What a tremendous and busy weekend we just had! I haven’t had a weekend that full of events in…well, I don’t know the last time. Saturday was Groundhog Day which I celebrated with a tweet about Gobbler’s Knob. Next up was a visit to the Telus World of Science. Let’s get one thing straight before I dive in: my wife and I grew up calling it the Space Science Centre (SSC) and this is how I’m going to refer to it. We won’t even speak of its brief stint as the poorly-named “Odysseum.” Anyway, after buying tickets we spent some time poking around the SSC; it had been about five years since we were both there when Body Worlds rolled through town. I’d forgotten how many cool things are available to see and do, like the Body Fantastic exhibit, and how many great memories I had at the SSC as a kid – like following pennies down the gravity well of a blackhole, seeing how fast I could throw a fastball, and watching the universe unfold in the Margaret Zeidler Theatre. Saturday, though, we were there for the much-anticipated Star Wars Identities exhibit. Let me tell you, I got my HUGE NERD on. Growing up on the Star Wars movies, this was like walking into a dream. While the main draw for me was to simply wander through the costumes, props, sketches, and other movie paraphernalia, it was still fun to build my own Star Wars character during our 90 minute exploration.
Next up was a trip to The Bay, Sears, and Toys R Us for baby furniture and stroller shopping. Good lord. Cribs might as well be sold as Transformers by Hasbro; strollers come with more attachments than a vacuum cleaner and can be folded like origami using one hand; and car seats stop just short of having built-in airbags. When I was a kid, car seats were made out of ice cream buckets with some rope to strap you in – not so for this generation. For this trip we satisfied ourselves with purchasing a baby rocking device (“baby shaking” apparently doesn’t test well with target audiences) capable of breaking the laws of physics. Done for the day, we stopped for dinner at our favourite Lebanese restaurant, CoCoDi, on Jasper Ave and returned home to fall asleep watching Star Wars: A New Hope.
Sunday morning started with my regular squash game against my father-in-law. He’s entirely too good and beat me in straight sets (though I made him work for the win, especially one marathon 18-16 game). More baby furniture shopping took place in the early afternoon where we bought Optimus Crib. Laugh if you will but this thing transforms from a crib to a toddler bed to a double bed. Kid’s bed for life? Sold. Back at home, it was time for the first half of the Superbowl and the Halftime Show. I was cheering for the Niners and was staggered by the 21-3 absolute beat-down being delivered at the hands of the Ravens in the opening half. Unfortunately, the third quarter was delayed due to a power outage in New Orleans and we had to leave to get to the Muse concert before seeing what was – apparently – an amazing near-comeback performance by San Francisco.
Walking into the doors at Rexall Place, we were turned away three times before finding the one spot on the other side of the building to pick up our tickets through Rogers Wireless Box Office. Finally inside, we found our seats between the opening band finishing and Muse going on – perfect timing. At 8:40, Muse hit the stage and the place exploded. I’ve been to a good number of concerts and Muse is by far one of the best live bands I’ve ever seen. Smoke, lasers, body-vibrating sound, and columns of CO2, not to mention a moving pyramid suspended above the stage filled with lights and LCD screens. While visually awe-inspiring, the technical side of the show comes second to the fact that Matthew Bellamy is a stunningly-talented artist on vocals, guitar, and piano and stands alongside his equally-amazing bandmates who delivered outstanding performances. As for the setlist, the focus was mainly on songs from their new album, The 2nd Law, but the band made sure to include a few older ones. The result was a perfect blend that rocked the house and assuredly delighted fans old and new. If Muse ever comes back this way I’ll be one of the first to buy tickets without the slightest hesitation. The show was nothing short of spectacular and the perfect way to cap off a busy but fantastic weekend.