Posts from the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Rick Keene Music Scene – Former April Wine Guitarist Joins Forces to Shine on New Disc !

Gary Moffet is a man of few words. He lets his feelings take over within music.

This way of thinking helped propel April Wine to new heights during the band’s most commercially successful period from the mid seventies until the early eighties. Moffet was the principle arranger on the songs from Nature of the Beast. The album which broadened April Wine’s image South of the Border.

That talent has also allowed Gary to work on several projects behind the scenes and allow his gift to shine on.

Now, Moffet has utilized his skills as a guitar player and arranger to produce one great album. Combined with Bianca Ortolano and several guests, the end result is like rose petals pressed into a book.

Please listen below as Gary explains the album and what to expect in the future.

Gary? What’s up?

 

 

Visit Gary and Bianca Here !

 

 

Visit Evenko Here !

 

 

 

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Rick Keene Music Scene Concert Review; John Carpenter Goes All Christine on Montreal !

 

What comes first? The chicken or the film score?

Which inspires which? Does the music push the story line onto a different path or does the plot dictate the creativity within the music?

Last evening at MTelus in Montreal, it was difficult to figure that out. John Carpenter, the director of such legendary films as Halloween and They Live, graced the stage conducting the scores of the films he was also involved with writing musically. The chicken on stage with the eggs behind him full-screen.

Here is the thing. Aside from it being very cool that both the director and soundtrack creator was live playing music while his films played behind him, determining if one minus the other would be cool is the dilemma.

Sitting in the audience, eyes closed, what you have is an immensely talented band playing high octane tunes. Extending the visual darkness throughout – would enough great music  warrant the feedback Carpenter received with the visuals?

Halloween, Escape from LA, They Live and all the other themes from his movies are part of a puzzle. The music to fans conjures up the visuals and the memories of when they saw the movies to begin with. Remember where you were when Halloween hit you? The shock and the fear wrapping it’s bloody hand around your pulse? That music is associated with those feelings and without it – would the tune be in the Billboard Top 100?

Laurie’s Theme may have been in the Top 100 without a film. That song along with the others such as Christine Attacks ( from the film Christine) and Escape From New York Main Title – stand very eerily on their own. The new Sacred Bones album, Anthology (Movie Themes 1974-1988), is a collection of newly recorded versions of his most iconic movie music.Live on stage; powerful, intense and pulverizing to say the least. Hair-on-the-back-of-the-neck kinda tunes. The soundtrack for a soon to released home movie titled; Don’t Leave your Girlfriend Alone at MTelus.

Full credit goes to the players in Carpenter’s orchestra.

John is on synthesizer, his son Cody is on the main synth, Scott Seiver on drums, John Spiker bass, John Konesky guitars , Dave Davies’ ( The Kinks) son Daniel (Carpenter’s Godson) also joins the fray. Electronica never sounded so good.

Carpenter himself is focusing all his talent toward making music these days and if his stage presence is any indication, the 69 year old master is having a blast. Dressed in black and leading the band like a Bela Lugosi figure, Carpenter is in full demonic form. True to his films, the black humor may be involved with the ever present gum in the mouth – just to jeep things grounded.

“Have a safe drive home but be careful – Christine is out there !”

Visit John Here !

 

Please listen below to some shows coming your way !

 

 

Visit Evenko Here !

 

 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene Concert Review; David Crosby Thrills Montreal

Imagine standing in front of John Lennon, dressed like … John Lennon?

 

 

Just one of the tales spun last night at Theatre Maisonneuve as David Crosby and his ‘friends’ put on a surprise ( not surprising ) show.

On the heels of an excellent album; Sky Trails, Crosby and his pals are knee deep into a tour of the same name. Montreal ( Canada) could become Crosby’s new home as David pointed out his displeasure with Trump ( the States) on numerous occasions. ” Can you change the weather?’ Crosby asked.

