elizalavelle: (Sarah Slean LM dance)
Hey look, it's another really long post. I'll cut the concert stuff when I get there :)

So yesterday was the second day of Slean concerts AND the day when Andrea and I put together the card for the Passioneer Holiday Project. Which means that Andrea spends a day being very arts and crafty and I spend a day helping when I can and not getting in the way the rest of the time ;) We ended up having 30 people participating this year. I was thrilled as it looked like we weren't going ot break 10 for a while there which was freaking me out. But it ended up better than well and the card looked amazing when it was finished :)

All was done on time and we made it to the venue in excellent time to meet up with lots of people before the show.

And on to the lengthy concert stuff:

Tim Baker (opening act) )

Sarah Slean )
elizalavelle: (Sarah Slean spin gallery Eye)
So two days of Slean have worn me out. However it was so worth it. Stories and such coming in my typical long winded fashion tomorrow. However I do have to say that the Harbourfront staff were actually really nice for these concerts. I'm impressed as I've really not had good experience with their staff at any show there. Yet at these shows everyone was polite and friendly and I am so going to have to write a good letter to Harbourfront for that. How's that for a turn of events?! I still don't want to give them my money next year for any concerts but I'm working on ideas to skirt around that...

Anyways I'm fully exhausted. Met lots of new people, only missed 1 person who I wanted to meet, the card was a success again and there should be lots of pictures for that coming soon. Thanks again to the people who read this who participated. You guys are awesome!
elizalavelle: (Sarah Slean sailing on a sunrise)
Last night was the first of Sarah's annual Harbourfront shows. I have no love for the venue but I do adore seeing Sarah play live and last night was a fantastic show!

All of yesterday was good. I only had a 1/2 day at work. Then I made my way up to the CNIB to visit Mel and Todd and to get my camera and DVDs which I'd forgotten at their house.

Then Andrea made her way to my place and we did a Christmas gift exchange and OMG she got me such an awesome gift. A graphic novel of Haunted Mansion stories from Disney World. Two of the authors are Roman Dirge and Serena Valentino so you know it's good :) I read through it this morning and love it!

On our way to the concert we met up with Leanne (who we lost after the show but if you come by this review, hi Leanne) who we'd actually met at the first of these concerts 2 years ago and had given her a ticket to move up a few rows in the orchestra becase we had an extra. Usher who hated me didn't like that game as I remember it. Apparently good deeds weren't cool by her. But how fun is it that we met the same person again!?

Heads up, Warner is handing out fun little cards promoting the new album and that you can download Get Home on Sarah's webpage. I noticed that there were extras on the merch table so if you miss out getting one in the lobby then head for the table :) I was surprised at the degree that Warner is actually promoting Sarah this time around. I've never seen this much effort from them before. Which reminds me, for those of you on Facebook someone from Warner asked me to let people know that Sarah now has an official Facebook group. Type in "Sarah Slean" in the search bar and her official one is the first one that pops up. I'm a co-moderator on the second one that shows up, Passioneers (totally unoffical) join that too :)

The opening act was Tim Baker from the band Hey Rosetta, He was quite good, I'd be interested in seeing his whole band perform to see what the total sound is like. However solo he held up really well despite the fact that Hfront has possibly the worst mics ever. The main one kept shorting out unless the wire was in a certain position. Touch the mic and it died. Not the most fun game ever.

Then we had intermission and then the highlight of the night, the fabulous Sarah Slean!

Review and setlist are under the cut )
elizalavelle: (BtVS Willow resolve face)
Smallish Hfront update. For anyone who missed it I really encourage you to please read my entry about how Harbourfront treated me on Saturday. You can find it here..

I received a call and an email yesterday apologizing for how ticket sales were handled for the Sarah Slean concerts. I'm glad that they're still communicating and realize that there were a lot of errors made in regards to releasing tickets early and then selling tickets for the wrong date. I'd not yet sent in my complaint about their customer service (did that last night) so we'll see how that progresses.

