Niagara Artists Centre Livens Up a Friday Night

The Niagara Artists Centre brought some music to downtown St. Catharines on Friday night / The Love Between

On September 30, two bands native to the Niagara region took control of the stage at the Niagara Artists Centre and chatted up the crowd. The opening band, 1914, made their presence known by interacting with the crowd, and The Love Between showed off their stellar dance moves and vocals.

Upon walking in, the dimmed lights allowed just enough light to see the entire room in its imaginative glory. Brightly coloured paintings hung side by side along one of the farther walls and, resting up above a wall beside the stage, lay giant heads that seemed to once belong to a cartoon character’s body. Directly behind the stage a projector screen covered the wall and throughout the night graphics with miscellaneous themes were cast behind and partially on the talent. While a couple of the members of 1914 were setting up, these graphics continued projecting onto the screen behind the stage.

When asked about the best way to describe the band’s sound, Michelle of 1914 started by explaining how it can be tied to “noisy pop and dreamy sixties girl vocals”. Surprisingly enough, the band had initially formed with Michelle and her husband, the guitarist Greg, as a duo in 2011. Michelle also shared that this was the band’s first show. Within a few more minutes, the stage was ready and the band was keen to begin their set. The lead singer openly shared the same level of excitement as the audience.

Once 1914 took the stage, the audience quieted down and began to nod their heads along to the indie music that was booming throughout the Artists Centre. The band did not name their songs before playing them, but they played about seven original songs. All through the thirty minute set, graphics of fireworks, people laughing and people dancing played over top of the band members. This added an interesting quality to their performance and, in addition to this, the lead singer’s vocals were quieter than traditional live music. This offered a new balance to the genre of live indie music, where the instrumental sections are not being overpowered by vocals or vice versa. The vocals and instrumental came together at the same tone to create a sense of symmetry.

As the band finished up with their last couple of songs, the lights in the room had been completely dimmed and the only light sources around were coming from the projections and tealight candles that sat in the center of standing tables.

Moments before the last song was finished, everyone in the room was either nodding their head, swinging their arms, clapping their hands or stomping their feet. Every individual in the room was taken with the music. Once 1914 finished their set, the audience broke out into cheering and clapping. The room was filled with some soft jazz, as the band began to pack away their instruments meanwhile The Love Between began to set up the stage. Within twenty minutes, and a soundcheck later, the band was ready to perform.

A fusion of indie and rock played through the speakers once The Love Between got their set going with an upbeat song. Immediately, the crowd was immersed and began nodding their heads to the beat of the music. The graphics that were projecting earlier, were once again playing over top of the band. The lead singer of the band, Evan, had a lively stage presence that got the crowd pumped up. While the guitarist, Scott, interacted with the crowd by asking a few simple yes or no questions here and there. About nine songs, and a few tempo changes later the band decided to slow it down for their final song.

Both 1914 and The Love Between personally thanked some of the audience members who were feeling especially excited about the event. The appreciation was more than sincere and carried out as the night went on. Graphics slowly faded away, smooth jazz continued to play until the stage was empty and everyone talked amongst themselves until the night came to an end. The Niagara Artists Centre allowed for an intimate night of music and both 1914 and The Love Between took advantage of the opportunity.

Carmen Kang, Contributor 

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