It’d been more than a month since I got out for a bit of busking. Last night I joined my busking partner in crime to play the incoming crowd for the Rammstein concert at Rexall Place. I brought my busking weapons of choice: the Lark Cittern and the Republic Resonator Mandolin. The crowd surprised us by being fairly large early in the busk and continued steady for the hour and half we played. As usual, I started off playing tunes. As is not usual, I ended playing lead for the entire busk. After more than a month of not playing at length that turned out to be bit of a workout for the poor fingers. Also, given the nature of the crowd I felt compelled to play almost exclusively high energy tunes at top speed.
I liked this incoming crowd. Good natured and appreciative. You might think that a crowd bound for Rammstein would be indifferent to a couple of scruffy buskers playing Celtic music. Not so. I have noticed before that metal fans appreciate the finger numbing calisthenics that are necessary to play tunes at high speed. Not so different from a lead guitar break. One guy stopped to listen for a while and asked if he could try out my instrument. It was a quiet break between trains so I said sure. He played pretty well considering he wasn’t familiar with the tuning. Those metal guitar players sure know how to use their one-string scales to good effect.
A good one third of the crowd was dressed spectacularly for the show. I enjoyed that. So much leather, metal, fur, fishnet and makeup! The former heavy metal nerd in me appreciates the effort and expense those outfits represent. Plus, its just plain fun. It’s much more entertaining to busk a crowd like that.
I didn’t play the outgoing crowd for reasons of fatigue and family duty but I’m sure it was a lively one. And after last night, I’m keen to start the football busking season.