Wilfully trapped by Blitzen
by Nick Black
I arrived at the Blitzen Trapper show far later than I would have liked—I’d been unwillingly detained at my day job—and went straight to the bar to grab a beer: a fourteen hour day makes anybody thirsty. Fortunately, the openers “The Quiet Ones” were still on stage, so I was able to relax with my first pint and get into the mood for a live show. The Quiet Ones were a gratifying surprise, and a perfect fit for Blitzen Trapper. After they left the stage I went straight to the merchandise table; The Quiet Ones had impressed me so much I wanted a t-shirt. I immediately began haggling with the lady at the table, my argument was that the prices of the shirts were just a little high for my shrinking wallet; after all, I needed money for at least a second pint. Surprisingly enough, the lady said that if I wanted to haggle prices I should talk to “this man right here”. I turned to look at whom she was pointing at, only to find, to my embarrassment, that the man approaching happened to be John Totten, the lead singer of the opening act, and he was with Brian Koch, the drummer of Blitzen…
I shamefully stuttered my way through an apology, explaining that I really enjoyed the music and wanted something to take home. They were both very understanding and gave me a discount on a t-shirt. From there we went into a discussion about their respective bands. I informed them that I hadn’t loved Blitzen in the past but that the latest album made me really stoked to see them live. John told me that Blitzen are by far his favourite touring band.
I was sceptical to say the least, but as soon as they took the stage I could see why John would speak so highly of them. The show was very impressive, the highlight for me being when only three of the sextet were onstage for the song “Not Your Lover”, a Neil Young-esque ballad with nothing but piano, harmonica and acoustic guitar—it was amazing. Blitzen had the whole crowd gathered at Venue going throughout their entire set; everyone was on their feet and singing along, a sight not always seen in Vancouver.
To sum up, I suppose the moral of this story is beware who you haggle t-shirt prices with, you never know when you might make a fool of yourself. Having said that I realise that I’m probably the first person to ever complain about t-shirt prices at an indie rock concert… That’s kind of embarrassing.