In the meantime the great seats that I have for the show on the 20th are only tentatively mine. There may not even be a show on that date (contract problems as they sold tickets for a show that didn't exist yet... that happened to a Slean show in London a bit over a year ago and that show folded right away.) I'm not fond of the idea that I could lose my really good seats. Especially as I was the one who alerted the box office to the fact they were selling me the wrong tickets in the first place! If they'd listened to me then things would have been fine.

Anyways, same as last year, mistakes were made, they're sorry now, but nothing can be fixed because with ticket sales there's no fair way to fix a problem like this. The people who got the best seats have those tickets and should be allowed to keep them. The people who ordered online were the first to buy tickets and have not great seats as a result but it's too late now to go back and give them the best seats available. I didn't get the seats I lined up for but I can't (and don't want to) take them away from the people who now have them.

I don't even have a suggestion as to how to fix all of the problems... I'd think it would be nice to offer better seats to everyone who bought online, there are still far better tickets available and they shouldn't be punished for buying tickets as soon as they were available. Everything else pretty much is just unfixable.
elizalavelle: (Sarah Slean - have the ravens come)
I'm a little more calm and happy thanks to spending last night out with some Browncoats. I'm still extremely upset as to how I was treated at Harbourfront but I have more of a plan of action for it now.

The story of what happened is under the cut )
elizalavelle: (BtVS - loathing)
I'm SO mad at Harbourfront I can't even think straight enough to type out an entry. I got my ticket but they made fun of me! I could care less if they all think I'm nuts but you don't directly mock the customer ESPECIALLY as they made a mistake with ticket sales, I pointed it out and they made fun of me. THEN when they realized their mistake (they were selling me tickets to the night that wasn't supposed to be released) they tried to take back the tickets I'd just bought before selling me the other ones. (key word there is "tried" there was no way they were managing that one)

There will be a longer journal entry of this later. I'm just so upset with this place. They never even apologized when they realized they had been selling the wrong tickets and that I was actually right about that.
elizalavelle: (Firefly - Kaylee the hell with that)
And look, just when I start to believe the best of Harbourfront I sign on to the Sarah Slean message board and read this:

"hey guys! so, harbourfront can kiss my a**. i just went online to check the phone number to call, and the tickets are ALREADY ON SALE. it's friday night (well morning at 1am) and i got horrible seats! i used to sitting in the 5th or 6th row and i got like 20 rows back. i'm so mad. did this happen to anyone else??? how could it sell that quickly when it wasn't even supposed to be on sale yet!"

I am beyond pissed off, for the number of tickets I'm ordering (5) the best I can get is the last row of the orchestra if I order online. I'm hoping in person I can do better but even then that's not fair for everyone else who has ordered/will order online.

I don't even get how this place still runs if they consistantly make this many mistakes. They've had their online ticket ordering system for a while, I believe since last Feb/March or so. So that's quite a while to get things running well with it and to get ticket sales organized. I could see the timing being off like this if this was the first maybe month of them organizing their online ticket selling to match their physical box office but they've had more than enough time to get simple things like putting tickets on sale at the same time down. Even if it was close to the same time, like if someone had to set it up 10 minutes early online so they could go to work then at the box office, fine, whatever, but this is just sloppy.

It's just bad buisness, people who actually are going to be concerened about what tickets they get and so are ordering as soon as they can are going to get stuck with bad seats... I'm not even sure if I have a shot at getting a decent seat anymore. I managed to not panic and just order the seats I drew online, I'm waiting 'til I can deal with a person instead of the computer (at least then I can maybe take 5 single seats that are scattered and do better) but I am not happy about it.
elizalavelle: (Sarah Slean sailing on a sunrise)
Slean tickets are on sale tomorrow :) 1pm at Harbourfront, online (they do their own ticketsales now so no more ticketmaster drama) via phone and in person.

This is just for the show on the 21st, no sale date for the show on the 20th yet, although I'm not going to be as picky about my seat for that one, I just like to be close for the second night, last year we ended up being close the first night and eveyone was scattered for night 2 and that sort of sucked.

Anyways, wish me luck. Hopefully I'll be able to get good seats :)
elizalavelle: (90210 dish dish!)
Harbourfront update, a good one this time!

