On Saturday March 1 at the Niagara Artist’s Centre in downtown St. Catharines, Bry Webb, Grey Kingdom and Brittany Brooks each took the stage and gave the audience a powerhouse trio of indie rock and folk.
Although Webb is often known for his work with the Constantines, he has also established a solo career for many years. In his time off from the bombastic band dynamic, he writes and plays songs that are much quieter.
This St. Catharines show was only the first of his Southern Ontario tour with select upcoming events in Kingston, Ottawa and Guelph. He is touring Ontario with Jennifer Castle (absent from the St. Catharines show).
Those at the Niagara Artist’s Centre (NAC) were not disappointed by Castle’s absence, however, as they got a chance to see the unique stylings of Grey Kingdom and Brooks.
Grey Kingdom’s performance was definitely a highlight of the night, providing an extra dose of folk music. The band began in 2010, releasing a sophomore LP in 2012 providing a truly exhilarating listening experience. Between the artist’s cool, melodic tunes and Spencer Burton’s iconic beard (that would make even a lumberjack blush), he will certainly become a face of the Canadian folk scene in the coming years.
Brooks is from a Niagrara indie folk band called Creature Speak which has recently finished a tour from Toronto to Montréal. The band’s usual sound of the deeply resounding bass was absent, allowing Brook’s solo vocal range and masterful skills on the acoustic guitar to take centre stage.
As all great forms of art, the night was a blend of music and visual aesthetic with the added layer of projection. Still images were projected on top of the performing artists, bathing the stage in a poignant glow.
Brooks created her own over-heads to be projected onto the stage as she performed. The other projections for the other two acts were digitally displayed by DJ Marinko. The projections added a visual element to the show and definitely created an emotionally inducive atmosphere.
“It was a really swanky affair,” said Brooks. “The gallery was set up with an amazing stage as the audience watched from the back gallery.”
Not only did the art gallery double as a seating area, but NAC also elevated the night by providing food through Niagara College Culinary Services. There was a full bar, vegan popcorn and Pogos – honestly, what more could an audience ask for?
“It was such a great experience playing with both Grey Kingdom and plus,” said Brooks. “Webb is a huge name in the Canadian music scene.”
For more information on all there of these artists, check out their Facebook pages. For more information on upcoming NAC events visit NAC.org.