Live music galleries: The Decemberists [2016]

(I got the idea for this series while sifting through the ‘piles’ of digital photos on my laptop. It occurred to me to share some of these great pics from some of my favourite concert sets from time to time. Like my ‘Vinyl love’ series, these posts will be more photos than words but that doesn’t mean I won’t welcome your thoughts and comments. And of course, until I get around to the next one, I invite you to peruse my ever-growing list of concerts of page.)

The Decemberists, live at Bluesfest 2016

Artist: The Decemberists
When: July 13th, 2016
Where: Claridge stage, Ottawa Bluesfest, Lebreton Flats Park, Ottawa
Context: Back in 2005, I convinced my wife to squeeze in a concert by a band I had recently gotten into on our spring trip in to Toronto to visit her mother. That show by The Decemberists at The Phoenix Concert Theatre would end up being one of Victoria’s favourite concerts, despite having only heard a handful of their songs beforehand, and it goes without saying it was high up on my list as well. It would be just over a decade before I got to see them again live (though I did catch a Colin Meloy on a solo set in the interim). The lineup had changed some in the years since and the band had also since jumped to a major label and gained a much wider audience. The quality of their music, however, has never wavered, nor has their live show. In fact, both of the shows in question ended with the very same song, “The mariner’s revenge song”, and included the requisite audience participation, though the latter show involved some props (see last photo). Being on a major comes with bigger budgets, right?
Point of reference song: Make you better

Nate Query of The Decemberists rocking the bass
John Moen of The Decemberists (and the various stage props)
Colin Meloy of The Decemberists
Jenny Conlee of The Decemberists
Chris Funk of The Decemberists
John Moen and Colin Meloy of The Decemberists
Nate Query on the upright
Chris Funk of The Decemberists on banjo
Jenny Conlee on the accordion
Colin Meloy and his shiny guitar
The Decemberists being swallowed by a giant whale

 

Live music galleries: Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats [2017]

(I got the idea for this series while sifting through the ‘piles’ of digital photos on my laptop. It occurred to me to share some of these great pics from some of my favourite concert sets from time to time. Like my ‘Vinyl love’ series, these posts will be more photos than words but that doesn’t mean I won’t welcome your thoughts and comments. And of course, until I get around to the next one, I invite you to peruse my ever-growing list of concerts of page.)

Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats in 2017

Artist: Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats
When: September 14th, 2017
Where: Main stage, CityFolk festival, Lansdowne Park, Ottawa
Context: So Ottawa’s CityFolk festival starts tonight, the music fest that unofficially draws the summer to a close every year. I’ve been attending it pretty regularly for the last three years. This year, though, marks the first time in the same period that I didn’t purchase a full festival pass in advance. But that’s only because I wasn’t sure I’d be in town. Have no fear. I’ll be attending two of the four nights and hopefully, get some great weather to catch some great music. The pics here are from a headline performance by Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats from two years ago at CityFolk. I had stumbled across the song below on YouTube late one night and since that serendipitous introduction, had fallen in love with Mr. Rateliff’s revivalist soul. His powerful lungs and very talented backing band had us dancing into the night.
Point of reference song: S.O.B.

Nathaniel Rateliff
Andy Wild and Jeff Dazey of The Night Sweats
Nathaniel Rateliff banging the tambourine
Nathaniel Rateliff and Patrick Meese
Scott Frock, Mark Shusterman, Andy Wild and Jeff Dazey
Nathaniel Rateliff on guitar
Nathaniel Rateliff telling us a tale

 

Live music galleries: Sloan [2019]

(I got the idea for this series while sifting through the ‘piles’ of digital photos on my laptop. It occurred to me to share some of these great pics from some of my favourite concert sets from time to time. Like my ‘Vinyl love’ series, these posts will be more photos than words but that doesn’t mean I won’t welcome your thoughts and comments. And of course, until I get around to the next one, I invite you to peruse my ever-growing list of concerts of page.)

Sloan!!!!

Artist: Sloan
When: August 24th, 2019
Where: Hopped and Confused Festival, Mill Street Brewery, Ottawa
Context: While writing up yesterday’s words and putting together the photos summing up my experiences at this past weekend’s Hopped and Confused festival, I made the decision to give these guys their own post and gallery because… well… as our fellow blogger Aaron over at KMA would say, SLOAN!!! It’s actually unbelievable, even to me that, after over twenty five years of listening to this Canadian alternative rock band, I had yet to see them live. I had many chances*, of course, and the reasons are varied as to why I never took one of them. One such reason was that I wasn’t always a big fan. In fact, I hated them (strong word, I know, but I was young) with their first album and single, “Underwhelmed”, but they ended up winning me over with their next two records, still my favourites. Over the years since, I’ve alternated between loving their tunes and just enjoying them when heard on the radio. However, in the weeks leading up to this festival, I’ve been revisiting and getting more and more excited, the more I realized how many of their tunes I loved. And yes, they were very excellent live. They played a mix representing all the albums of their catalogue, hitting pretty much all the songs I would’ve wanted to hear, save one (a personal fave called, “Unkind”). Also, after so many years of listening to them, it’s been easy to take for granted how talented they are, but watching them live, as each of the four main members took their turns (Chris Murphy took care of the drums when Andrew Scott came to the front to lead his songs) singing the songs they contributed to the band’s body of work, was something else entirely. And man, doesn’t Chris Murphy look like he’s still having the time of his life up there!
Point of reference song: The good in everyone

Chris Murphy of Sloan
Jay Ferguson of Sloan
Andrew Scott of Sloan
Patrick Pentland of Sloan
Jay Ferguson of Sloan
Chris Murphy of Sloan
Patrick Pentland and Jay Ferguson of Sloan
Sloan

* One of these was to attend the filming of the video for “The lines you amend”, which happened at one of the large lecture halls at York university, the school I was attending at the time. However, it meant getting up super early, as I recall, and on the morning after a pub night. I wasn’t a morning person in those days so…