My sojourn at Ryerson in Toronto was an incredibly exciting time: along with the sense of unbridled freedom and self-expression, there was a world of new foods, cultures, music and friends. I hung out a lot with a guy in the same program from my high school; we hadn’t been close at home, but we now shared the excitement of exploration and a love of music. We listened to records and went to many punk shows and the occasional concert.
Our first visit to a large Toronto venue was for Peter Gabriel’s show at Maple Leaf Gardens. He had just released a second solo record. We got relatively inexpensive seats (greens) and, when the lights dimmed, headed down to main floor—normal etiquette at Detroit concerts, but, as we quickly learned, uncommon in sedate, reserved Toronto. Not only did no one else head for the stage, but everyone remained seated. We crouched by the edge of a row and, just as I wondered whether we’d be thrown out, the spotlight came on Peter Gabriel—up near our original seats. He sang the first number as he made his way down to the stage. The audience loved it (many were now on their feet, so we didn’t stand out as much).
As he approached us, we could see him high-five a few fans. For some reason, I decided this wasn’t quite enough, so when he got close, I picked him up and put him on my shoulder (he’s not that big a man). It was then that I noticed that he had a security guard or two with him and they weren’t impressed. I remember carrying him toward the stage and trying to settle him on my shoulders, but the tugging of the security guards forced me put him down. Gabriel gave me an approving high-five and ascended to the stage. We reluctantly headed back to our seats, thankful we hadn’t been ejected.
Later that year, I made a new friend who had also been at the show and remembered some yahoo picking up Peter Gabriel.
If you were at that concert or have a similar story to share, add a comment below.
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