The Best Moments of Summer 2014.

The first date.

Sometimes the best dates are the ones you don’t know are dates; there’s this element of unsuspected surprise; of wondering how someone feels and then finding out they feel the exact same way as you do; of seeing a friend you haven’t seen in a while transform, in just a few short hours, into someone you could fall in love with; of sitting by the water with someone, the quiet happening, and then having that person gently touch your chin and bring their mouth to yours and in that moment, feeling like all your dreams have come true. And everything afterwards was a whirlwind of swirling shooting stars – an utter late 20s poor student teacher fairy tale.

Arcade Fire, Squamish Festival

In the form of one outdoor dream concert, everything I thought I knew about live music was forever changed. The Arcade Fire show… what’s there to say about it? I was in the front, for one. And I could feel all the epic coming at me, surging through my bloodstream quickly, so much so it was almost difficult to come down from the excitement I felt from the first note to the confetti-spewing finale. It wasn’t just the music, though the music was the catalyst for the mayhem and madness of the orchestral performance art craziness that I witnessed in just over 90 minutes that night. It was the multiple drummers, it was Regine Chassagne standing on a table top doing oddball poses in a shiny mask, it was Win Butler doing a warrior stance on a podium at the front of the stage sweating through his stark-white jacket as if he was fighting some battle of intensity, cementing him as one of the best frontmen in indie rock n’ roll, it was the ‘greatest hits’ set list and the weird masked figures ‘posing’ as the band and book-ending the entire show. I’ll never forget that show. I don’t know how many other concerts could ever, ever feel that way.

Josh Ritter at the Commodore Ballroom

I hadn’t been to the Commodore Ballroom since that magical Ryan Adams & the Cardinals night back in 2007, and so I was already prepared to re-live rosy memories of past concerts on this night. What happened instead was my thorough enjoyment of my second Josh Ritter show as Ritter himself burst with quirky energetic joy, playing his way through all eras of his best songs. I was front and centre, my hands and glass of beer actually sitting on the stage as I sang along almost-tearfully to “The Temptation of Adam”. It was so hot in Vancouver that weekend. This was the hottest night of all.

Bag Stands at Pemberton Festival

The best part of Pemberton Festival wasn’t the music and it certainly wasn’t the two 3 km trips we had to make from our cars to our campsite with all of our flats of PBR and other camping equipment. The best part was bonding with my best festival friends and their friends, the five of us passing around a bag of wine and then eating re-hydrated peanut fried rice from a bag. There was hangovers and perogies and headbanging and massive consumption of alcohol. It was one of the most fun weekends I had all summer.

Seattle With Mom

Seattle is a magical place with delicious food and amazing beer and pretty scenery. I’m a huge fan. It’s probably one of my favourite cities on earth, and it’s always a pleasure to drive down there for one reason or another. On this particular occasion I took my mother for the first time and the two of us had a really nice time down by the waterfront, eating (AMAZING!!!) pot pie and drinking craft beer, and doing our favourite American things. I really love spending time with my mom, especially when it involves one or both of us doing things for the very first time.

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