For many, the Olympics start and end with the beginning and finish of each event, but others celebrate throughout the Games, and take in everything the event has to offer. The Cultural Olympiad has done a fantastic job of giving people venues for celebration, and the performers at these shows have risen to the challenge tremendously.
Going downtown, or to Surrey's Holland Park, or Richmond's Ozone always gives the option of seeing some sort of free show, sometimes sporting huge names like Our Lady Peace, Deadmau5 or Sam Roberts, while also featuring less known talents like the Arkells or Les Breastfeeders.
I attended the free Deadmau5 concert at Livecity Yaletown, which was, sadly, all ages. As a result, the majority of the twenty thousand-odd people in line were skipping high school to be there. After cutting in line (because it was either that or go home!) I made it in with my friends, among eight or so other thousand lucky fans. Apparently Deadmau5 is a big deal, but I'd only heard one of his songs at that point, which I listened to the morning of.
This brings me to Les Breastfeeders... a punk-rock band from Quebec who put performance before music with unfortunate results. For them, at least. Their band consisted of a few guitarists, a bass player, a drummer and a singer. Oh, and a crazed man in half a fur coat with a tambourine. He didn't sing, but ran the stage, leering at the audience and waving his instrument, while dousing himself with water. The poor guys got booed off stage, despite putting on an energy-fueled performance leaving everything out there. They were peppered with bottles and pop cans before finally giving in and politely walking off.
The problem, of course, was that the rave crowd from high school wasn't up for French punk rock. The performers did a great job doing what they do, but it wasn't what the audience wanted. It made me hope that the other dozens, maybe hundreds of live performance acts travelling from all over Canada to Vancouver are greeted with more respect and dignity, and that the promoters know where to place them to get the right show to the right audience.