TIFF bourgeoisie mistakes itself for social activists at Patti Smith concert at the Gardiner
Patti Smith hushed the crowd at the Gardiner Museum last night (well, minus the 10 per cent who were just there to get friendly with the free booze), and we were brought back to the era of punk, safety pins and pogo dancing. Having arrived from Moscow just yesterday, Smith was seriously jet-lagged (see top photo, left) yet still showed her quick and contagious wit. She apologized for having a guitar strap from the Berlin Film Festival, but said it was only because BFF had given her one and TIFF had not (I guess they really are a BFF). Photogs were standing in the corner of the great room, going nuts trying to capture images of the legend. Following her first song, she turned to them and remarked, “I think you are almost done taking pictures, because at this point Robert Mapplethorpe had taken Horses.” (To the uninformed: Horses is the famous Patti Smith album where she appears unimpressed, wearing suspenders, which happens to be the current fashion rage at this very moment.) After the jump, Patti lets loose on Joan Baez, while Robin Kay and Joe “Fresh” Mimran are spotted.
There was a brief anecdote about Joan Baez (“There was room for only one girl,” said Smith, referring to losing a spot in a band to Ms. Baez), then we were assured that answers are indeed blowing in the wind. Just when we thought there couldn’t be any more love-festing, a chant began to take shape: “The people have the power! The people have the power! THE PEOPLE HAVE THE POWER!” It felt as if we had exited the Gardiner chanting in unison and were protesting in front of the ROM (because it’s right there), crying “screw you” to the authorities, then we could shake anything, make change really happen! But then we remembered, “Oh, yeah, we’re at the film festival.” We were all dressed to the nines in duds from Holts. Still, it was nice while it lasted and comforting to know that we were all in it together—Robin Kay and Joseph Mimran included.
There were a few brats scattered through the crowd who were chattering about their pedicures over the music. Did they ever get lashed at: “Shut the fuck up!” an irritated fan yelled. “Oh, sorry!” said Patti with a smirk, to which he responded, “Not you!” Then Smith coughed and confessed that she’s allergic to the candles. For whatever reason, this makes us love her even more.
When we weren’t wishing we were activists or listening to the music, we were chatting with Leo Spralja about fertility (the Joso’s owner played host to Spike Lee and Weinstein and company earlier this week). He recommended we go eat his fish. We will take him up on that, then go home and sing a song about fish making love under the sea. —Jen McNeely