Tonight's venue, Massey Hall, opened in June of 1894 and was a gift to the city from Hart A. Massey in memory of his son Charles to "foster an interest in music, education, temperance, industry, good citizenship, patriotism, philanthropy and religion." It originally seated 4,000 but with various renovations the seating capacity is now 2, 591 with one wrap around balcony and another above that. Of particular interest to me was a concert held here in May of 1953 by The Quintet consisting of the architects of bebop, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Mel Powell, Max Roach and Charles Mingus. It's said that there were so few people in attendance that all the performers checks bounced except Parker's. The concert was recorded to mono quarter inch tape and Mingus took the reel back to New York where he and Max Roach owned a record label, Debut Records. The level of both drums and bass were under-recorded on the original tape so Mingus and Roach overdubbed bass and drums and an album was released from these recordings. It has remained in print in one version or another since then and is now considered a legendary concert.
Another sit down for MK but nonetheless a rocking show top to bottom and an audience to match. The acoustics of Massey were superb though being an old theatre it was a difficult load in and out for the crew. Everything had to come in from the street, cases unloaded and taken out before the next lot of equipment could be brought in.
As we're staying in Toronto, tonight's runner led back to the hotel and an early night for me.