Singing with Sylvia for Christmas

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 Singing with Sylvia for Christmas

date night interrupted

My husband and I went out [alone] for a much-needed date last night!  We had dinner reservations at The Barking Fish, followed by tickets to see Chantal Kreviazuk.

For those who have not been there, The Barking Fish is a tapas and martini bar on 2nd Avenue South. Many of the tapas contain a hint of Asia amid other flavours, like our favourite, the crab tacos. I guess we were in a crabby mood, because we also enjoyed the crab, spinach, artichoke dip. The chicken quesadillas were slightly better than average, but the shrimp and tomato dish with sticky rice lacked pizazz, in our opinions.

We had time for dessert before the concert...or so we thought. Our waitress said she thought they had one dessert for the evening; she'd go back and check. When she returned, she offered maple apple pie and white chocolatte mousse. We decided on the mousse and looked at our watches -- 7 p.m. -- perfect!

We sipped on our drinks and waited patiently. Then, we waited impatiently. Next, we waited uneasily. It was was 7:30 and we had been assured twice that the dessert was coming. At that point, we asked if it could be boxed because we had a concert to go to.

The waitress went back to get it and came back empty-handed.  "I'm sorry," she said. "I guess we don't have chocolate. But, we have another dessert. What did I tell you it was?"  

"Maple. apple. pie," we said in unison.

The Barking Fish has a cozy atmosphere and it made me feel like a grown up on a date, so all was not lost.  My post-natal yoga pal Noelle Chorney evidently had a nice time there, so it may be worth a second shot. [See Noelle's clarification in the comments below.] However, it will not be making my top 10 list for places to go on a date without the kiddos.

By the time we paid, we had to run to make it in time for the concert. I instantly regretted my choice of black stilleto boots as I ran the icy sidewalks toward TCU Place. I had to giggle when I got a mental picture of Sophie the Giraffe in ice skates. That image led me think of baby J back home. He was probably getting his bedtime bottle right about then. I hoped his night would be less eventful than the last!

We did make it in time for the opening act, and I'm so glad we did! You know that warm, tingly feeling you get when you know something was meant to be? That is the feeling I got from listening to Dala for the first time! Their voices were simply made for each other. And, their stage presence was so charming. From the looks of the line-up I was in to buy their CDs, I know I wasn't the only one in the audience who fell in love.

J & I listened to their latest CD, Everyone is Someone, this morning during playtime.  It is beautiful, but I'm not sure I would have appreciated it nearly as much if I hadn't seen them nail every single song last night with such gorgeous harmony, poise and joy. Check out these videos for the contagiously upbeat "Levi Blues" and the hauntingly beautiful "Horses."

It was their second time these Toronto girls had visited Saskatoon and, as they signed my CD, they told me they found the city beautiful and its people very open to new music. They hoped to come back, and I'll anxiously await Dala's return!

And finally, the moment our entire evening had been built around . . . Chantal Kreviazuk took to the stage.  Chantal is undoubtedly a talented singer, songwriter and pianist. Her vocal acrobatics seem effortless as do her songwriting abilities.

I was touched to the point of crying a couple times during her show.  The first was during "Not One Drop," a new unrecorded song she wrote for a close friend whose toddler passed away recently. She said she wanted to give her mourning friend a song that she could just be sad to. The other song that touched me deeply, as a mother and wife, was "5,000 Days." Beautiful lyrics, beautifully sung. What really started the tears rolling were the home videos of her kids played on the back of the stage. (I again thought of our baby back home and wondered how he was doing.)

Chantal's performance of "Ordinary People," a release from her new CD, Plain Jane, also had me in tears, except this time, they were tears of laughter.  With the exception of the footage during "5,000 Days," she had very strange background videos that completely distracted from the show.  Picture a video of a marathon and this wierd, exhausted looking woman in black pigtails keeps running from left to right across the screen, over and over and over. Or, the one where a young woman is on a beach, and with a cheesy grin she keeps lifting her arms up to the heavens over and over and . . . These stock videos were on repeat throughout most of her songs. It seemed very low-budget and unnecessary.

You can read more in the Star Phoenix write-up. We made it through most of the concert, but just as she started singing "Leaving on a Jet Plane," I got the call from the babysitter. I ran from the dark auditorium into the blinding hallway. Baby J's hemangioma had ruptured again while he was sleeping.  The bleeding was under control, but he was now awake and crying.

I quickly PINed my husband on his BlackBerry to grab my coat and purse on his way out. We were home in a flash, despite the slippery roads that resulted in at least one crash we saw on Idylwyld on our way.

J was still up in his white, now blood-stained, fuzzy footed PJs when we walked in the door. It appeared the area on his cheek that had been cauterized the night before had peeled back a bit. There was, and still is today, a small black flap of skin poking out. He went back down pretty easily after a sip of water and a little rocking and singing.

My husband and I hit the hay pretty easily, too. Although our date night was cut a bit short, we still had a lovely time. We agreed that we should try to make more time for just the two of us in the new year.


  1. Hi there--just wanted to clarify that my review of the Barking Fish was from a couple of years ago. Not sure why Planet S website is dated Dec. 3.

  2. Hi, Noelle! Thanks for the clarification. I was wondering why the menu you described sounded so different!

    It was well-written and made me want to try it again, despite our iffy experience. :)

    -- Laura Monchuk


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