It’s Toronto Pride weekend! I surfaced from my black alcove of glittery reclusiveness to check out Saturday’s concerts, held at Queen’s Park. Coincidence, asks Cyndi Lauper, this year’s headliner. The day’s line-up included Hunter Valentine, The Cliks, Ruby Jean & The Thoughtful Bees, Dragonette, and, of course, Cyndi.
Check out these roller derby bitches! I have recently become obsessed with roller derby, mostly influenced by the amazing film Whip It. These girls seem to be a part of the Queer Roller Derby league, playing for The Vagine Ragime. The names alone are championship-worthy. P.S. — Stayed tuned for me adventuring to a Toronto Roller Derby match in the near future. I want some of that bad-assery to rub off on me. Or punch me in the face for 10 cool points.
This is Ruby Jean & the Thoughtful Bees. Don’t be fooled by the flowery name — all I heard was synth. I came for the end of their set, but they sounded amazing. I had seem them once previously, opening for Dragonette a few months back. I like that lead vox girl wasn’t wearing pants/clothes. Werk.
D-R-A-G-O-N-E-T-T-E. I feel like a proud parent with this band. I’ve known them for 3 years and have witnessed their consistent evolution of spectacularity. Look out for a mini-album to be released this summer, featuring some amazing new tracks they’ve been playing live. Martina Dragonette was also not wearing pants. Love for Tina. And Dan, and Joel.
Here is the crazy-rammed view from beside the sound booth. People began to assemble in herds for Dragonette’s set and totally knew all of their lyrics. Set-list songs from memory: I Get Around, Gone Too Far, Pick Up The Phone, Liar, Get Your Titties Off My Things, Black Limousine, My Summer of Sex, Big Sunglasses, The Boys (Calvin Harris cover), Take It Like A Man, Fixin To Thrill. I’m going to take this opportunity of realization to say that Tina’s vocals are quite similar to Cyndi Lauper‘s.
Cyndi Lauper is a fucking icon/legend. If I dare mention her name to my mother, she will immediately delve into a fun fact story about dressing up in neon pink fishnet tights a-la-Cyndi for a back-in-her-day costume party. I tell her I’d wear said eccentric stockings without an excuse.
Cyndi’s set was rather mellow. Hair did not match the atmosphere, but her voice is so incredibly incredible. The first half of the 90 minute set was very blues-inspired, a laid-back shock from the previous electro acts. I wanted to hear Into the Nightlife (off her new album) — I feel it would’ve been more suited for this event. The energy picked up towards the end, with songs I actually knew (because I’m so 12 years old, obviously); Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, Change of Heart, Time After Time, True Colors, and a cover of Power to the People. These final moments are when the energy level picked up and turned the open air into a giant sing-along. Lucas Silveira of The Cliks jouned Cyndi on stage to duet True Colors. Among a variety of inspirational quotes, Cyndi threw out this anecdote: “I was on time when I was born, but the doctor wasn’t ready, so they closed my mother’s legs on my head and ever since then I’ve been a little off.” Rule.
Honorable shout-outs: Butch security lady who came over to me and real-life “liked” my shoes –“We used to call those “granny shoes”. Where did you get them? Downtown?”; The 3 other security people who gathered around me, obviously thinking I was being problematic.; My amazing friend who fainted in the front row 2 minutes before Cyndi hit the stage. Music-struck.; Me, never dressing appropriately for weather or atmosphere. Suicidal via clothing choices.