So, this past weekend, within 14 hours, I saw Rancid in concert and attended a church service with HRH the Countess of Wessex. Some observations, starting with the Rancid gig:
- Large Hockey Arena = Not A Good Punk Rock Venue.
- Despite all kinds of problems with the sound (see immediately above), Rancid did very very well (again). They've been at it for the better part of 20 years, and you can tell.
- Weirdly enough, Rancid were one of the opening bands for this thing. The actual headliners were Rise Against, who may want to rethink the whole "having-a-ginourmously-popular-band-open-for-us" thing. A good many people, we included, left after Rancid's set.
- Rancid's set list was mostly old favourites, with a couple of new songs tossed in. They went all-acoustic (bongos!) for one number ("The 11th Hour"), which was rather fun.
- The opening band, The Riverboat Gamblers, were pretty much unlistenable, although that really wasn't their fault. It wasn't until their last couple of numbers that the sound system started cooperating, and when it did, they actually sounded pretty good.
Here's one of Rancid's new songs:
And, moving on to the Royal Visit:
- I'd say it pretty much went off without a hitch, despite a minor rebellion on the part of the plumbing the day before.
- I did not actually get to meet Princess Sophie, but I am told that she is the soul of graciousness, especially when dealing with the little kiddies!
- The sermon rocked.
- The reason HRH was in town was to inspect the South Alberta Light Horse, of which regiment she is the Colonel-in-Chief. So, there were a lot of dress uniforms about the place on Sunday morning, some of them liberally festooned with medals.
- The regimental band provided entertainment during lunch, prompting one small child to sit approximately five feet in front of them, watching raptly, with her fingers in her ears.
- All-in-all, I think it was a memorable morning for the right reasons!