Here's what's likely a surprise to most Crazies...the biggest mall in North America is NOT the Mall Of America in Minneapolis. Nope, in fact the biggest mall in North America is located in West Edmonton, bearing the perfectly logical name of the West Edmonton Mall. This is a city unto itself, featuring more than 800 stores, parking for 20,000 vehicles, employing 24,000 people, and attracting anywhere between 90,000-200,000 shoppers per day.
The West Edmonton Mall is not limited to shopping. It features an indoor amusement park (Galaxyland), the world's second largest indoor waterpark, an ice rink, an arcade/mini golf section, a hotel, a shooting range, a replica of Christopher Columbus' Santa Maria ship, a Gold's Gym, FOUR radio stations and an interdenominational chapel where a Crazy on a whim and a mimosa bender could find itself married. Again, they've created a virtual city in West Edmonton, it appears, and without a care in the world that the entire economic model of "malls" seems to be seriously on the wane. Still, you have to admire the sheer scale of the place, the vision necessary to create such a gargantuan Tower of Retail Babel. Not enough people dream big these days.
On Saturday March 15th at The Starlite Room in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Electric Six will walk upon a stage built for somewhere between 1 and 10 individuals, where it will perform approximately 70 minutes of music inclusive of encore. Electric Six has been around long enough to understand the culture of the mall. Electric Six remembers a day when the mall was the center of youth culture...a place to shop, yes, but more importantly a place to interact with one's peers, to live and learn and love with them, all in the shadow of a Sbarro or an Orange Julius. If Electric Six has learned one thing in this life, it's that change is inevitable. It does no good to mourn for the past because you can't stop change, Crazy. Studies have shown than up to 90% of children under the age of 16 have never heard the word "mall" in their lives and have no comprehension of the concept of driving to a gigantic building to do their shopping in "person." The mall is fading away, Crazies and there ain't nothing you can do to stop it...but the people at the West Edmonton Mall are gonna go down with the ship and there is a dignity in that. In fact, they're going to keep on expanding until the place explodes and you have to respect that attitude in the face of almost certain extinction. Electric Six often wonders if the concept of the "rock band" faces a similar limited shelf life. Like the West Edmonton Mall, Electric Six isn't about to shut this shit off, though. Electric Six will fight the good fight every moment, every minute, every day (NAME THAT CANADIAN BAND, CRAZY). On Saturday night, the Edmonton Crazy has a chance to show its support for the idea that you go down swinging, that you keep on throwing punches until the final bell rings. You gonna answer the bell, Crazy?