I have loved Matt's singing since I had his 8-track tapes as a kid. Then I moved to albums, then tapes, then CDs, and now I have a downloaded collection on my phone. And over the years I have gotten to know Matt and his wife Babs personally, and it just made me love them more.
But there's something else about Matt for me during these nights, and that's what's always hard to capture. It's the whole effect he has on the crowd. When we lived back in Nova Scotia he was able to do it too, so it's not just a Fort McMurray thing and we are all brought together for our love of something from home. I love watching the people that go to see and hear Matt. Last night for example there were people 20 years younger than us who knew every word of every song, and there were people 20 years older that knew them as well. There was the token drunk East Coast, die hard Matt fan who stood by the stage during Can't you See and sang his heart out, and there were some there that hadn't heard Matt in years and felt nostalgic in that hearing him brought them right back to a certain time of their lives.
Some times people give me a hard time for my love of Matt. But you know what? I feel sad that not everyone has a Matt in their lives. Music has always been such a part of my life, I can play songs and remember the first time I heard them, who I was with, what we were doing. For me, Matt has been part of the biggest days of my life, and some of the saddest, and he didn't even have to physically be there.
Last night as Tim danced with me to Can't You See I looked around the room, and saw a few tears, I saw some huge smiles, and I saw everyone singing. What a way to spend the night, and I got to see some old friends and made some new ones.
But I have to mention how wonderful my friends are too, old and some newer ones. I had one message from a high school friend, who I haven't seen in like 15 years, Shannon, who was concerned about me because I didn't go to see Matt on Thursday. She wanted to make sure I was alright, because she had never heard of me doing such a thing before. My friend out here in Fort McMurray, Kerin, texted on Thursday and asked if I was sick. How lucky I have been over the years to acquire such wonderful people in my life is beyond me, but I feel so blessed.
So tonight I will gather with more friends, and we will dance, and sing, and catch up. My soul will feel full and I will be happy for weeks with the memories of another night spent in the company of Matt Minglewood. Oh, and did you know that Matt is the entertainer to beat at the casino out here for the one who has brought in the most money in a weekend in Fort McMurray? Yep, he holds the record.
Thanks Matt, for all the wonderful nights, all the great memories, and the entertainment you provide with your wonderful voice. You are the soundtrack of my life.
Here's a short clip from last night, I got busted by security for taping! Hope to see you tonight! But go early if you want a table.