Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Bleeding Red, White & Blue.



If you live in Montreal, you are a Montrealer no matter where you were born. Montrealers have the same religion: hockey, no matter the name of the God they worship. The City’s hockey team, The Canadiens (also called the Habs), are celebrating their 100th anniversary this year.

The Habs made it to the playoffs and the City now has its mojo back. I love hockey but don’t know my team’s statistics like die-hard fans do. Still, I have rarely felt the big “CH” on my chest like I did a few days ago.

The Montreal Symphonic Orchestra and its rock star musical director Kent Nagano performed for 12 000 faithfuls at the Bell Centre: the house the Habs built. It wasn’t a concert … it was a spectable. Yes, the Orchestra is exquisite and yes, watching Kent Nagano is like watching a mad scientist concocting the world’s musical cure for apathy. But what truly made the event a multi-sensorial experience were of course, the 12 000 Montrealers present. Beaming with pride at their history flashed on the giant screens andplaying in their ears the revellers were drenched in hockey – the religion that unifies them all, if only one season at a time.

The MSO played Beethoven, movie soundtracks, Pin de Roma and Sports hymns. When Montreal speaks of being Canada’s cultural metropolis, this is what it is talking about.

Happy playoffs!


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