DAILY BREAD FEEDBACK festival with STEVEN PAGE, GORD DOWNIE and the dinner is ruined, SARAH HARMER, MOLLY JOHNSON, kim mitchell, choclair, cash brothers and blurtonia tonight (Thursday, February 7), Kool Haus (1 Jarvis). $35-$150. 416-870-8000.
steven page is trying to explainhow the Barenaked Ladies' big vacation began to disappear before it really began.After years of almost non-stop touring in the U.S., a massive payoff and the obligatory greatest-hits record out of the way, the band was supposed to slip into a Celine-like hibernation for 2002 and recharge to record a new album somewhere down the road.
A month or so in and things are going exactly to plan. That is, if your idea of time off is singing about Chinese chickens at the Superbowl and the Winter Olympics, hosting the Juno Awards and going solo at a benefit for the Daily Bread Food Bank.
"They're calling this a year off, but it's actually turning out to be pretty far from that," Page confirms with a laugh.
"We've got the Olympics and the Superbowl, and then we do plan to start writing a new record.
"We're trying to take our time. Usually everything's written in a month, recorded in two months and then out it goes. This time around we're going to take the better part of a year.
"We haven't had this kind of indefinite piece of time in front of us since, uh, 1995. I think I'll spend it taking piano lessons and being a full-time dad."
One thing Page is happy to break his vacation for is tonight's (Thursday, February 7) Daily Bread Feedback Festival.
The good cause has clearly struck a chord. Daily Bread organizers have managed to land not only Page but also Sarah Harmer, Gord Downie, Choclair and, er, Kim Mitchell for the relatively intimate Kool Haus show.
"Gord and I live in the same neighbourhood, and when we see each other around, we have a lot of the same concerns," Page reasons. "It sounds ridiculous, but playing a few songs is the least we can do.
"It's a dire time for the food bank and Ontario as well. Daily Bread's a great organization, but it's frustrating that they have to do what they do. I thought that's what I pay my taxes for."
Worthy cause aside, tonight's gig is notable because it's simply Page onstage, not the complete Ladies. He's played to stadiums full of people around the globe, but the singer insists he has never played a solo show before.
"I don't know what I'm going to do," he says with a nervous chuckle. "To me, it's as if I got up and started speaking in French. I'm so used to being onstage with my band that this will be a whole different thing.
"I get very nervous onstage when I'm not with the band. When we're all together, no matter how many people are in front of us, it's fine. By myself, I might just collapse."
Better here than at the Superbowl. It's only days before one of the most-watched spectacles of the year, and Page -- not a football fan -- has no idea what's expected of his band.
Given the extravaganzas that Superbowl shows usually entail, an entrance on jet-packs or a duet with the Dixie Chicks would be entirely appropriate. If all else fails, go to Plan B.
"For years," Page snorts, "we had this idea of going on Saturday Night Live all wearing grey sweatpants, and right at the second chorus we'd all pee our pants. This could be our big chance."email@example.com