I don’t know if you’re the same way, but there are certain songs that I like chiefly for the memories associated with them—I can put myself right back where I was when I first heard it. “Backing Off,” off of Champion’s album Resistance (cool album cover, right?) is one of those songs:
Quebec City, Winter Carnival 2009. I have long since lost feeling in the tips of my fingers, and when I blink, my tears freeze in my eyelashes. I have never been this cold.
My friends and I are waiting for this evening’s big outdoor concert to start—some guy we’ve never heard of named DJ Champion (pronounced “shamp-ee-on,” of course). Finally, the lights come up, and the muffled clapping of hundreds of pairs of gloves is audible, even though I’ve got two hats on.
I’m so cold, I think. I don’t even wanna hear this guy. Then “Backing Off” starts. The guitar part is played by three guitarists dubbed “The G Strings.” When the bass comes in, I’m dancing so much that even my eyelashes begin to defrost a bit.
By the time the guitar solo hits, (1:40 on the recorded version), people around me are actually taking off layers in the subzero temperatures. My friends are pogo-ing and shouting along to the chorus, and whoop when the song gets stripped back to bass and vocals (2:00).
I’m not actually sure how long the version of the song that I heard that night was—maybe around seven minutes? The recorded version is a lot shorter, but no less sweet, although you’re not really able to fit a lot of dancing into 2:53. You should try anyway.