In My Dreams opened things up and with a slight frog in the throat, Crosby dispatched (along with the frog) any queries of his ability to sing / perform at the age of seventy- six. At times – hitting notes on cue and with the force of a much younger guitar player. Once he and his mates ( James Raymond on keys, Mai Agan on bass, Steve DiStanislao on drums, Jeff Pevar on guitar , Michelle Willis keyboards/vocals) kicked into second gear, it was obvious there would be no stopping to pee anytime soon on this musical road trip.

 

 

Crosby is so much part of history, there should be an entire chapter about him in the music dictionary. The Byrds, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and CPR. In fact, Crosby is in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame not once – twice. Heck, they don’t just let any Johnny B Goode in do they?

At Place des Arts last night, the song choices were a mixture of all his endeavors ( No Mr. Tambourine Man or Woodstock).

Morrison ( about Jim of the Doors) opened many punters eyes as the CPR tune showcased the talent within the band on just the second song of the night. Crosby’s CPR pal – Jeff Pevar, a beast on lead guitar. All night, his solos echoed with eerie precision the vibe of Crosby’s soul. Part Gilmour, part Clapton and all Pevar. The ‘best in the world’ according to Crosby and that’s saying quite a bit.

 

 

What brought life to the show was the rhythm section. Mai Agan (above) on bass and Steve DiStanislao on drums. The Pop in Agan’s grooves complimenting the human metronome in DiStanislao. Ebbing when asked and flowing with power when needed. Crosby’s ‘friends’ one of those ‘once – in – a – lifetime’ things. A chemistry that works and enhances each other in every nook and cranny. Crosby himself? The maestro. The magician conducting the notes. The legend.

 

 

Tracks in the Dust, She’s Got to Be Somewhere, At The Edge, Laughing and right up to the title track of the new disc ( Sky Trails), the band increased the energy. Even the ballad Breathless ( a song penned by Crosby to his wife of forty years)  seemed on the edge of pouncing into the audience and devouring a diverse meal. Crosby the one (only?) lion tamer in the house. Nothing like a nod and wink to keep things in check. A very experienced nod and wink

 

 

Michelle Willis ( from Toronto) provided the backing vocals all evening as did the entire band as Crosby and Friends channeled the luscious harmonies of The Beach Boys and The Bee Gees. Musically, the album Sky Trails is very jazz oriented and  last night ( more than once) – the band sounded like a great Steely Dan jam. Showcasing guitar and drums while Crosby’s son ( James ) created harmonic and classic tinkles on the keys. Touches of the late Manzarek sprinkling the dust onto the night lights .

Aside from the delicious array of music, it was Crosby’s tales in between the main course which were more than appetizers. Jackson Browne forcing Crosby to finish a song during Crosby’s self professed Junkie phase. Crosby’s friendship with Beatle Harrison. Tales from the grave in the case of Harrison and yarns which could be very well be from Crosby.s own grave as the man has more lives than Keith Richards.

Imagine standing in front of John Lennon, dressed like … John Lennon?

 

Visit Crosby and Friends Here !

 

Please listen below to some shows coming your way !

 

 

Visit Evenko Here !

 

 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene – What’s Up Doc?

What’s coming to Montreal ?

 

 

As usual – quite a bit !

Please listen below to some things that are in need of your attention !

 

 

Visit Delfeayo Here !

 

 

 

  Visit Evenko Here !

 

 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene – Delfeayo Marsalis; ‘Live’ and Stunning on New Record

Aside from making ‘America Great Again’ – Delfeayo Marsalis is on a roll …


‘An Evening with Delfeayo Marsalis; Kalamazoo’ is Delfeayo’s newest offering and it combines Jazz standards with a few originals. All recorded in a live setting in the midst of a ten city tour.

Marsalis of the world famous and critically acclaimed Marsalis clan, is joined onstage by his Father. The family patriarch, Ellis, adds to the spontaneity and fun which makes any Delfeayo performance special.

Have a listen below to some of the tracks wont ya? Find out more about this outstanding musician and even more outstanding being.

 

 

Visit Delfeayo Here !

