At the break between the opening act (Royal Wood) and the main show (Serena Ryder), as my wife and I are lining up for Royal Wood's autograph, a 50'ish gentleman standing behind us remarks to a late 30's woman: "I heard her first on CBC, first on Rich Terfry's show (Radio 2 Drive), then quite often on that new guy's show, Bob-something". My wife turns around and says: "Ma-ko-wits, Bob Ma-ko-wits (Mackowycz, Radio 2 Morning)".
During the show, Serena, in a subdued moment and with an emphasis that could only come from the heart, declares her appreciation for the CBC, and by an implied extension, for being a part of this great country. She confirms this feeling further along on the show by saying, "it's good to be home" after relating an experience she recently had in the USA.
Doug Brown, a respected blogger in Toronto (www.torontowide.com) remarked on a recent Serena concert in Toronto, that "interestingly, almost 3/4's of her audience look to be twice as old as her, which I found a bit odd, but at the same time perhaps a testament to her strong song-writing". Doug adds, "she has a lot more energy in concert than her radio-friendly songs would lead you to expect".
Well, she gets a lot of air-time on Canadian-performer-friendly CBC; her material appeals to a Canadian sensibility that resonates across different generations.
Both Royal Wood and Serena Ryder are enervating artists. My 7-year-old did fall asleep halfway through the show but my 16-year-old son fell in love with her. My uber-socially-engaged 20-year-old son loved her comments and lyrics. My wife loves her for everything and I'm sure a few in the audience wondered if Royal Wood was married (he is). The audience was made up of middle-aged and older couples, plus a number of university-aged kids (Guelph being a university town).
Thank you Serena and Royal!