For those that have been fans from the very beginning, I do not envy you. I cannot imagine waiting eight whole years for an artist such as Damien to release more music.
I've been a fan for about four or so years, and even I was convinced I’d never hear anything beyond O or 9.
Once My Favourite Faded Fantasy made its debut, my boyfriend Mike and I knew we HAD to get tickets if he decided to tour. And that’s exactly what we did.
We originally bought tickets to see him in Toronto for his show in October of 2014. An hour or so before we were to leave for the show in Canada, we learned the show was cancelled because Damien had a horrible ear infection.
Thankfully, we were able to get tickets to his rescheduled show in November.
Concert day came again and we couldn't have been more excited. Now for those of you living in Western NY, November 2014 will always be the “Snowvember to Remember”; however, if you’re not from the Buffalo area, you may recall the national news of a huge lake effect snow storm hitting us. If you haven’t seen the photos of this storm, I strongly encourage opening up Google right now.
The storm hit the Buffalo area the exact same day as the concert. As luck would have it, the bridges to Canada closed, ultimately denying us access to the country and crushing all hopes of seeing him that night.
Now we were really heartbroken, but we didn't give up.
We fought with Ticketmaster and ultimately received a refund for the show and vowed to stop at nothing until we could see Damien Rice live in concert.
Soon enough, new tour dates were posted and we were able to snag front-row seats yet again, to another Toronto show.
As they say, “The third time’s a charm.”
On Saturday, April 11th, Mike and I drove to Toronto. It almost didn't feel real, as our previous two attempts were ultimately squashed. We got stuck in traffic and literally did not reach our hotel room until 7:30, just a half hour before show time.
We raced against the clock, changed and speed walked to Massey Hall.
As we made our way to our seats, Damien’s opener was finishing up.
The clock seemed to be going backwards as our anticipation increased.
Suddenly, the lights were nearly extinguished, and the entire theatre was completely silent. You could have heard a guitar pick drop. And then, the man, the myth, the legend stepped out onto the stage to perform.
At first, I was mesmerized. I wanted to ask Mike to pinch me. Is that really him? Are we really here?
It was him, and yes, we were truly there, finally.
As cliché or silly as it may sound, it was the best live performance I have ever seen and most likely will ever see. I didn't think it was possible, but Damien sounded even better live than any recorded song I had ever heard.
He was honest and passionate and absolutely hilarious. I fell in love all over again. I kept thinking throughout the entire show, that it felt like a spiritual experience, I was in church and he was the audience’s God.
I won’t spoil the set list for any of those still expecting to see him soon, but he played all the “greats.”
During a few songs, the lighting cast a shadow of Damien against the back of the stage of about 20 or 30 feet. In my mind, that’s how large he was to me… bigger than life itself.
One of the highlights of the concert was when Damien decided to bring several audience members on stage for a sing-a-long of Volcano. Half of the participants were instructed to sing a specific line, while the other sang a different, all the while Damien sang too. The audience provided the clapping, of which increased as the performance continued. It was epic.
During “9 Crimes” I felt chills from the tips of my hair all the way down to my toes. It was amazing.
Right before he played “Trusty and True”, he talked about feeling guilt, and that we all deserve to let it go and metaphorically toss it into a “bonfire”. That imagery stood out to me as something beautiful. Everyone makes mistakes, and we all deserve a chance to set that part of ourselves free.
After the concert, I actually felt empty. I wanted to go back and relive those two hours over, and over, and over.
If you haven’t heard of Damien Rice, I strongly encourage you to give him a try. If you are a fan, than you probably know exactly how I felt during the concert.
I cannot wait to see him again, as long as any illnesses and epic snowstorms don’t get in my way.