After months and months of waiting the night had finally arrived – Mike Krol was in Montreal!!! We’d been rejoicing on this moment to come with much anticipation, my daughter Sophia and I. For those of you who don’t know Mike Krol he is one of our favorite musicians. He creates the best emotive, garage-y, pop-punk songs around.
On August 9th, getting ready with t-minus 4 hours before the show, we donned our favourite Mike Krol t-shirts and left for the Vitrole club early with the hope of somehow seeing Mike Krol, this rock god in our star-struck eyes, meandering about before the start of the show, so that we could maybe chat him up, introduce ourselves, tell him we are the biggest fans, become the best of friends and have all our wishes come true. These are the brightest hopes and wishes of a fangirl such as I.
At the show
As we entered the bar, basically almost the first to arrive, we walked in, took a loving gander at the plethora of merch assembled on a wall and table. We talked about which Mike Krol shirts we were going to buy, noticed we already had all his albums for sale on display. There was other stuff too from the other bands, but on a night like this where the focus was defined and shot like an arrow on the one and only our thoughts and desires for other bands just couldn’t stray or betray the love of the evening.
We then headed for the ladies room and in passing through the curtained off area saw, just could hardly believe, Mike Krol, sitting with Allison Crutchfield of Swearin’, closely and talking quietly together. It was kind of dark but I noticed his orange striped racing jacket he so wonderfully adorns in photos. Immobilizing shyness crept in and I just couldn’t approach him, it felt like it just wasn’t the right moment. We hoped he’d notice us wearing his shirts, one home-made no less, and realize we are his biggest fans then come over to us, but of course, this wouldn’t happen, be that easy.
Since we didn’t get the urge to approach him we headed to the bar and bought ourselves a couple of gin & tonics – which is when he came RIGHT UP TO THE BAR AND STOOD RIGHT NEXT TO US… He asked the bartender what kind of juice they had and looking at a list on the bar, asked what “Pamplemousse” was…so ADORABLE!!! It’s amazing when you anticipate a moment like this and then it’s right here in front of you, and it’s even better than you hoped or imagined! Well here he was, right next to us and I still couldn’t muster up the courage to talk to him, until after having a couple of drinks in me and after the first band, The Bambies, played.
Our hopes were finally answered
Another chance came up when we spotted Mike Krol in the back of the club talking to some people and I felt it, the right moment, now or never, he’s relaxed and chatting with people/fans, kind of a perfect moment. We positioned ourselves toward the area he would have to walk by on his way backstage. Well the moment came when he walked by, well he actually zoomed by quickly and so I thought, ok, no biggie, another moment is sure to present itself, and then before I could think, he was back again, and AGAIN right in front of us, like 5 inches away and getting himself a glass of water at the bar, so I lightly tapped him on the shoulder and he turned around…and just like that here we were talking to Mike Krol!
I told him we were total huge fans and we were so happy he was here. He complimented Sophia’s handmade Mike Krol shirt and she leaned over to tell him how she made it a couple of years ago before any merch was available, and you could tell he was impressed by that. I mentioned how we were such huge fans that we even had his poster of him from Power Chords up on our living room wall. He said, “Wow – that’s quite a commitment!” and said he hoped to put on a good show for us, to live up to our expectations. Just such a nice and sweet and funny person to talk to. We shook our hands and chin-chinned my drink and drink/fist-pumped Sophia’s hand.
He asked if we knew Swearin’ who were actually on stage playing and I said I didn’t but asked how he met them and he said the singer, Allison, was his fiancé and they were on the same label – Merge. I asked were they from California and was he still living there, and he said that Swearin were from Pennsylvania but that Allison lived with him in California. He then politely excused himself and said that he had to rest his throat before the show, and so we cheered again/fist-glass bumped again and said that we could talk later.
Sophia and I then took in a few minutes of pure bliss from speaking to our legend and then went to catch the rest of Swearin’s set, eventually making our way up front. Swearin’ were quite good, kind of a mixture between Eric’s Trip and the Breeders, in my opinion, poppy distortion-y rock songs. They explained how this was a double headline bill, and that every night they and Mike Krol would trade off who plays last and tonight it was Mike Krol’s turn to play last – (Thank GOD) – and that they tell people so that people don’t leave after their set. As if!!
Time to go nuts
When Mike Krol came on, well just – – – HOLY F%*K!! For starters, we were floored by the band’s appearance. Each member was dressed in a different one-color whole-body jumpsuit sort of outfit, which worked excellent visually, along with their spirally colored guitar cords. And Mike had this debonair casual flair going on, with white jeans, white shirt, a swanky burgundy leather belt, and burgundy Doc shoes. The way he moved around was great, the way he grabbed the mic and belted out his heartfelt singing and switching his sound pedals and strobe light on and off during various parts throughout the songs. He even did some stunts, jumping off the drum kit and with his tambourine. And then he paraded around the floor.
What a grand showcase and fun entertainer he is! The show was AMAZING of course! Mike Krol and his band belted out one song after another, no breaks in between, for quite some time, from Power Chords, and Turkey and from Trust Fund and I Hate Jazz…they took a slight break when the guitarist broke a string and Mike asked the audience if the strobe light was bothering anybody and if it was he would stop using it, or use it sparingly. Sigh – it is sweet how caring and sensitive he is. After this they then continued the onslaught of songs from all his records. What can I say, we loved and cherished every minute of it!!
We ended up talking to Mike for a few minutes after the show while he was putting away his distortion pedals and strobe equipment. He signed Sophia’s t-shirt! What a night to remember forever!!! ♥♥♥