This past weekend, New York City has been the focal point of pride and its myriad elements. Central Park ran ablaze with miniature Canadian flags, friendly Mounties who never turned down a photo opportunity, and the crackling of hockey sticks on sun-scorched concrete. Canada certainly took over the scene and brought an air of international élan (or should I say, “éhlan”?) to the expansive public playground. The main attraction of the day, however, was surely the free musical performances by an all-Canadian lineup: Spirit of the West, Joel Plaskett, and the Juno-award-winning LIGHTS.
Joel Plaskett singlehandedly electrified the audience. For such a lanky white dude, the man moved like a desperado- eyes closed, ankles twisting, legs pivoting about the stage. Between songs, one particular middle-aged woman shamelessly screamed “Dartmouth!” while mounted on the shoulders of a man she definitely owes at least a couple of drinks. Once a groupie, always a groupie, I suppose. She finally got Joel’s attention after his song “Through & Through & Through,” and he diplomatically waved back smiling. Not someone he wanted to remember, perhaps. Speculation aside, the trio provided a uniquely soulful experience, in a “there are three of us and five hundred of you, so we’re just going to give you all we’ve got” sort of way.