I called them on Tuesday after work since I'd still not heard back from them. I got a hold of the Director of Marketing and Media relations as that's who was my contact last year and really he's the first really great person I've dealt with at that venue. He said that he tried to call but I guess he had my number wrong (I double checked my email that I sent to him and I had it right in there so he must have written it wrong) and he'd deleted my email and he was going through the Slean message board trying to figure out if the "elizalavelle" on there was me. Since the last thing I have up on there is about Hfront knowing nothing about their upcoming concerts I'd say that's a pretty good bet ;) Also he said that my name had just come up an hour before at his work LMAO! I tell you that does nothing to talk me out of my idea that when they type my name into their computer system they now have a flashing red warning light and some message about me being nuts ;)

Anyways they have a tentative sale date for the show on the 21st. I can't confirm it 'til Friday but any Sarah Slean fans who want tickets for the show on the 21st they're probably on sale very soon, I'll update the messageboard at www.sarahslean.com on Friday late afternoon/early evening after I've confirmed the date. There is no sale date for the show on the 20th but as we spoke about that concert date as well I'm guessing that no matter how much the game is to pretend there is no concert on that date the contract already has two shows on it.
elizalavelle: (Firefly - Kaylee the hell with that)
Harbourfront update... they've improved their customer service over the past year by exactly 0%. The guy on the phone actually laughed at me when I asked for management as I'd been through being told "there's nothing to know" bullshit already. He put me on hold for a moment, I presume to talk to his manager although if I've learned anything in the I got the contact info for the director of marketing and media relations who I ended up talking to last year so I've emailed him and we'll see if at least there is some information.

Honestly is it so hard to know when tickets go on sale? Yes I need to know sooner than the day before/day of because I'm organizing buying tickets for people who are out of town. This year I'm absolutely not buying the same amount of tickets (last year, 2 shows, 19 tickets and WAY too much organization and trouble) but I will be buying for more than just myself and so I like to have more than 5 minutes notice as to when I can get tickets. Last year I lucked into tickets for the first night because they went on sale on ticketmaster and weren't announced anywhere and I'd resorted to searching for tickets every day as no one who worked for the theatre know anything.

Every year I hope to be somewhat surprised and maybe end up dealing with someone helpful. But no, same old same old.
elizalavelle: (Sarah Slean until I win)
I've cracked out the determined looking Sarah Slean icon, this can only mean 1 thing... Harbourfront concerts. I'm so happy she's doing 2 TO shows again and that they're only a couple of months away but I know I really dislike the venue when the first thing I thought that came into my head when I heard the news was "crap."

I've been eagerly awaiting any news of a Slean show since it's been a while since I've seenher perform at all, and it'll have been just over a year since I've seen her perform her own material. BUT it's Harbourfront, which means a potential fight for tickets, dealing with untrained staff... I'm trying to give people that work there the benefit of the doubt and say that they're just not given all information about the shows that play there. The one last year that I dealt with at the box office was just not a nice person, there was some amount of twisted pleasure there in making sure that the people in line didn't get the tickets they were waiting for...

Anyways *yay* shows :) I'll be there for sure. I'll be happy to be inside seeing the show. I cannot wait to hear the new material! I'm less than thrilled when I realize I have to deal with getting tickets from this venue again.
elizalavelle: (Sarah Slean LM dance)
Two Slean shows in a row! Much fun. I'm feeling entirely happy... well I do have more complaints about the service at Harbourfront BUT the shows themselves were an absolute delight!

Oh the first part of Tales of the Baroness (the animated film Sarah worked on) premiered this week but for those of you who missed it you can catch it next week:

May 19 A-Channel Victoria at 6 pm local time
May 19 A-Channels Ontario (London, Barrie, Ottawa) at 7:30 pm local time

And now on to the concerts:

Art of Time Ensemble: Songbook )
elizalavelle: (Sarah Slean until I win)
Quick update on the Sarah Slean Art of Time shows at Harbourfront. There are still tickets available for tonight's show so if any of you have been sitting on the fence about buying tickets it's definitely worth it. Wonderful musicians and of course Sarah was just stunning as per her usual.

