Saturday, April 26, 2008

The DeciBell Centre

What made me read an email in my junkbox from Eklund, I'm not sure. Maybe it's the fact he's an unabashed Philly supporter, even through the worst of their delinquencies in the corners and into the boards.

I suppose I wanted to see what ridiculous things he might say about luck and misfortune. He did have a bit of Philly bias, particularly his fix that someone pouring beer on Mike Richards was a huge event. (Did anyone in Montreal even notice? we were busy winning a hockey game...). But, on the whole his note was addressing his love for Montreal and the awe he felt when in the Bell Centre - particularly at how loud it can be:

I was warned by the talented Eric Engels to bring earplugs, but of course I ignored him...A bit of a mistake there.

The crowd is very loud, but a different kind of loud. In cities like Nashville and Washington it is a "party" kind of loud. Here is a loudness from absolute JOY. In a similar way, the quiets when the Habs were down 2-0 were really quiet. not just a sad quiet, but a "concerned" quiet. There is so much passion here. SO much desire to win that these fans aren't having a good time if the Habs are losing. They are devastated in fact.

And then when the Habs tied it and won it in Overtime, the party on the street was louder than I had ever seen following a NON CUP CLINCHING Game. We made a joke about it..."Geez, Only 11 more wins to go!" but please understand that joke is not saying, "these fans are ridiculous to be partying like this" it simply saying, "I can only begin to imagine this place with 10,9,8,7...wins to go.

It made me think of things I have heard in the past and how people who not been there cannot possibly understand what the atmosphere is like when the Montreal crowd gets going.

This all sounds like hyperbole, but believe me it isn't. I can think of three occasions in particular at which I have been in attendance where I have burned out my vocal chords and had ringing in my ears for days following the event (courtesy of the crowd). Montreal does loud like no other North American city, we've upgraded on loud to Loud 2.0:

1) The game that Saku returned.
There's not much point trying to describe it, other than to say that the ovation could have gone another 45 minutes were the NHL not so adamant about playing a game that night.

2) Game 4, Round 1, 2002.
Not so much in excitement, but in disgust - the building was raucous following the despicable hit from McLaren on M. Zed. The range went from claims for penalty to the loudest boos I've ever heard to Go Habs Go.

3) Concert extraordinaire: Arcade Fire & U2.
Some people who know a little bit about loud stood in front of us that night, looked at each other and were dumbfounded. The Montreal crowd consistently astonished Bono and the band. Bono expressed it best when he said: "This is impossible."

(Here's my audio from that night. Blogger forces me to make a video. Connaisseurs (Tobes and Stevens) will recognise the mismatch of picture and audio - sorry boys)

Big game tonight. If you're going to be in the building, blow that "anonymous" blogger Dwayne's ears off...

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