For the single and broken-hearted, the days prior to Valentine’s Day are filled with annoyance, bitterness, and a dash of jealousy. While single students rebuff all things red and heart-shaped, making plans to burn their ex-lovers’ things, the couples of the world smile, frolic, and get to have all the fun—but who says singles can’t be in high spirits too? This V-Day, take your cue from the Concordia Co-Op Bookstore’s Mix Tape for Heart Break, and fill your loveless Anti-Valentine’s Day with friends and humour instead.
The show marketed itself as “X-rated fun” with “saucy surprises, which may leave you feeling flushed.” I was half expecting a sombre burlesque show where performers were clad in black leather, S&M style. Ironically enough, I couldn’t even bribe any of my friends to accompany me to the Anti-Valentine’s Day event, so I walked in anxiously, knowing I would be an awkward single spectator. If it wasn’t bad enough that I was alone, I somehow managed to miss the memo that although doors opened at 7:00 p.m., the show didn’t even start until 7:45 p.m. Cue uncomfortable lingering and text messaging everyone that I know.
Although initially disappointed to see the shop decorated cheerfully with miniature cupids dangling from the ceiling, it was evident that the night would be a variety show of mixed-bag talent, and I was no longer concerned I would be called on stage for some X-rated fun; it was not that kind of show. The first act started off on the right foot, when Lizzy, a Concordia student, read an excerpt from her published book of short stories. “Role Play” had the audience howling as Lizzy recalled the dirty-talk she exchanged with a past lover who had an affinity for Russian culture and would yell things like, “Oh, my borscht!” during sex.
Next, Alex Chow was called to the stage with his highbrow violin act based on Italian musician Paganini’s work, who is rumoured to have slept with eleven women in one night and composed thematic pieces based on his encounters. Chow called his rendition “Ode to Douche Bag,” and the titles he played ranged from “No Strings Attached,” “The Lazy One (In Bed),” and “The Kinky One.” It was the perfect mix of sophistication and vulgarity.
The showstopper, and my favourite act of the night, was Nat King Pole’s musical style. The drag king had the audience begging for more as he took popular songs and inserted his own lyrics, adding a comedic, queer flare. His songs included a remix of Supertramp’s “Give A Little Bit,” Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” and Justin Bieber’s “Baby,” as well as his own composition entitled, “Drop the Beaver,” which he asserts will be the next Canadian classic.
FLIST!, also known as Montreal musician and composer Charlie Twitch, finished off the evening with his vocal and dance performance, which was perhaps the most dismal and solemn of the acts, but deeply poignant nonetheless.
My first Anti-Valentine’s Day experience at the Co-Op was unexpectedly entertaining and enjoyable. Despite my single status, it inspired me to keep my spirits jovial this holiday season.