The staff, of course, were a little bit annoying as per their usual. We were ushered out of the lobby very early after the performance and almost before we had a chance to speak with Sarah... and then as we were speaking with Sarah the same usher again told us that we had to leave. So annoying. So as per my usual I wrote another letter to Hfront and am generally not impressed with their level of service.

However, the show is still worth seeing.
elizalavelle: (Sarah Slean spin gallery Eye)
I have spent the last two nights seeing the Art of Time Ensemble Schubert: Source & Inspiration at Harbourfront featuring performances by: Andy Maize, John Southworth, Sarah Slean, Danny Michel and Martin Tielli. I think the only downside to going two nights in a row is that I end up in somewhat of a pattern and will wonder why I'm not there again tonight lol.

Just Andrea and I went on Thursday because we are just that silly to buy tickets for two nights in a row, and we had no clue really of what to expect other than we liked a few of the singers, vaguely knew the Schubert piece of music (now I think I want to buy some of his work it was very beautiful!) and figured it would be entertaining to say the least.

The show began with the Art of Time Ensemble which consists of Andrew Burashko (piano), Erika Raum (violin), and Winona Zelenka (cello). They played Trio No. 2 Op. 100, D 929: Allegro, Andante con moto, Scherzo - Allergro Moderato, Allegro moderato. Simply stunning. I don't go to see a lot of classical music be played and everytime I do I'm just blown away. These three musicians are just so talented and I was just enthralled both nights. Loved it! I felt badly because the first night I suppose it wasn't such a classical music crowd so between the movements no one clapped and I presume most everyone was sitting there like me thinking it felt like a moment to clap but just not wanting to screw up the wonderful music that was going on. Friday there was much clapping, all was well :)

Then there was an intermission and after that came the musicians who'd used the Schubert piece as inspiration for some original songs.

Andy Maize was definitely my unknown (to me) treat of the night. I don't believe I'd heard him perform before and he came up with some lovely songs. His second song, 'City of Sirens' was one I particularly fell in love with. I hope the performers record these new songs, some of them were just fantastic!

John Southworth (who, dear readers, you may remember me mentioning as he opened for Sarah one night in December) he for me is always a little hit or miss. Very experimental performer which is always interesting but I know I was not as impressed as I'd expected to be back in December. For this show his first song (which I think is called 'Mourning in the Morning") was delightful. Everyone spent the rest of the evening comparing him to Johnny Depp and while I couldn't see as much Depp as people were going for what I think they were getting at was that it was very much a Depp directed by Tim Burton performance. His second song ('Zulu') I just wasn't feeling as much, it was very original and actually the second night when I knew it was coming I found that I liked it better. At any rate I think I'm going to look into some more of his music because he is fantastically talented, just some of it so far hasn't worked for me, I'll keep trying.

Sarah Slean, for whom we'd bought tickets way back in October to these shows, had two very lovely songs. Both nights the string players who accompanied her were placed so it was somewhat tricky to actually see Sarah but that doesn't really take away from getting to hear two new songs. Her songs were called 'Lonely Side of the Moon' which was written about how mother earth is striking back at humanity somewhat and how if we wreck the world we can always go live on the lonely side of the moon. As that's something I tend to keep ranting on and on about (not the living on the moon but about how these random disasters aren't actually random and it's just the earth's way of evening things out) I was delighted with this one. The second song was called 'The Rose' and was about dying and it was just beautiful and sad and strong. Two really good solid songs.

Danny Michel was very entertaining. He won over the audience right away, and I have to say I always do enjoy seeing him up on stage. He performed one song to which I do not remember the title but it was about a love story in Guatamala and his second number was called 'Rye Whisky.' Before any Danny Michel fans stumble by this to inform me that that is not a new song, even I knew that! He told the story about the poem which comprise the lyrics and I was sitting there on Thursday thinking "boy does this sound familiar" and then he played the song and I've only seen him perform 3 times I think and I've totally seen him play that song before. Which I called him on on Friday before the show and he said that the music for it is all new, which in fairness it completely is, I paid close attention to it on Friday night and you can pick out the Shubert insipiration.

