Categories
Live music galleries

Live music galleries: Nap Eyes [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. Until I get around to the next one, I invite you to peruse my ever-growing list of concerts page.)

Nap Eyes at Ottawa Dragon Boat festival, 2016

Artist: Nap Eyes
When: June 25th, 2016
Where: Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival, Ottawa
Context: Tomorrow marks the beginning of this year’s edition of Ottawa’s Dragon Boat Festival and if the weather gods are kind, it will mark the return of live music to my life after a two and a half year absence. Of course, the festival itself is mostly about the dragon boat racing and raising money for charity but it also includes free, all-ages concerts that typically showcase the finest in Canadian talent. I’ve seen some excellent shows there over the years, a few from which I’ve shared photos on these pages. Back in 2016, I caught Halifax, Nova Scotia’s Nap Eyes just after they released their critically acclaimed sophomore album, “Thought rock fish scale.” I was truly excited to see them because I had just discovered them and had been talking them up to friends and colleagues, describing them as The Velvet Underground, if all their songs meandered just so, like “Sunday Morning”. Live, they were completely as I suspected, all jangly and crashing guitars, and jaunty, consistent drumming. All four band members were playing in their own world, eyes closed and heads down, as if the audience weren’t there most of the time. Frontman Nigel Chapman’s vocals were uneven and unassured but in my opinion, that’s what gives the songs their edge, like early Belle & Sebastian or New Order: tentative but charming. It was an amazing show, nonetheless, and one during which I found myself lost in the music throughout most of the hour.
Point of reference song: Click clack

Seamus Dalton and Nigel Chapman of Nap Eyes
Josh Salter of Nap Eyes
Brad Loughead of Nap Eyes
Seamus Dalton
Nigel Chapman
Categories
Live music galleries

Live music galleries: Sam Roberts Band [2014]

(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. Until I get around to the next one, I invite you to peruse my ever-growing list of concerts page.)

Sam Roberts of The Sam Roberts Band


Artist:
The Sam Roberts Band
When: July 13th, 2014
Where: Claridge Homes stage, Ottawa Bluesfest, Lansdowne Park, Ottawa
Context: Just a few days ago, I posted about an incredible early single by a singer/songwriter that since the time of its release has become something of a Canadian institution. Montreal-based, Sam Roberts started things off as a solo artist but these days leads a pretty solid rock band that releases music that is pretty universal in terms of fan base, at least here in Canada. I feel like I’ve seen him perform live a bunch a times but in reality it was only twice, at least twice in full, though I’ve had a plethora of opportunities. The first of these opportunities was in 2009, the first year I attended Ottawa’s Bluesfest, and his set overlapped with that of Okkervil River and so only caught a few tunes from it. The first full set I attended was five years later at the same festival and he had just released his fifth album (the second as a band) called “Lo-fantasy”. The crowd was large and pumped and when the energy is that great, you’re bound to have a blast. I spent the whole time jumping up and down, fist pumping in the air, screaming along to lyrics of songs* I’d heard many times over on the radio with people I’d never before met and will likely never do again. Good times indeed.
Point of reference song: We’re all in this together

The Sam Roberts Band!
Eric Fares and Dave Nugent of the Sam Roberts Band
Sam Roberts and James Hall of the Sam Roberts Band
(The sax player)
Dave Nugent
Eric Fares, Dave Nugent, and a sax player
Sam Roberts

*With the magic of the internet, I was able to go back to rewatch the same concert recently on YouTube and sang (not screamed) along with it all over again.

Categories
Live music galleries

Live music galleries: Gogol Bordello [2014]

(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. Until I get around to the next one, I invite you to peruse my ever-growing list of concerts page.)

Gogol Bordello live at Ottawa Bluesfest 2014

Artist: Gogol Bordello
When: July 10th, 2014
Where: Claridge Homes stage, Ottawa Bluesfest, Lansdowne Park, Ottawa
Context: It’s been quite a while since I’ve done one of these Live music gallery posts. I was sharing pictures of past concerts on the regular back in the spring, back when this pandemic was so new and the sting of cancelled tours and music festivals was still fresh. It’s been close to fourteen months now since I stood in a heaving crowd and experienced music the way it was meant to be and I’ve resigned myself to the fact it will likely be a bunch more months before we all get back there. But when we do, I’m definitely finding passes to a music festival and going large. And it’s not necessarily going to matter who’s playing because we know the musicians are missing this as much as we are and the first bunch of shows they all do are going to be epic. Kind of like when I saw gypsy punk collective, Gogol Bordello at Bluesfest back in 2014. The energy was palpable, aggressive but not violent, and it was all ignited simply by frontman Eugene Hütz arriving on stage. He was a lightning rod for sure, but the other seven members of the band weren’t exactly inert either. In fact, I think the crowd on stage were just as rowdy as the crowd watching, each playing the hell out of their instruments, be it fiddle, guitar, bongo drum, or accordion, and each contributing to the mass vocal message. The music was equally good for dancing as it was for slamming into other people, as witnessed by the different ways the varied crowd appreciated the performance. By the time Hütz finally dispensed with the shirt that was only getting in the way of his running about the stage about halfway through the set, I knew Gogol Bordello’s was a performance I would remember for years to come.
Point of reference song: Amen

Eugene Hütz of Gogol Bordello
Elizabeth Sun of Gogol Bordello
Oliver Charles of Gogol Bordello
Michael Ward of Gogol Bordello
Pasha Newmer of Gogol Bordello
Pedro Erazo of Gogol Bordello
Thomas Gobena and Pasha Newmer
Pedro Erazo and Eugene Hütz
Thomas Gobena and Pasha Newmer
Eliazabeth Sun, Pedro Erazo, Eugene Hütz, and Pasha Newmer
Sergey Ryabtsev and Michael Ward of Gogol Bordello
Eugene Hütz: The man, the legend.