Monday, March 1, 2010

'Darkness alive with possibilities..'

Last night's Winter Olympics closing ceremony turned into a brilliant self-parody of every imaginable Canadian cliche. It was an almost surreal spectacle that had me pretty much in hysterics all evening - most of it intentional, some maybe not. Congratulations to the organizers for having the ability to laugh at themselves while at the same time making Canada even more endearing.

Like at the opening ceremony, a range of Canadian musicians and artists took part, with a special 'live' spot reserved for elder statesman Neil Young, who sang "Long May You Run", the great song he also played at last month's final Conan O'Brien show and - depending on who you believe - is about either his first car, his last girlfriend or Stephen Stills.

In the US, NBC cut away at 11.30 to go to its new heavily-hyped Jerry Seinfeld show just as the concert part of the ceremony was about to start - but judging from some of the less than enthusiastic tweets thereafter it might have been a relief that I ended up watching neither. Apparently there were some interesting choices for Vancouver's musical line-up: Nickelback but not Rush? Hedley (?) but not The Barenaked Ladies?

But whatever. I couldn't help think that my favorite Canadian singer would have been perfect for such an auspicious occasion. And this - in any of its versions - would have been the perfect song...

And as if to prove that Canadian musicians have a great sense of humor, check this out:

(Thirty-two years ago this week, I saw Rush play at the Liverpool Empire on their "Farewell To Kings" tour. Brilliant show.)

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