A&E » Arts

The fine art of the après

Drinking beer from a ski boot, lighting chest hair on fire – just keep the momentum going

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They apply this same carefree attitude to every performance.

"It's unconstitutional; it's not right in the nation of Hair," Craig said of organizing a set list.

"Plus, it would be more work," Reamsbottom said with a laugh.

See, in a Hairfarmers show, making a request isn't considered to be poor audience etiquette; in fact, they rely on requests and input from the audience, who ultimately steer the ship. They've had requests whispered in their ears, scribbled onto napkins and passed along by waiters, and even text messaged to their cell phones.

"You get the show that you ask for when you come to see us," Reamsbottom said. "...You're responsible for your show; it's a big responsibility!"

It doesn't seem to matter if these musicians are playing to a crowd of 20, or 200.

"We don't have to have a great big roaring sea of fans to create that much energy," Craig added. "You take a bunch of skiers that are just coming off the hill and really challenged themselves with their friends and families and (they) have a sense of irreverence and no real sense of responsibilities left. So we have all that extra energy all of a sudden; you might as well throw a party!"

According to Craig, one of the keys to hosting a successful après ski party is location. And Whistler patios are prime for the experience.

"Here, we have patios that actually have enough sun to keep an audience warm while they listen to the music," Craig said.

Anyone who has wandered around Whistler Village has probably noticed that there are quite a few patios to pick from. But not all host regular live entertainment. Look for serious après action at Merlin's, Longhorn Saloon and Garibaldi Lift Company (GLC).

Robbie Currie (a.k.a. MC Nobody Really) has been a fixture on Whistler's music scene for years, hosting many a hip hop show and, of course, après sets on local patios. But during the Olympics, he'll be a familiar face at many of the Hairfarmers' shows, interacting with the audience and musicians between sets as MC for 17 days of back-to-back shows.

"Après is all about beer and music," Currie said. "Quite simply, beer and music, and reflecting on a wicked day on the mountain. It's all about skiing your ass off all day and coming down and enjoying good beer and good music."