I suppose at some point in every person's life, there comes a time when they realize that their favorite singer/writer/actor/athlete isn't all that they thought they were. I have always known that Steven Page wasn't the nicest guy in the world and I have always accepted that. His talent always surpassed his personality. His voice and stage presence is what made him my #1 musical crush for so long. The way he could belt out a song and not break a sweat made me melt.
All of that came to an end last night.
**Let me apologize in advance for the long, rambling-ness of this post. I am still upset about it, so I go kind of all over the place when I talk about it, haha**
Steven Page was at the Royal Oak Music Theater last night. When we arrived around 7:40pm (show started at 8), we noticed there wasn't a whole lot of people standing outside. We thought that was a little odd. While we waited in the cold (it was so very cold), we heard one of the workers say that they closed the balcony. Well, that's not a good sign. We were finally let in about 810pm, checked out the merchandise stand (the shirts were really, really ugly), then went inside. There were seats. Lots and lots of seats... at The Royal Oak Music Theater. I was so weirded out by this. There were a total of maybe 50 people there at this point. We found our seats (4th row, center) and waited for the show to start. Naturally, we people watched while we waited and noticed that there were a ton of older people there. It was just a weird atmosphere. I felt like we were waiting for a school play to start or something. Anyway, we waited... and waited... and finally, the opening act came out (by this point the theater had filled up... minus the balcony).
Kate Miller Heidke opened for him and was so fantastic. As a general rule, i'm usually never crazy about the opening act, but believe me when I say this girl is So.Much.Fun. She was great with the crowd and so funny and her voice was kickass. She covered Eminem's "The Real Slim Shady" and it was clever and done fantastically well. If you think i'm exaggerating, i'm not. She got a standing ovation at the end of her set and the audience adored her. Carrie even bought her cd after the show. I urge you to google her. Seriously. Fun.
At this point, we were really excited for Steven Page. It's so rare that you enjoy an opening act that much. So, it seemed like a good sign for things to come. As we waited... and waited and waited for Mr. Page to grace us with his presence, we started to realize that things were just not going to go how we thought.
He FINALLY came out at 10:15pm. He was disheveled looking in his brown corduroy suit (which I predicted he would be in earlier in the evening) and looked frazzled. The sound system was a little out of whack and when he started to sing the opening line of the song, everyone jumped because it was so loud. They fixed that and he went on with one of the new songs from his cd (Page One) called, "A New Shore". It's one of my favorites and I was very happy until the song ended and he started singing the weirdest "cover" of Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now" that we have ever heard. We couldn't understand anything he was saying and it was chaotic and fast and then he lost his voice. LOST HIS VOICE. Steven Page, the one with the amazing operatic voice COULD NOT SING. For whatever reason (i'm sure he was freaking out), he ripped his tie off and wrapped it around his forehead. I dont even know if he finished the song. I was so completely uncomfortable.
He finally calmed down and told everyone to stand (it was too "church-like") and that they were allowed to take pictures (there were signs everywhere saying no cameras were allowed). Well naturally, a bunch of people ran right up to the front of the stage and invaded his personal space (the stage isn't very high there). He told one guy to stop touching him. He was visibly uncomfortable and half the theater was sitting while the other half was standing. Carrie and I stood but didn't go up to the stage. We had 4th row, we could see great and as far as I was concerned, I didn't need a front row seat to the disaster we were already witnessing. He tried to banter (like he used to in BNL) and I just kept thinking "who are you bantering with?? You are a solo artist now!". It was very obvious that he was lacking the companionship he had with Ed. He tried to be funny and it fell flat. He had these old school projectors that he would forget to turn on and when he remembered, he had to use a remote control to get them started. It was just weird and then they tried to do a cover of "P.Y.T" by Michael Jackson and they didn't even know the words. It made no sense! I think he "sang" the first verse and then immediately went into another song. It was just awkward.
He sang some BNL songs. It was weird hearing them though, after hearing BNL do them in concert earlier this summer. Before he sang "Enid", he made a big deal about how the song really resonates with the last 2 years of his life, especially the time where "I got myself kicked out of my own band" and it just seemed in bad taste. He even referenced being in jail at one point. All that he was fine with talking about, but not once did he acknowledge the fact that he wasn't singing well throughout the show. Carrie and I were dumbfounded. This was supposed to be an amazing show. Getting to see my favorite singer live and having wonderful seats and it was so the opposite of amazing. It was a train wreck. He forgot the words to some of the songs, including one of the new ones. It was infuriating! He ended up doing two encores and at one point I thought to mysef "I would be totally okay with leaving right now".
The final song he sang was "Break Your Heart". Most people who know that I love Steven Page, know that this is my all time, most favorite song he sings. Ever. But as the night went on, I kept telling Carrie that there was no way he would be able to sing it. His voice was awful. People kept yelling out requests for it throughout the show, so I think he felt obligated to sing it. It was then that he finally acknowledged the fact that he was "missing a note in his voice" and that he would need help with the song. I'll admit it, I was happy he sang it but it was tainted by my anger. He told everyone to meet him at the merch stand and he would sign stuff. We didn't do that.
I get that singers have bad nights and sometimes their voice is off but it wasn't just his voice. You could visibly see how weird he was being. The whole thing felt as if they threw it together 2 hours before they came out. But then again, I did a search for him on Twitter this morning and the people who were at the same show that we were, were raving about it. Saying he was amazing and it was a fantastic concert. Listen, it wasn't. My hopes were set so high for that show because he has never let me down musically. He may be a hole but he's so talented. Last night he was a hole with no talent and I was so disappointed.
Here are my highlights:
-Hanging out with Carrie
-Hanging out with Carrie
-We had really good seats
-He sang "I Live With It Everyday" from Born On a Pirate Ship and I LOVE THAT SONG.
-"Break Your Heart"
-The ride home with Carrie, where we vented and complained the whole time.
Maybe it was just an off night. Maybe Carrie and I were in some bizarro universe where Steven Page is a bad showman. Who knows? All I know is that he dashed all the adoration I had for him in one single evening and that makes me so sad.