Time is of the essence. This is the motto that describes how I felt the moment Dijon announced his most recent tour back in November. The same words crossed my mind as I anxiously wandered the streets of Montreal; trying to make it on time to the show. And again when the ticket collector told me my ticket was invalid, as I watched my friends disappear into the venue.
It’s almost too easy to give into anticipation and completely miss the magic of the present. At least that’s what a fellow attendant pointed out as Dijon and his crew casually walked across the venue to the green room, while the crowd obliviously faced the empty stage. The space between now and then felt infinite, so you can only imagine the relief and excitement that took over Le Studio TD when the man of the hour stepped on stage with his band.
Alternating between sharing attentive glances with the other musicians and scanning the sold-out venue, he started with “Big Mike’s,” then smoothly transitioned into “Sweet Thing.” Stripped down and delicate, every word and coo was executed with masterful precision, adding another layer of intimacy to his legendary cover. A couple songs later he broke up the set to introduce himself, as well as the band. And with a mischievous smirk, he gave his final instructions for the evening, “If you know some of the songs, sing along, and if you don’t… [points to the door].” From then until the last note on Ryan’s precious steel lap guitar, time ceased to exist and Dijon’s presence became the only thing that mattered.
Pushing and pulling at our heart strings, he performed various tracks from his most recent album "Absolutely," but also sprinkled some deep-cuts, like “rock n roll” and “dance song,” from his 2020 EP How Do You Feel About Marriage. A couple of hoots, hollers and proclamations of love later, we reached the grand finale marked by the climactic and all-consuming “Many Times.” Completely letting loose of the tension built throughout the set, he gave it all, and the crowd followed suit. Thrashing, singing, screaming, and dancing, it was all or nothing, and we chose the former.
After a well-deserved encore they vanished from the stage, leaving us, once again, with time. Time to process and reminisce on the night Dijon defied space and time. Time to spend the rest of my days wishing I could go back and do it all over again.