 

 

 

  Visit Evenko Here !

 

 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene – Andrea Ramolo Bares All in New Album

 

Baring the soul …

 

That’s exactly what the album Nuda is about.

One half of Scarlett Jane’s Andrea Ramolo needed time to reflect and get naked with her feelings. Combining new found musical partners with old school thoughts, Andrea evokes nurturing through music.

Please listen below as Andrea explains everything about her new disc.

Andrea? What’s up?

 

 

She will be in Montreal on November 8th.

   Buy Tickets Here

Check out her site here !

 

 

Hallowe’en is coming up ! Get spooked below!

 

 

  Visit Evenko Here !

 

 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene – Turn Out the Lights and Beware !

 

Once a year …

A frightening thing takes place. Something so terrifying, the little hair you have left on the top of your head turns white. Things go bump in the night. Chains rattle. Noises make you sit up in fright …

Turn out the lights, turn up your computer and listen below to the scariest half hour in Montreal !

 

 

 

 Visit Evenko Here !

 

 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene – Associating with An Associate. Full Interview

Guilty by association. No one knows that better than Alec McElcheran . Himself, also an associate.

Combining Blues and Rock – Alec ( Bass), Dan Legault (drums) and Alan Springer (guitar) form The Associates. A hard driving machine equipped with the tools required to make a stand in the Montreal music scene.

Please listen below to my chat with Alec as he discusses opening up for one of the most legendary bands in history and his thoughts on The Associates Volume One.

Alec? What’s up?

 

 

 

Visit The Associates Here !

 

Visit The Montreal Blues Society Here !

 

 

Visit Evenko Here !

 

 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene – Associating with An Associate. Part One.

 

Guilty by association. No one knows that better than Alec McElcheran . Himself, also an associate.

Combining Blues and Rock – Alec ( Bass), Dan Legault (drums) and Alan Springer (guitar) form The Associates. A hard driving machine equipped with the tools required to make a stand in the Montreal music scene.

Please listen below to part one of my chat with Alec as he discusses opening up for one of the most legendary bands in history and his thoughts on The Associates Volume One.

Alec? What’s up?

 

 

Visit The Associates Here !

 

Visit The Montreal Blues Society Here !

 

 

Visit Evenko Here !

 

 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene – The Snyders; A Family Affair

Denny Snyder must have been a fan of the television show; All in the Family.

Denny – along with his two kids, Lorrie and Phillip, form the trio known as The Snyders.

At first listen and glance on stage, it would be easy to label them a Blues trio. Standard Chicago – style or Delta Blues. Ya, ya, seen it before, heard it before.

 

Not quite. The Snyders are a mixture of different styles and genres. Something which is the true essence of the Blues. A potpourri sending sweet sounds into the air.

Please listen below to my chat with Dad Denny. He explains the Snyders, the Blues and his fam … er … band.

Denny? What’s up?

 

 

Visit The Snyders Here !

 

 

Please listen below to my chat with Phil Brisse, the President of The Montreal Blues Society. He’ll explain everything about the

Quebec to Memphis Blues Challenge.

 

 

 

Visit The Montreal Blues Society Here !

 

 

Visit Evenko Here !

 

 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene – The Associates, The Snyders, David Myles, Dale Boyle and See Spot Run

Lots of great new tunes that are not auto-tuned.

 

If you pay attention away from the mainstream, real music exists without payola in the form of advertising. Lots of places to hear great tunes from great people.

Please listen below to a few of those tunes and hear when they may be playing at a venue near you.

 

 

 

Please listen below to my chat with Phil Brisse, the President of The Montreal Blues Society. He’ll explain everything about the

Quebec to Memphis Blues Challenge.

 

 

 

Visit The Montreal Blues Society Here !

 

 

Visit Evenko Here !

 

 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene – The Quebec to Memphis Blues Challenge

If you have the blues, you are lucky.

 

It is the music that defined the sound of what we hear today. The foundation of popular music. The frame of the Cadillac that Justin Bieber drives today.

