The Green Room hosted four bands, each with a distinctive sound and relationship with the audience, on March 25.
Zack Thompson of Beach Fox articulates what is great about The Green Room house shows: intimacy, lack of pretension and support for local artists.
“I love The Green Room. The do-it-yourself aesthetic in St. Catharines is amazing. This is exactly what we need in the community for supporting local artists” said Thompson.
Opening the show was the acoustic duo Iain Lidstone and Sean McClelland, with the two of them singing and Lidstone on acoustic. They sported some tight harmonies, a fun sense of melody and some personal, touching lyrics. This act put the crowd in a great mood for the rest of the show and connected with the audience in a way that set the tone.
“You have to keep [the] wavelength moving between you and the crowd for the entire show, until the very last note. If you maintain [the] wavelength, that’s a perfect show…When we get that moment when all of us are just locked in that zone, that’s a perfect moment in the set, and if the crowd can feel that we have than that seals it” said Midaq Belian of the following act, Mothership Landing.
This self-described psychedelic funk rock band emphasized finding this wavelength with the audience in The Green Room. Combining audience participation, palpable stage energy and Primus-infused funk-punk jams brought down the house.
Next was Green Room favourite, Outer Rooms, an indie post-punk band from Toronto. Their distinctive sound was a perfect palate-cleanser between Mothership Landing and Beach Fox. Their distinctive set-up of drums, echo-y guitar and electric piano combined with synth bass brought a very fresh array of sounds to the gig. They also kept the energy going, with an enthusiastic drummer and a keyboard player/singer who frequently lept off his stool in the climax of a song.
Beach Fox (Zach Thompson and Sean Calcott) came on to finish off the night with some lo-fi Green Day-inspired punk by the guitar/drums duo.
“I think anyone playing the kind of music we do owes something to Green Day, whether they admit it or not,” said Calcott. “Myself, I love old 50’s and 60’s pop music. Something about it is like a total earworm.”
The Green Day influence was huge, but it’s not the extent of their musical eclecticism.
“I love a lo-fi aesthetic. We’re in a digital age where anyone can grab a computer and microphone and make it sound a certain way. To make it yourself and texture it in your own way is a process. I love distortion and songs that sound blown and bigger than they are. Being a two-piece have to make up for a lack of a bassist, so I went for making it as big as we can for what we are” explained Thompson.
As usual, The Green Room also showcases a visual artist in conjunction with their musical performances. This week it was Milena Talovic with her fantastic, colourful psychedelic paintings.
“Some of them are fluid paintings, in which you create cells through a chemical process. You pour a lot of paint onto a canvas and then tip around covering each side. As you tip the canvas, there is a chemical reaction between the different kinds of paint because they’re not all the same viscosity” explained Talovic.
“As you tip it off of the canvas it creates these things called cells, which is why they’re also called cell paintings. They look like the cells of an organism.”
Nights like these demonstrate what is so great about The Green Room: intimacy, lack of pretension and support of local artists. Overall, this gig was a candid look into what is great about the St. Catharines scene.
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-Luke Webster, Assistant Arts & Culture Editor