Jagger’s moving ode to live performance

—The latest instalment of a regular column that long-time Canadian creative Craig Redmond is writing for our Monday newsletter. Sign up for the newsletter here

It was as a miserable March evening. The slush vomited up against the Masonic Temple walls by passing cars on Yonge Street was a ghastly, goopy grey.

We were frozen to the bone, preferring to stoically wear our New Wave regalia rather than something weather appropriate.

Finally, the bouncer opened the doors and we scurried up to the cheap balcony seats to watch our beloved, punky folk heroes The Waterboys take the hallowed hall’s stage. We also noticed a tiny teenage girl, timidly tiptoeing in their tow and clutching her violin like it was a security blanket.

Then they played. Goddamn, did they play.

But after almost an entire set of pagan punk hysteria, the stage suddenly fell eerily silent. And a single spotlight descended upon that shy young girl, who dared not look up at the frenzied motley moshers.

Instead, she leaned into her fiddle and let it whisper one of most soulful and beautiful ballads I’d heard in my young life. Only then did she finally summon the courage to look up, and the crowd erupted in a roar that shook the Temple to its foundations.

It’s a moment that will be seared into my cranium for a blissful eternity. And it’s a moment every one of us who has ever witnessed live entertainment, in whatever genre presented, has experienced in some manner. Take pause and remember yours.

Perhaps no place on Earth has served up those moments more steadfastly than London’s Royal Albert Hall. From bone-chilling Olivier soliloquies to mind-numbing Hendrix guitar solos and hair-raising Adele arias, nothing silenced the Old Albert. Not even a rain of Blitzkrieg bombs in WWII could darken its stage.

Until, of course, Coronavirus.

So, as it prepares to rise again from its 2020 moratorium, who better to celebrate its glorious 150-year past and a future yet to come than a guy who has stirred more moments than most.

Ladies and gentlemen, Sir Mick Jagger.

Craig Redmond is a creative leader with Palmer Stamnes and Co, an independent family of marketing communication companies.