I eat the same breakfast (frozen blueberries microwaved two minutes, half cup Alpen, half a banana, half cup plain yogurt). I talk to my son about the same assortment of things (Let’s go find the fox in the castle. Is it time to watch two episodes of Paw Patrol?). I invariably roast a pan of vegetables. I consume 1.5 beers while watching 1.5 hours of television.
At one point in my life, this might have seemed boring and maybe a little sad as a prospective future. But it is the mindful participation in the ritual of the everyday that gives my life meaning, purpose and joy. No longer striving towards some idealized future, but competently rooted in being who I am in the here and now.
Experiencing Blue Rodeo in 2017 resembles this. Every few years an album appears in the fall. Every few winters the tour bus drifts across Canada. Cuddy stills croons. Keeler still writes infectious pop hooks. The band knows who it is and has settled into a seasonal rhythm performed as joyful ritual.
Blue Rodeo is not a band searching for undiscovered territory, but a band fully present to who they are and what they do.
The Saturday night show in Halifax was similar to Blue Rodeo shows I’ve seen before. It was not a band searching for undiscovered territory. Not a fire fueled by discontent. But a band fully present to who they are and what they do. Witnessing the performance unfold at the Scotiabank Centre was exhilarating with all the mastery and execution it entailed.
The band delivered a solid mix of the hits and new material, paying homage to their past and honouring their present. They appeared as vibrant as ever, showing no signs of slowing down. And hopefully they won’t. May the ritual of Blue Rodeo continue to be a refuge from Canadian winters and a reminder to fully be in the present for many years to come.