Music Monday: Canadian Country Music Awards

I went to an awards show Sunday!

Alright, here's the background. I grew up on country music. Actually, I didn't really know other radio stations or styles of music existed until I got to high school. I'm serious about that. For the first 15 years of my life I only listened to country music (or oldies).

And then I discovered fiddles - and celtic music - and Quebcois music - and alt-county music - and folk music in general. Besides brief stints into the world of hard rock, the folk realm is mostly what I listen to now. I don't even really like modern country now, which I call slutty-pop-country, except for some of the Canadian stuff because it's slightly less slutty.

So what was I doing at the Canadian Country Music Awards?

The stage.

Well, I do still kinda like country (some of it) and the Canadian stuff is ok, especially if it strays into alt-country territory.

And I love watching behind the scenes stuff. I went to see a bunch of reality/talk/game shows get filmed when I lived in the UK and it was always interesting to see what happened behind the camera or during commercials. I missed the Junos last time they were in Edmonton because I was in the UK, so I figured why not get a cheap nosebleed seat for the CCMAs?

So I did and it was fun.

First and foremost, the music was good. The big names came out, and it was awesome seeing them all on the same stage over the course of the evening. I saw bands I'd never see in concert for whatever reason, and it was great. Performancers included: Blue Rodeo, Paul Brandt, Terri Clark, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Gord Bamford, Johnny Reid, Corb Lund, Doc Walker, Jill Hennessey and Martie Maguire from the Dixie Chicks, Dean Brody, One More Girl, and probably a few more I forgot.

The sports stars were also out in force, with the following athletes introducing acts: Sam Gagne (Edmonton Oilers hockey player), Jamie Salle, David Peltier (famous figure skaters), Shannon Szabados (women's Olympic gold medal hockey player), Grant Fuhr, Gretzky via video (both vintage Oilers), and Kevin Martin (Olympic gold medal curler).

Blue Rodeo opening the show.

Paul Brandt trying a comedy/song.

Terri Clark and Johnny Reid

And that's the last photo I took. Rexall employs some very devoted Camera Nazis ushers who picked out our row of a couple cameras quite quickly and watched us like a hawk the rest of the time. Seriously, why? So I'm taking photos. I'm sitting way far away way far up so the photos I'm taking are crappy. I'm not going to sell them. I'm not really even going to post them on the internet because they're crappy. And so what if I take crappy poor quality video? No one cares, it's crappy. Let me take my crappy blurry fan photos so I can remember who I saw play! Anyways, I probably would've only taken a photo of Johnny Reid's solo number (with choir and two bagpipers) and Corb Lund's song anyways.

Right. Rant over.

The fashion was weird. Nevermind who was on tv, the rest of the crowd was either in jeans, dressed up, or *really* dressed up. And there was a distinct lack of cowboy hats, which really surprised me because a) this is the country music awards and b) this is Alberta. Good grief people wear cowboy hats to the hockey games and hipsters wear them to bars. I really have no explanation for the lack of cowboy hats. It was kinda sad actually.

Watching stuff go on behind the scenes was cool though. The seat-fillers were always filing in or filing out of loitering or whatever. Famous people were walking around. Cameras were moving about. You could see them setting up on whatever stage wasn't being performed on at a particular moment (a big screen moved up and down to hide/reveal set up and musicians. There was a funny comedian, Howie Miller, who entertained us during commercial breaks (he's the dad of werewolve dude from Twilight). The a voice would come on and say stuff like "one minute till air" or "applause please" or "five seconds to showtime, clap if you're having fun".

Then I came home and watched it on tv. It was weird but nice to see the close ups.

I only have two complaints. First, I wish they would've shown close ups on one of the screens, but I guess it's an award show and not a concert so whatev. Also, they blacked out the 2nd level of audience on tv. Really, us poor folks in the nosebleeds would've like some screen time too!