CapSlam at CFSW

So, the team is back from CFSW and how did we do?

Depends on your definition… I would say we did great! No, we did not finish as high as we had hoped, but the team still did very well.

Our first bout was known as the BOUT OF DEATH. It included Guelph Poetry Slam, Urban Legends and Bill Brown. We already know how good the UL team is. Word on the street was that Guelph was a serious contender for the top spot this year (they ended second). If anyone thought that Bill Brown was relatively weaker… nope. They have a pretty solid team.

We finished fourth in that bout, despite receiving some great accolades. The team pieces ‘Angry’ and ‘Masters’ (referred to by some as ‘That White Guy’ poem) were especially lauded. The general feeling was that all four teams were top notch and someone had to end up fourth.

That eliminated us from semi-finals but we did not wish to go gently into that good night…

In our second bout we were once again in deep. Two of the teams we had to face (Toronto Poetry Slam and Throw – Montreal) had won their previous bouts, but CapSlam came hard. The team started with V and Gavin doing ‘G.A.V.’, and it was hilarious. When Bruce made a surprise appearance on stage, I didn’t think the crowd could laugh any harder.

Next was Bruce and Gavin with ‘Super Bros.’ This piece was the most changed from instigation to execution and when a poem goes through that many changes, there is also some unease, but in the end, it was a huge hit!

It all paled in comparison to the reaction to ‘Puppets’, an innovative piece that involved voices from ‘behind the curtain’ and lip-synched words as symbolism for the stage to allow you to find your own voice. The piece involved all five team members and was primarily written by Gavin from a concept and staging by Rusty.

We rounded out with Rusty’s solo piece, ‘Angst’. Simply put, it was the best performance of that poem that Rusty had ever done. It was huge. The crowd ate it up and he ended with a rare TEN.

CapSlam won that bout, nearly knocking Throw out of the semi-finals.

In the end, out of 24 teams, Urban Legends came 11th and Capital Slam came 12th. They were the highest two teams with a combined placement score of 5 (UL got a second and a third), due to the incredibly difficult bout draws they had.

Big ups to Toronto Poetry Slam for winning the whole thing. (Though I would like to note that TPS won their first bout, won their semi-final and – of course – the final, which means that Capital Slam was the only team to beat the champs all week.) 🙂

We were also invited to restage ‘Puppets’ ON finals stage. That was a nice honour.

Next year the festival is in Victoria… who will be on the team? Will any of this year’s team make it out again? Our rankings leader is PrufRock, who was with UL this year. What about the new youth voices like Sarah Ruszala, Billie the Kid and Abby Kassirer?

Keep coming out to CapSlam twice a month to find out!


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