Every year, the Montreal Blues Society ensures the legacy remains. Each Fall the group accepts submissions for Blues’ bands and solo / duo artists to compete for the grand prize. A trip to Memphis.

Please listen below to my chat with Phil Brisse, the President of The Montreal Blues Society. He’ll explain everything about the

Quebec to Memphis Blues Challenge.

 

 

Visit The Montreal Blues Society Here !

 

What’s Happening in Montreal?

Listen Below!

 

 

Visit Evenko Here !

 

 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene – The Phantom of the Opera is ‘Magically Delicious’

The touring version of The Phantom of the Opera is the biggest Broadway show ever produced. Judging by the reaction of the punters at Place des Arts last night, producers Cameron Mackintosh and Matthew Bourne can sleep well.

Complete with state of the art pyrotechnics, the world famous chandelier, a fifty-two piece orchestra and a stellar cast, The Phantom of The Opera outdoes itself on every level.

Andrew LLoyd Weber’s ( Charles Hart, Richard Stilgoe) score is set to life under, on top and around brilliant sets and spectacular costumes. The contrast between the dark of the ‘mood’ and the light of the characters is simply stunning. Led by Derrick Davis as The Phantom, Eva Tavares as Christine Daae and Jordan Craig as Raoul – the tale of despair and terror inside the opera house is brought to life tenfold. 

Davis brings an unhinged masculinity to the part of The Phantom. On edge and every bit a man on the verge of insanity (sanity?). Piercing vocals softened by a human element which is not easy to portray. To act a phantom is one thing. To be the phantom – idiopathic. Davis not only energizes, he depletes. The energy gathered in a room, simultaneously sucked in and out in the blink of a chandelier.

Davis

 Aside from the ensemble of actors, actresses and dancers, the supporting player who should win awards is the set designer Paul Brown.

Seamlessly the sets rotate like a rose petal in the breeze. Stunning when you consider the illusions parlayed into the crowd. One moment a graveyard is the canvas and suddenly, in a matter of seconds, the Opera House is the central character. Like a well edited film; the scenes’ continuity as pure as The Phantom’s mask.

Sound and vision. One without the other as empty as a tin can washed ashore on a barren beach.

Mick Potter’s sound design, John Rigby’s musical supervision, Maria Bjornson’s costumes and Paule Constable’s lighting design frame the show with precision. Taking lyrics and a musical score to new and different heights visually is a task. Keeping the theme of the original Phantom and bringing it to date without raping and pillaging – a veritable task. If sound or sight is off, the phantom would fade into obscurity.

 

Adapted for the new run – The Phantom of The Opera is bound to invite an entire new generation to the story of love gone amiss. Twenty – five years of attracting audiences and fans is nothing to scream at. The choreography is acute and the timeless songs send joy to the soul and shivers down the spine.

A must see for theater goers and everyone who is a fan of a good story.

 

Buy Tickets Here !

 

What’s Happening in Montreal?

Listen Below!

 

 

Visit Evenko Here !

 

 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene – What is Happening Musically in Montreal ?

What are you listening to?

 

 

 

 

Please listen below to some shows that are coming up in Montreal ! Hear some great tunes as well.

 

 

Visit Evenko Here !

 

 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene – Dale Boyle; Putting Some Much Needed ‘Gasoline’ Into the Montreal Music Fire

Songwriting is always there but sometimes it takes a while to come out.

 

This appears to be the case with Dale Boyle. 

Originally from the Gaspe region and currently a Dorval resident, Boyle has written five songs that are way ahead of the Montreal curve.

Citing one of his major influences as recently departed Tom Petty – it is easy to hear the contributing factor of Petty’s style within Boyle’s tunes.

Aside from the depth of the five song EP, Boyle also managed to have two of the biggest names in the music industry help him out during a recent stop in Montreal.

Please listen below to my chat, find out who the players are and hear some great tunes.

Dale? What’s Up?

 

 

Visit Dale Here !

