for years, i've had an xmas tradition with mumsy and a few hundred other people. this year, that number upped itself to 1100 folks. the tradition, dear ones, is going to my friend jp hoe's annual xmas concert, the jp hoe hoe hoe holiday show. (see what he did there?)
|a world of pure imagination, courtesy of my iphone.|
this tradition does tend to depend on whether i'm in the province in time for it, so i'd say that in the past 6 or 7 years, i've managed to catch 3 or 4 of them. not perfect, but damn if it's not one of my favourite events all year. jp is absurdly talented, and for years he's been selling out the park theatre within a few days of tickets going on sale. this year, he moved to the burton cummings theatre downtown, significantly increasing seats from 250 to 1100 spread over floor seats and two sets of balconies. and, wouldn't you know it, he sold out again. mumsy and i got our tickets early, so we were fine beyond battling a bit with ticketmaster's incredibly annoying methods for selling seats.
this year also marks the first year jp is a dad, and his wife and baby were a couple rows ahead of us, with the wee one sporting massive noise-cancelling headphones. the life of a music baby! at one point, jp had him brought onstage for an "instragram opportunity", and while everyone cheered and posed, the baby slept like a rock. jp's song for his son was beautiful and heart-wrenching, which is no surprise. there were the usual shenanigans: jp opened with o holy night (which, if you remember, is one of my favourite xmas songs), fred penner came onstage for a short skit, and massive lollipops were brought onstage for the encore, which began with pure imagination (always a good choice) and jp sporting what looked like a cardboard top hat. my personal favourites this year weren't the holiday songs, although i did love them. no, they were the ones he wrote for the folks who help street kids and the inuit communities up north. i think i missed the titles, but i'm going to go with better soon and deliberate, respectively. hopefully they're either filmed or recorded soon.
jp is a delight to see onstage, and he's always a friendly lad to chat to after shows as well. so if he happens to be coming through your town/city/village/home (he does house concerts), be sure to check him out and support some fabulous prairie music.