An Orange & Black Advantage

This show was on my calendar long before the particulars of the World Series schedule had been settled. So it just magically slotted itself on the night when I needed it most. Between Sunday’s game five and tonight’s game six. On a Monday when I couldn’t do anything but clench my fists in anticipation, still riding the wave of euphoria from Bumgarner’s legendary performance and distracted by the promise of a clinching win at Kauffmann. I was energized from the minute I woke up. And The Rural Alberta Advantage are all about channeling energy. The show was Bumgarner-esque.

Amy Cole felt the band’s electricity align with the orange & black voltage surging through the City. “One more win, right? The fucking World Series? Do you know how long it’s been since the [Blue] Jays have even been in a World Series?”

Quick answer: twenty-one years. Fun answer: not as long ago as The Dodgers.

It also felt like a very long time since The RAA had been to San Francisco. And the band acknowledged that fact, promising the sold out crowd at The Independent (props to MMJ: I’ve never seen someone more excited about winning the “guess how many people there are here” game; she nailed it exactly) that they wouldn’t neglect us so long in the future.

"fucking drummers"
“fucking drummers”
And they made up for the lengthy absence with an incredible show. And the crowd responded with oooh-woo singalonging, hand-clapping, and several demands for “drum solos!” They ended the night, offstage and out on the floor, with a guitar, floor tom, and a heartfelt “Good Night.”

Honestly, I expected a great show. Their Bottom of the Hill gig three(?) years ago still rattles around in my head. It’s why I made that “best show you’ll see all year” promise to my friends. What I didn’t expect, was a kick-ass opener as well.

Leah Fay of July Talk
Leah Fay of July Talk
I’ve been telling people that I’m getting too old for shitty opening bands. But fellow Torontonians July Talk made me very happy that we got there right at 8:00. Once upon a time, opening acts was my most reliable gateway to discovering new music. The Internet has made me lazy. All of us maybe: Leah Fay asked us to “Uncross the arms and dance a little. You’ll like it.”

I loved it. And the whole night, from the sexy bluesy garage stomp to the intimate acoustic farewell, vibrated with a ritual intensity. Like a pep rally made of guitar strings and flying drumsticks. It’s a lucky charm, and San Francisco got it right when we needed it most.

Advantage, Giants. We’re winning the World Series.

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