 

 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene – Goodbye Mr. Petty 

It was a pirate life. Now – it’s gone. 

No other Rock n’ Roll star (aside from Keith Richards) walked the walk and talked the talk more than Tom Petty. 

Swagger complimented his ability to convey energy to an audience with a ‘Dude’ – like calmness. Uncanny in the world of songwriting.  Combining speed with no energy. Lyrics in tune with America’s pulse while tuning out to the American pulse. 

‘No negative waves man’. 

Actor Donald Sutherland is surely a fan. 

From the get – go,  Petty would ‘not back down’. Fighting for the right to party as he hid his songs from the grip of the evil empire ( record company ). Losing almost everything to retain his integrity and in turn – giving hope to all songwriters. He was the first ‘independent’ artist before it was fashionable. 

so lets get to the point

lets roll another joint

lets head on down the road 

to somewhere i gotta go
and you don’t know how it feels

you don’t know how it feels 
to be me”

   from – Roll Another Joint

Anyone over the age of fifty remembers where they were. Damn the Torpedoes. Damn right. 

The album and the songs. So distinct yet so familiar. So new yet so old. A freshness was added to ‘ The Great American Songbook.’ A velocity so acute, it was dressed to be unsharp. Therein lay the beauty of a Tom Petty tune. Rock n’ Roll was meant to be ragged, dirty and raw. Petty mirrored songs after himself. Part punk – all Petty. All raw. 

Unlike most – the songs kept coming. 

Just when the old lady started singing, Petty would interrupt. Loudly and with an exclamation point. The more the setlist grew, the aura surrounding ‘his Pettyness’ grew.  Along with his beloved Heartbreakers  – the landscape was far from safe. The pirates kept looting and pillaging. The scoundrels were allowed ‘inside’. 

Travelling to the Wilburys cemented his place. Feet firmly planted among the legends he adored. Petty was one of them. His internal star; brighter than ever. His songwriting challenged. 

Petty presumably at peace. 

The sun sets everyday. Sometimes it does not rise. 

Like most creative artists – demons do not stop the noise at 11pm. The struggle to maintain silence at arm’s length, a lifelong battle. A war within oneself no matter the friends and adulation. The inflictions, creating yet taking away. Addition by substraction. Subtraction by addiction. 

There is, no peace from the wicked.

Well it’s all right, riding around in the breeze 

Well it’s all right, if you live the life you please 

Well it’s all right, doing the best you can 
Well it’s all right, as long as you lend a hand

From – The End of the Line 


Tom Petty 1950 – 2017

 https://youtu.be/dL6XwAl_hNo

Rick Keene Music Scene – The Strumbellas; A Chat About the Pureness of Music

Canada’s up and coming band are here !

In a few short years the band has gone from playing acoustic  folk inspired melodies to playing acoustic folk inspired melodies. The crowds just got bigger !

Please listen below to my chat with Darryl James about the new album, the fans and what to expect in the future.

 

 

 

Visit The Jazz Festival here !

 

Visit Tremblant

Blues Festival Here!

 

 

 

 

 

Montreal Jazz Festival Review – Joss Stone and Melissa Etheridge

On paper – Joss Stone and Melissa Etheridge look great as a double bill. In reality – they are greater than the sum of two parts …

When Joss Stone was in her Mother’s tummy, she attended one of her Mom’s favorite artists in concert. When Joss was seventeen – she sang as part of a duet with one of her Mom’s favorite artists. Last night at Places des Arts – Joss , once again, performed with one of her Mom’s favorite artists.

Melissa Etheridge remains constant in Joss Stone’s life.

Stone arrived on stage softly and that was about right for what was to transpire throughout most of the evening.

‘The Look of Love’, ‘Landlord’, ‘Stuck on You’ and ‘Victim of A Foolish Heart’ allowed Stone’s voice to shine through. In  past performances at the Jazz festival – too much ‘screaming’ took place which took away from the sheer talent of Joss’ vocals. There is a time and place for everything and sometimes at a Joss Stone show – the lines are blurred.

