Spent a quiet day around the hotel, we slept in, went shopping, had lunch, had a nap, then got ready for this evenings Concert at the Calgary Saddledome.
We boarded the C-Train and rode into the Downtown because first we want to visit The Calgary Tower. The tower is 626 ft tall, certainly no Toronto CN Tower, but it was constructed to celebrate Canada’s 100th Birthday in 1967.
This is the view of the tower that we see from street level.
There was a scrap metal life sized sculpture of a horse near the tower.
We paid the entrance fee to the tower and rode the elevator to the top. The views of Calgary from above.
There is a glass floor that you can step onto and look directly down at the street below. It takes a bit of courage to initially step onto the glass floor.
There was a series of posters on the walls of the previous years of the Calgary Stampede.
Back down on the ground, we wandered along Stephen Avenue which is closed off to vehicle traffic.
A lot of the store windows have been decorated for the occasion.
We had a quick bite to eat for dinner and then boarded the C-Train and rode a couple of stops to the Victoria Park / Stampede stop.
We had some time to kill before the concert so we wandered through the Western Oasis in the BMO Building.
Occasionally we would encounter a live human statue. You had to look really closely but you could see very slight movements.
It was time to leave the BMO building and make our way to the Saddledome.
The concert got off to a late start, 15 minutes late. I wonder if the old feud erupted again back stage between Brian Wilson and Mike Love. Anyways, whatever the cause for the delay, the Beach Boys were greeted to thundering applause as they were introduced.
The introductions started with David Marks, then Bruce Johnston, Al Jardine, Mike Love and then Brian Wilson who got the loudest applause. I think maybe that might have been because he was wearing a Calgary Flames Jersey.
The opening song was Do it Again, followed by Catch a Wave & Hawaii. Then a song I wasn’t familiar with, Don’t Back Down.
Actually there were probably 10 songs throughout the whole concert that I had never heard. I had expected to know every single song, but I now realize that I lost interest in the Beach Boys when they got into their psychedelic sounds and I know I never bought any more albums.
I didn’t even know that they were back in the studio recording new songs for the last 4 or 5 years. That explains why I had never heard any of their newer stuff.
We heard Surfin Safari and Surfer Girl, then another song I didn’t know, Getcha Back. Of course I knew the song Wendy, but This Whole World, I had never heard. The songs kept alternating between old familiars and songs I had never heard.
Then I Kissed her was a Crystals song that the Beach Boys did this evening, Please let me Wonder, another song I had never heard. There were a lot of songs from the Pet Sounds album, an album I never bought.
Anyways, a total of 47 songs were performed over the 3 hour concert. There were 9000 in attendance. The best part of the concert for me was the last hour when we heard Beach Boys hit after hit. They got the crowd dancing in their seats with these hits…
Be True to your School, Little Deuce Coupe, 409, Shut Down, I Get Around, Sloop John B, Wouldn’t it be Nice, In my Room, Sail on Sailor, God only Knows, Good Vibrations, California Girls, All Summer Long, Rock & Roll Music, Barbara Ann, Surfin USA, Kokomo, Help me Rhonda, Do you Wanna Dance and Fun Fun Fun.
Although obviously the group is older now (even I am older now) than when I saw them 1974 at the CNE in Toronto, they were still able to sing the harmonies and hit the notes that counted.
They are not a particularly showy band, mostly just standing and playing, but they would have been exhausted in the first half hour and not able to sustain the energy to get them through the 3 hour concert with a 20 minute intermission if they had been jumping and dancing all over the stage.
We were glad we went, but I don’t imagine we need to see them again if they come to our home town area.
To see all of the photos from today you can find them on our FLICKR site.