This past Friday (February 3rd), I had the pleasure of seeing Ethan Snoreck under his alias “Whethan” perform at Toronto’s Velvet Underground as part of his “Savage” Tour. With special guests Pusher, and Maddmon, this lineup sounded like a recipe for a memorable night. The “Savage” tour would represent my first visit to the Velvet Underground, though right off the bat I fell in love with its intimate aesthetic, and powerful sound system. The night started off with Maddmon and his high energy set taking the decks, followed by Toronto’s own Pusher who brought out a long list of top notch remixes, and his own originals, all complimented by his five star mixing and genuine stage presence. Before long, the main act Whethan took the stage and had the crowd bouncing, and singing along to his excellent song selection dipping into all genres from start to finish. While the show itself was one for the record books, I would like to shine a little light on what happened to myself just following Whethan’s last song.
About one minute before the encore had begun I decided to give up my spot in the front row to get a head start on the imminent coat check crowd that would be following right behind. After retrieving my coat without issue I headed to the front door before something caught my eye. Standing at the merch table with just a few people around was Marty Bernie AKA Pusher. I walked over to quickly thank him for playing such a great set when I had noticed that he was having genuine conversations with all the fans that were lucky enough to catch him there. About 40 minutes later myself and the few people I had come with were the only people left in addition to Pusher and we were still chatting about the music industry, his past sets, even sneak peeks at some designs he had for merch in the future. When I had first introduced myself I had my eyes on an amazing water colour poster on the merch table full of Toronto throwback icons, and Pusher skateboarding through it all. I actually already had the poster framed in my kitchen, though I saw this as an opportunity to get the man himself to sign it. Pusher gladly obliged and asked what I would like him to write on it, I told him simply whatever he feels like writing I was cool with. After taking a couple minutes to think, and security trying their best to hurry us up, Pusher picked up his pen and wrote a message on the poster.
When all was said and done we offered Marty a ride home as he had mentioned previously that he would be walking, visually pleasantly surprised we had offered, Pusher took us up on it and exclaimed how much he appreciated us staying back after the show just to talk. Amazed at how down to earth he was, Pusher jumped into the car with us, comically took some Tostitos and salsa out of his bag, and we talked some more about music, and the city until we had dropped him off.
It may have been my excitement, or adrenaline through the whole ordeal, though it wasn’t until this moment where I really took in what Pusher had wrote on my poster. He had written:
“No matter what happens never stop pushing, when it is the most difficult is when it’s the most important”
It all seemed to hit me at once. This uplifting motivational message he wrote, in addition to just being an inspirational quote created a parallel to his career. While Pusher isn’t a huge name yet, he has most definitely gone through ups and downs in his career that required him to never stop pushing. He continued to work through the doubt even when it seemed impossible, and now he has reached a point where his fans not only attend events he is playing at (whether he is the main act or not), but stay after the show, and offer support anyway they can. The genuine appreciation Pusher had on his face when he thanked us for our support is what tied the quote together with the whole night itself. Life will knock you down every opportunity it can, but it’s not about how many times you fall, it’s about how many times you get up. Marty never stopped pushing, and it’s really starting to show.