Martin Tielli wrapped up the evening and he was such an interesting performer to watch. He's very much someone who just gets out there and when he's playing he seems to be completely wrapped up in the music and unaware that he's also putting on a show... but he is theatrical with it at the same time... which doesn't make much sense when I write it down, just go see him, it was great. I can only remember the name of one of the songs 'Aluminum Flies' ("as in the things that lay eggs on rotting corpses") but both of his songs were just great fun to hear.

All in all it was a fantastic pair of nights full of songs. The second night I was particually aware of how every piano player completely handles the instrument differently, which I'm sure also translates to other performers with other instruments but as I only really know how to play the piano (somewhat) that's what I noticed.

Also on Friday Andrea and I were invited to go to an art show opening that Kate Jackson (one of Sarah's friends who was at the Thursday show - which is how we got invited) was a part of. I have to recommend this one. It's at the York Quay Centre and it's their Spring Exhibitions so there are so many different types of amazing artwork there to see. My favourites of the night were: Kate Jackson & Suzanne Carlsen 'Last Night I Dreamt I Was'. No, not because it's Sarah's friend and therefore I was somewhat obligated to like it, but because it was just a delightful series of pieces of art. I loved how it was displayed, you peer through cut outs to see these vibrant moments from dreams. They captured a whole mood with their art. Also Jennifer Long's 'Immigration Series' because the whole idea behind the photoshoot was so powerful and again you just walked into a whole mood there. Heather Goodchild who had a lovely dark fairytale feeling to her artwork (clearly I was going to like that!) There was also a whole series of different art using the medium of film in one way or another and the one that particularly stood out to me was one that was mounted around an old Catholic sick bed kit type of thing. It was a box that came with the holy water and candles and candle holders etc and the instructions for what would happen when the priest came and what you should have prepared and what then would be done, just very interesting to see that and to have that bit of history contrasted with film running over it. Hard to explain. Instead you can click the link for more info and head over to the show :)

I invited Jo to come to the art show opening with us and she made it and while there I convinced her to come see Sarah perform in May with us :) *yay* much fun!

And I think this is plenty long enough for now!
elizalavelle: (Sarah Slean until I win)
Sarah Slean: December 15th Harbourfront show

so catch your wind and fly )
elizalavelle: (Sarah Slean - joy in the park)
The Sarah Slean concert last night was brilliant! I'm going to do my usual long winded review later on, as soon as I have a moment to sit and write it all out properly. If you read this and you're going tonight you're in for a treat and a half :) The only really creepy thing we saw was as we were leaving the theatre someone had painted a streetcar shelter for Sarah, in French. Roughly translated it said "I love you S.S. You and me between the sheets." Now perhaps it's from someone who she actually knows in which case it could be sweet or funny. If it's a random fan thing it's creepy like woah.

The only concert related disappointment of the evening was that they'd forgotton the tour posters in St. Johns so I didn't get to buy one... or as the case woudl have been, many. I really REALLY want one since they're apparently of my picture and that makes me a wee bit giddy. But the concert was amazing and I'd much rather have the show than the poster any day. I'm still hearing songs in my head, the new material is fabulous!

And yes, I really am up this early. Actually I went to bed at 1 and woke up at 4:30 and have spent the past two hours tossing and turning. I think I'll have to try for a nap today at some point.
elizalavelle: (Sarah Slean until I win)
So Harbourfront stuff is as resolved as I could hope for at this point which is good. At least there was no more lying which I really appreciated. The person who I dealt with at the box office hopefully is going to get some pointers on customer service. Harbourfront also hopefully will not be pretending there is no deal with Ticketmaster for who can sell which seats. It's a legit deal and I for one would just prefer to have it explained to me when I ask about it rather than find out later that I can't have the seats I lined up to get.

Also, IF this happens again next year (as they do seem to like having Sarah Slean at their venue and the venue itself is great for her) I have a contact in case of more drama. I'm hoping that this fixes most of the problems that have been going on for the past two years surrounding the Slean concerts. I'm still going to be very wary of them. While the person who I've been dealing with on the phone has been great I'll need to wait until the next time I have to buy tickets (and I stress the words have to as I meant what I said, I won't be seeing anything there unless it's a show --like Sarah Slean -- that I really can't miss) to see how they've changed.

