Travis have very tall fans.
  • the whole band singing Flowers In The Window together at the front to close out the show (from youtube videos, this seems to be the norm for their concerts, but I was a newbie at a Travis concert, so didn't know ahead of time)
  • Why Does It Always Rain On Me? ... what a great song and Fran made it extra special by stopping midway to ask us to do the pogo dance for the final chorus. He even sang... "Why is it raining so cold...Toronto... so cold" You can see it at the end of my video:

I have decided to start putting videos on youtube. So if you're one of my readers who enjoys seeing videos, feel free to subscribe to my youtube channel at (You can find the first part of Why Does It Always Rain On Me there) I'll be adding more soon.

What changed my mind was last night when Fran made a mention of all the cameras and how we should all put our videos up for Flowers in the Attic. In the past, I hesitated putting videos up. I took them for my own personal enjoyment so didn't want someone bootlegging live music, but in the last year or so, video taking has really become the norm. I have also loved seeing different perspective from concerts I have been to, so perhaps others would like to see my perspective. I don't believe that (most) bands mind like they may have in the past. I am wondering whether I should get their permission first (or at least let them know to let me know if they want them taken down). Thoughts?

A few months ago Keane put a tour archive on their website and asked people to upload photos and videos from past concerts. I am planning on doing that next. They are quite open to fan videos as they sometimes put links to videos they find on youtube. Interestingly, I was asked to stop videoing at one of their concerts (I was standing at the stage beside security, so I guess I was pretty obvious).

I noticed this morning that Travis has a similar archive for photos on their website. There are great photos there.

So, all in all...Travis live are absolutely worth seeing. They sound great, they're great showmen and they looked like they were really enjoying performing for us. After last night, they have definitely moved up on my favourite band ladder. I don't think I will want to miss them perform the next time they come back to Toronto!

Added on Thursday:
Videos are popping up more on YouTube, this is one of the reasons I have decided to start uploading videos:

I now get to see what I couldn't see from my viewpoint. Fran doing his walkabout. I get to see it because someone has uploaded their video. Perhaps someone will appreciate seeing something on mine that they didn't video (like reliving Fran asking us to do the Pogo dance). 10-20 years ago, our concert experiences lasted a few with photos and videos, we can relive them over and over again.

I also found the setlist so I can make myself a concert playlist. It can be found here. The ? for the first song of the encore was Dougie singing Ring Out the Bell.