Not last night at Salle Wilfred Pelletier.

The band maybe were caught by surprise as well.

Joss swerving from set-list and improvising like a bird on a wire. Reading the crowd and judging reactions, just one part of Joss’ seemingly arrival at professionalism.

Comfortable in her skin and comfortable with charming banter. Her British humor and accent disarming critics, the audience and her band. The latter injected life into what can be ( at times) a monotonous trip while the former – a very good idea.

‘Put A Spell on You’ and ‘Son of A Preacher Man’ ended things on a high note. Joss and her mates raising the energy and injecting history into the night. Passing the baton to …

 

Melissa Etheridge

If Melissa Etheridge was loved before last night’s show in Montreal, this morning – the city must be erecting a statue of her atop Mont Royal.

What’s with all these artists pre – dating 1995? Was water different in the old days or has political correctness taken all the creativity and passion out of life ?

Etheridge arrived in town on the heels of her new album; Memphis Rock and Soul. Its an album paying homage to Stax Records and all the great tunes which inspired generations of musicians and fans. Horn heavy with R&B and Country music as the ground wiring. In short – the elements which were the beginnings of Rock n Roll.

Etheridge is one of  ‘those’ artists. A woman who has climbed, conquered, descended and now sits revered at the music clubhouse. Take away the battle with breast cancer and the same adulation and love is thrown her way for her music and activism on behalf of the ‘small folks’ in this world.

She doesn’t have to give a damn on stage yet she does – more than ever. 

Melissa’s new (old) songs from the new disc were solid. ‘Memphis Train’, ‘Respect Yourself’ and ‘Rock You Baby’. Three tunes which enveloped the show in a torn up stained envelope. Countless cigarette burns, whiskey stains and sweat were duplicated admirably by Etheridge and her posse. After all – growing up listening to Soul, Country and Rock n Roll in Kansas will leave a definitive impression.

Melissa’s energy was alarming. Anyone under the age of fifty who huffs and puffs while eating Mae Wests at their desk should be ashamed.

Non – stop talking between songs, non – stop guitar playing, non-stop walking from side to side. Toss in some impressive harmonica work and a mini drum solo near show’s end – everyone in attendance needed a nap from watching . Just the power vocally in classics such as ‘Somebody Bring Me Some Water’, ‘I’m the Only One’, ‘Like the Way I Do’ and ‘Come to my Window’ enough to light up the Jacques Cartier Bridge’s pretty blue lights.

 In 2005 – Joss Stone and Melissa Ethgeridge paid tribute to Janis Joplin at the Grammy Awards. Fast forward to Place des Arts last evening and the pair did it once again. The first time the talented duo have performed together since that emotional evening twelve years ago.

“Cry Baby’ and ‘ Piece of my Heart’ were meant for these two ladies of song. Stone’s range picking up the tenderness and the toughness while Etheridge’s emotion and vocals as raw as the spirit behind Joplin’s original impact. Rarely does a moment take place at The Festival these days that leave people talking for a few weeks or months. Ella Fitzgerald did it near the end of her life as she battled diabetes and last night, the combination of Etheridge’s survival status and Stone’s tutelage to one day be the grand lady of Soul – a perfect marriage on the alter of The Montreal International Jazz Festival’s legacy.

A piece of everyone’s heart was left at Place des Arts.

 

Visit The Jazz Festival here !

 

Visit Tremblant

Blues Festival Here!

 

 

 

 

 

Tremblant Blues Festival – No ‘Ghost Town’ for This Blues Band

Out of nothing comes something !

Every band goes through it. Sweating and grooving to empty chairs and a barmaid who just wants to go home …

The learning curve and the classroom for many a band as they climb their way to The Montreal Jazz Festival and Tremblant Blues Festival.

Not only did The Ghost Town Blues Band accomplish the above – they also got a name from it !

Please listen below to my chat with Matt Ibsell as he talks about his band who are not spooky at all.

Don’t be afraid of no ghost !