The only resolution I didn't like was that the venue cannot release the ticket price until the day the tickets go on sale just in case it changes. This is why when I called two days before the tickets went on sale they couldn't tell me any information. That to me is silly if you're trying to plan ahead for tickets, or, if you're like me and end up buying EVERYONE else's tickets for them, I need to know what the general overall cost will be when I'm picking up 8 or 10 tickets at once.
elizalavelle: (Idina defy)
Letter writing actually works. I sent off 3 letters to Harbourfront on the weekend. I wasn't sure exactly from the website directory who I should have mailed them to but I made a guess, 0 out of 3 on that one but thus far 2 of my letters have made their way to the correct person's desk and he gave me a call today. No answers yet but he's looking into what went wrong on their end.

Having worked in retail I know that ultimately there's not much that can be done, management protects their employees (as they should) but hopefully this will prompt them to work more on customer service and I'd love to see them at least start telling the public about the deal between Ticketmaster and Harbourfront for their ticket sales. That way people can make an educated decision about how they'd like to buy tickets.

At any rate, I think my letters garnered a little more notice than an email or a phone call would have. Especially a phone call as I was (and still am) very frustrated with them and that emotion does not make for a calm and rational conversation.
elizalavelle: (Default)
Hmmm I still dislike Harbourfront... can I dislike them even more? They added a second Sarah Slean date (fabulous!) They didn't promote it at all but started selling tickets today (not fabulous.) Then when Andrea called and grabbed the last two seats in the second row (keeping in mind that ticketmaster had rows 1, 3, 5 etc again and had nothing listed for the 15th yet) she was treated to doing buisness with yet another rude Harbourfront Box Office employee who refused to comment on how the second row was almost sold out but they had no announcement of the show on their website or anywhere else.

Then I checked out ticketmaster.ca when I got home from work and they'd just released the tickets (at 4:24pm WTF!!!???) and I lucked out and got front row seats. How is it that in the last week I suddenly am preferring to deal with Ticketmaster over an actual box office with actual people I can talk to? Something is not so right with that yet due to the extremely rude Harbourfront employees that's what I realized today. I actually felt much better about dealing with buying tickets online. I don't like that.

On the plus side I was proactive about that and emailed the promoter for the show(s) as Harbourfront told me to do... probably not guessing I'd actually know who to email. And my letter of complaint is ready to be mailed tomorrow. I was going to add more onto it about the mishandling of the second show but I just can't say anymore about them... it's just the same declining, disrespectful customer service. Which leads to far too much drama over tickets. I've been 15 once before already, I've done the drama over every little thing phase, I'd just like buying concert tickets to be simple.
elizalavelle: (Sarah Slean Orphan Music)
Full out SQUEE!

While life is insanely busy and getting busier by the day, there are pockets of joy that keep popping up. Currently in Slean mode:

1. Warner has bought two of my photos of Sarah Slean for use on her upcoming album! I have no idea if they'll make the final edit, but as the album is out in less than a month I don't have too long to be curious about it :)

2. The new live (and Bside) Sarah Slean album, Orphan Music, is coming out on Hallowe'en. I love Hallowe'en and last years' got to be a Slean holiday (in NYC no less!) and apparently so does this year!) No complaints here :)

3. I have tickets to this show in the spring: http://littleslean.blogspot.com/2006/10/slean-tickets-on-sale-toronto-art-of.html To anyone who is going to order tickets. Harbourfront is apparently saying that row 7 is the best available. That's not so. They have this deal with Ticketmaster which in the long run I think hurts the Harbourfront box office, but that's just my opinion. Anyways, Ticketmaster has the rights to sell those first few rows of tickets when sales go online. However if you talk nicely to the box office people and let them know that you're fairly sure that there are better seats available then you should be able to swing a better seat. If anyone remembers reading my drama with getting tickets from this venue last winter it's exactly the same thing. I really did love the theatre but their ticket sale policy is definitely not my favourite.

But back to the good, add to this crazy fun that it's a lovely holiday weekend. I had a great homecooked meal and got a massage for my strained neck, and I plan to sleep in like woah tomorrow. It's all good :)

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elizalavelle: (Default)
Elizabeth Jamieson

January 2013

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