The first show was last night at the Sackville United Church. I'd never seen a show there before. Now I have, and I am calling it one of the best venues I've ever been to. There are cons, though--sitting in pews for 3 and a half hours is painful. This is why I don't go to church. But the acoustics of the place so make up for it. SO make up for it! The sound quality in there is absolutely gorgeous. But more on that later.
The first band of the night was the John Wayne Cover Band, one of them Sackville student bands. They were good for what they are, sounding to me like a cross between Bob Dylan and Joel Plaskett (but I can't convince anyone of the Plaskett-sounding quality, so don't take my word for that. I'm just unique). They were good, but the rest of the night dwarfed their set. Holy mackerel.
From Ottawa, now based in Halifax, Gianna Lauren came into her own in this venue. I saw her at the pub back in October, and was impressed enough to buy her album but not thoroughly enthralled. This time, though, she was stunning, absolutely beautiful. Her voice cut through everything, echoed against the wood and through the church and just won me over completely. In what became a theme for the night, she covered a Julie Doiron tune. Regrettably, Julie wasn't there, though. Beautiful! Beautiful, with new songs about accidental cardigan fires and hitchhiking. I don't know what words to use to describe her, really, so here's a track from her album.
Gianna Lauren - Bird's Eye View (click to download)
Après Gianna came Corey Isenor & the Sackville Citizens Choir. Corey is something else. Folksy and nasal, but oh my lord incredible. The Laura Barrett show I saw in Sackville last year was held in his kitchen, for an idea, and he opened that one. He started out this show solo, playing Burning In Your Hands alone with his guitar, before being joined by his band for most of the remainder of the set. For the last two songs, he was joined on stage by a good number of people from the audience, providing voice and handclaps along to everything. It was quite beautiful. Fitting for the venue, again. A tiny chair for a tiny ukulele.. There's something about his music that puts me into a pretty dreamy state. You really do have to hear it for yourself. So, go on, hear it for yourself! One of the most promising sounds to come out of Sackville, I'd say.
Corey Isenor - In Your Arms Tonight
Corey Isenor - Why Do You Believe In Love?
Headlining the night's show was Share, out of Fredericton. The set started out with the five of them standing not on the stage, but just in front, completely acoustic, Andrew Sisk with his ukulele, the rest of the band done up acoustic, playing to a crowd absolutely enrapt for two songs. It was one of the most gorgeous moments that could be possible. At one point, I noticed something which amused me thoroughly, and had me smiling like something of a madman. On Kyle's double bass, there hung a sock. A sock used to store his bow when not using it. It could have been anything, but it was a sock. This sock made my night, this sock has quite possibly made my year. Amazing!
This was my first time seeing all of Share live, together. I've seen Andrew do his solo thing and I've seen the Olympic Symphonium, which is the band without Andrew... but Share as a whole is so much greater than the sum of its parts. Gorgeous music, makes me proud to be a New Brunswicker.
Share - Dance Dance Retribution
Share - Foreign Church
Tonight at the CHMA offices is a show featuring Woodhands and Ruby Jean & the Thoughtful Bees. I am beyond pumped for this one! Beyond pumped for the epic nerditude that it entails! Wheee.
all photo credit to vanessa blackier