Kyra: There are a few key moments that stand out in the journey that we have taken to arrive here… at Stage Left Media, most of which were, in fact, spent stage left.
While we each had our own respective first concerts (mine was Rod Stewart with my mom, Brittany’s was a classic for our generation, Britney Spears), it wasn’t until the latter part of high school that we truly discovered how much concerts meant to us. It was kind of an accident really, that I happened to flip to MTV Canada just as Hanson (yes, like MMMBop) took the stage on MTV live. Floored by the possibility that these tween pop sensations from my childhood still existed, I went out and bought their latest album and Brittany and I both fell in love with it. When I heard that they were touring in Canada, I was determined to get to a show no matter what it took, and since the Vancouver show was 19+, it took convincing my mom to drive us 10 hours to Calgary to see them, which she did, because she’s amazing like that. We commonly refer to her as Mamarazzi because she’s always there to capture our greatest adventures on film and so many of our experiences wouldn’t have been the same without her. The Hanson concert was the closest I’d ever been to the stage for a concert and an experience I will never forget. We made new friends, we were right up front, we got to meet the band and from that day forward, we were loyal Fansons. You’re all music lovers. You must remember that point when that one band or album became the greatest thing in your tiny teenage world. Well, a strange a choice as it may seem, Hanson was it for us. We joined the fan club, we bought the merchandise, we listened to the music all the time, but that sad reality was that we probably wouldn’t get to see them in concert again for several years.Brittany and I with Taylor Hanson and our friend Katrina.
In the summer of 2009, the brand new events centre in our hometown, Penticton, announced a show called Hot Summer’s Night, which included The Armchair Cynics, The Latency, Faber Drive and Marianas Trench. I knew only a few songs from the artists, but it was pretty much the coolest thing to come to our dinky little town, so we got our tickets and I went out and bought the albums. By the time the concert rolled around, we were hooked on these bands, Marianas Trench in particular. We bought white t-shirts and decorated our own shirts featuring the bands (I became quite the sharpie artist in my t-shirt making days), and we showed up early in the afternoon at the events centre (whose staff wasn’t quite sure what to do with the unexpected group of teenagers sitting outside in the sweltering Okanagan heat). The show was awesome and as I stood, stage left, pressed up against the barrier belting out lyrics, I was unaware of how familiar this scenario would become.
After that, the rest is history really. We moved out to Vancouver and started going to every show we could. We made some amazing memories and some equally amazing friends waiting for outrageous amounts of time, in all kinds of weather, to take our place in the front row, stage left. It became such a huge part of us and our lives. Our other friends would roll their eyes and call us nuts for investing so much time and money in concert-going, but they didn’t understand the sheer happiness that live music brought us.Brittany and I with our coffee ready for one of our many day long waits.
At Christmas time, I heard about a much music contest to have Marianas Trench come to decorate your Christmas tree, so naturally I entered and, by some miracle, I won. They were going to come shoot a Christmas special in the common room of our floor in our college residence. The whole thing was pretty surreal, and, yes, I ended up crying on national television, but it wasn’t because I was meeting famous people. It was because I was so inspired by the power that they have to impact people’s lives in a positive way; to make people so happy, and I suddenly knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that I wanted to be a part of making that happen in some way or another.
Since then, Brittany and I have continued to go to concerts together. We saw Said the Whale, We Are the City and Aidan Knight at this sketchy little venue in Penticton called Voodoos and when we finally turned 19, we discovered a whole other word of indie talent in Vancouver that we absolutely adored. Our journey has been one of constant discovery. Discovering new artists, new venues, and new possibilities for how we may fit in to this crazy industry. Our tastes and interests are ever changing, but we owe a lot to those bands that showed us how important music could really be in our lives, and we still love them. Every single concert that we’ve attended, every moment that we’ve spent front row, stage left, has fuelled our passion for music and for this industry and we hope that, through Stage Left Media, we can share that passion and put it to good use!