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Melanie Doane & Great Big Sea

@ Harbour Station

November 30, 1999

          I love Melanie Doane. There, I said it. Whew, it's good to get these things off my chest.

          That's why, when I got the opportunity to see her open for Great Big Sea at Harbour Station November 30, I was overjoyed. Joe got us tickets and photo passes, so I got to see part of the show from the very front, in front of the barriers and screaming fans.

          And she didn't let me down. Right from the start, the show had energy and panache previously only exhibited by the Backstreet Boys tribute band. The songs were crisp and clear, easy to sing along with (not that a 23-year-old male would sing along with them, of course). But even more impressive than the music itself was the personality that came through between songs, relating stories from her childhood, making up new words to Backstreet Boys and Beethoven songs, and generally making sure the crowd had a good time. At one point, she had the band and the audience pose for a picture to be put on her website (

          Now, let's play word association.

          Overall impression of the music....High energy and fun

          Musical Highlights...."God's Gift" (dedicated to her mother), "Happy Homemaker," and "Adam's Rib"

          Opinion of Melanie Doane at the end of the night? I love Melanie Doane.

          Now, onto the main act.

          Over the years, Great Big Sea has earned a reputation for their high energy music and antics. From the very beginning, four albums ago, the band developed a large loyal following.

          Never was this more evident than at Harbour Station, November 30th. Mixing the newer songs from Turn and Play with older, traditional songs from their first two albums.

          I was the coolest kid in class after I told everyone about my photo pass. Since we were right in front when the band came out, Alan actually posed for a shot. It was a classic rock pose, followed by a big smile. I knew a few people in the first few rows, so I turned and waved at them. Then the power-happy security guard tried to kick me out. One quick flash of the photo pass, and his gorilla ass was dispatched.

          The music was great, with the same quality of sing-along mixed with heavy drinking normally associated with east coast music in general, and Newfoundland music specifically. I knew most of the songs, although don't have a copy of Turn. (Editors note - Jamie was the first runner up for the copy of turn that I gave away on my radio show)

          Although the music was great, the show lacked something I've always associated with GBS. The audience interaction was minimal, and although the crowd cheered at all the right spots, the feeling of intimacy wasn't there. Now, I'm not criticising GBS for becoming popular, it's just that I'm getting older, and I long for the good old days.

          Now, word association time.

          Overall impression of the music: high energy, upbeat, fun, easy to get into.

          Highlights: Merri-Mac (performed at light speed), When I'm Up, and the multiple encores.

          Disappointments: no Fast as I Can (my fave GBS tune), jaded crowd (well, me, anyway).

          Opinion of the band at the end of the night: I love Melanie Doane. . . er, I mean Great Big Sea.

Sumbitted by Jamie Munroe

Pictures to follow

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