On Canadian Music Scene

Clearing Up

One of my plans for this year was to go to more music con­certs and we have indeed gone to sev­er­al this year, and they’re all for Cana­di­an artists. We even saw Hay­den twice! I’ve been a Hay­den fan even before I went to Cana­da but I didn’t get to see him live until ear­li­er this year when he had a new album out and he start­ed tour­ing. We got to sit on the sec­ond row from the stage which was awe­some. We saw Feist twice, too. We also saw Sarah Slean for the sec­ond time. The first time we saw her was three or four years ago in a small club in Water­loo. But I’m not going to talk about them in this post. Instead, I’m going to talk about the open­ing acts, the less­er-known artists who warm the stage for the main per­form­ers. So far, I’ve nev­er been dis­ap­point­ed by an open­ing act.

Let’s start from the first Sarah Slean show in Water­loo. The open­ing act was a French-Cana­di­an singer/songwriter named Jorane. She was fun­ny and she had an adorable accent. She sang and played a cel­lo, and she had a beau­ti­ful voice. She sound­ed almost like Tori Amos. One of her songs, Red Moun­tains, which is about grow­ing old with some­one you love, always makes me a bit teary-eyed. I don’t think she’s pro­duced any more albums since, which is too bad because I think she’s very tal­ent­ed.

The sec­ond Sarah Slean show in Kitch­en­er was opened by Roy­al Wood. Troy first heard one of his songs, Juli­et, on the radio and real­ly liked it. He men­tioned it to me and I lis­tened to it and I real­ly liked it, too. I don’t think we knew he was going to be the open­ing act when we bought the tick­ets to see Sarah Slean. We learned about it lat­er and were real­ly look­ing for­ward to see­ing his per­for­mance. And he was real­ly good. His voice was deep and beau­ti­ful. I was hop­ing that he’d save Juli­et for lat­er just in case the rest of his songs sucked but instead, he start­ed with it, and the rest of his songs were actu­al­ly quite enjoy­able. We like his per­for­mance enough to buy tick­ets to see him again in Jan­u­ary.

The first Hay­den show in Kitch­en­er was opened by an artists we had nev­er heard called Basia Bulat. She was real­ly, real­ly good. Her voice was real­ly unique and beau­ti­ful and she played some inter­est­ing instru­ments while she was singing, also beau­ti­ful­ly. It’s hard to pick one favourite song from her album because they’re all very good (it’s one of the most-played album in our house­hold this year) but if I had to pick one, I would go with I Was a Daugh­ter. The drum­ming, the vio­lin, the hand­claps, Basia’s voice, it’s a per­fect tune.

The sec­ond Hay­den show in Lon­don, Ontario was also the sec­ond Feist show we went to. Hay­den was the open­ing act. He per­formed with a band this time (he per­formed prac­ti­cal­ly solo in the first one). He was still real­ly good, but I much pre­fer his solo per­for­mance in a small­er venue. The John Labatt Cen­tre was too big and the band kind of took away the acoustic qual­i­ty that I love about Hayden’s music.

The first Feist show in Kitch­en­er was opened by the Great Lake Swim­mers. Troy and I had been lis­ten­ing to their music for over a year and we had been want­i­ng to see them live. We were thrilled to learn that they were going to open for Feist, and they didn’t dis­ap­point. They were so much bet­ter live. They real­ly took advan­tage of the acoustic of the hall and the way their music filled the room was amaz­ing. They didn’t per­form our favourite song, I Will Nev­er See The Sun, but their per­for­mance of Mov­ing Pic­tures, Silent Films more than made up for it.

Now you can lis­ten to the songs I men­tioned above in this mix:

I threw in a Martha Wain­wright song because we’re going to see her show next month. I don’t remem­ber who’s going to open for her. I’ve nev­er heard his name before but hope­ful­ly he’ll be as awe­some as the oth­er open­ing acts I’ve seen.

2 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I’m not famil­iar with all these singers, but they’re all good.
    I wish that, like you, I had more time to go to con­certs. But then again, maybe that’s a mat­ter of time man­age­ment.

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