 

 

Visit The Ghost Town Blues Band Here !

Visit Tremblant

Blues Festival Here!

 

 

 

 

 

Jazz Festival Review- The Triumphant Return of ‘The Hat-less People’. 

You can decipher the title if you want to but if your friends can’t decipher the title – they are no friends of mine …

Men without Hats energized Club Soda on July 2nd as part of Le Festival International de Jazz even though the beginning was short circuited.

As the familiar sounds and moves of the 1982 smash hit ‘Safety Dance‘ grabbed anyone within earshot of Blvd St Laurent by the tuque, the technological gremlins stopped the show around the letter ‘F’ or … maybe it was ‘E’?

Sometimes mistakes, human or not- can be a blessing in disguise. As if the great ‘promoter’ in the sky ventured down Sunday night ‘ a la friendly giant’ and rearranged the furniture. The stoppage created magic.

Acoustic guitar on stage with brother Colin – ‘Close to the Sun’ bonded performer and audience sooner than later. Given that some in attendance not born when the group were all the rage, an introduction of sorts was called for and delivered. Once-in-a-decade kinda stuff with both band and punter responding professionally to the unkind fickle hand of fate.

Electrifying is the opposite of powerless. If it wasn’t before  – it is now. That adjective precisely explains what Men without Hats did last night to the folks with or without head ware. Led by singer Ivan Doroschuk who , along with the likes of Jagger and Tyler; seems to have found the fountain of youth. The sixty year old front man writhed , danced and writhed some more as he prodded duplicate responses from a more than enthusiastic fan base and crowd.

Pulsating and pounding through the MWH catalog – the band only increasing the energy at Club Soda. Start to finish as the band served tunes such as ‘ I Got the Message ‘, ‘Antarctica’ and ‘ Head Above Water ‘ to the hungry tables, the MWH ‘Cafe Canadienne’ was ‘ in the juice ‘. Ivan – the head waiter , as much a contrast in color as a black and white television in a corporate – named stadium.

Political views ( for most of the tunes), in the forefront with a profound Punk attitude. Rebellious. Anti – establishment codes. Enigmas deciphered by true fans of a movement with a fist in the air. Enigmas defined by the song Safety Dance. Ivan himself- almost a caricature. A Cheshire Cat grinning in true cartoon form.

‘Living in China’ and ‘Pop Goes the World ‘ saved the show from becoming one long song. Perfect choices to break up the dangers of monotony. The ailments which have inflicted every original act since ‘that’ caveman hit ‘that’ rock with another rock. MWH have managed to sustain freshness in their lunchboxes even though it’s been in the trunk for thirty odd years.

Along with Safety Dance , the other bookend which held all the ‘ books ‘ together was ‘ Where the Boys Go’. 

That tune live , from the album Folk of the 80’s ( Part lll ) released in 1984, as powerful as any Clash or Ramones’ tune. Anthem – kinda ingredients. Dangerous rallying chords and calls to action. The men in attendance – thrashing their heads, hands and hearts violently in every direction. Lou Dawson ( keys, vocals), Rachel Ashmore  (keys, vocals ), Sho Murray ( guitar ) and Colin Doroschuk soaking it in and ejecting higher frequencies boomerang style. Club Soda was set afire. 

MWH are smart. 

Their biggest hit ( Safety Dance ) was played as the first song to presumably attract the crowd and to also force the crowd to pay attention to everything after. Their biggest hit was also played last to ‘end the story ‘.  For those who arrived late and came for that tune; bliss ! Planned or not – a brilliant move by the band. 

Following the inevitable outburst for a return to the stage, MWH returned the favor with ‘No Security ‘ and the pleasant ‘ On Tuesday ‘. The latter, a duet performed with Ivan’s niece Sahara Sloan. A delightful dessert to a fulfilling meal at ‘MWH’s Cafe Canadienne’. 

At the end of the shift, the head waiter Ivan, standing with satisfaction.  A hefty tip in hand, a smile on his face and not a hat on his head …

 

 

 

 

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