A lot of Badgers might think that you’d have to head downtown to see live music on a regular basis, but that’s not the case at all. Next time you’re in Isaac’s, take a gander at the far wall. See all those photos with names in the bottom corner? Those are all acts that have played right here. There are some astounding names up there, including some of the most popular bands to ever emerge out of Canada like Sloan and The Barenaked Ladies.
But who should Isaac’s book next? Below is a list of bands, both realistic and a little far-fetched, that we think would be fantastic additions to the Isaac’s wall of fame. Big or little, these bands have real potential to get the crowd going.
Ninja Sex Party
Okay I know everything about that name put about half of you off, but please stick with me on this one. NSP is a comedy rock band that specializes in particularly silly comedy; song titles include “Dinosaur Laser Fight”, “Unicorn Wizard”, and “Ninja Brian Goes to Soccer Practice”. The humour is, admittedly, pretty stupid, but it’s delivered with such sincerity and heart that it’s difficult not to enjoy. It helps, too, that lead singer Danny Avidan has an incredible voice, that the band rocks, and that they have a huge selection of amazing 70s and 80s covers under their belt, from Michael Jackson’s “Rock With You” to Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar On Me”.
The Bae Beach Club
Formerly called KNOW, this band from St. Catharines has been making some serious waves with their infectious surf music that oozes with ambient guitar brilliance and beyond-fun melody lines. Between two self-released EPs and a string of stellar shows (including the In The Soil festival earlier this year and the Cicada Festival in early October,) the Bae Beach Club are quickly proving themselves to be a fantastic addition to the local music scene. They know how to work a crowd and they’ve got the music to back it up. Get ready to turn Isaac’s into a beach party.
Hailing from out in Winnipeg, Landreth has been churning out some of the most heartfelt blues music of the decade since he formed the Bros. Landreth. He’s been solo since 2016, however, releasing the album Whiskey towards the end of that year, and is currently on tour with his new single “Forgiveness”. Not only is he one of the finest guitarists on the planet, but he’s also a stellar songwriter with a beautiful voice and an incredible sense of vocal harmony. It doesn’t really matter what music you listen to; you’re going to love what Landreth has to offer.
One of YouTube’s rising musical stars, Tessa Violet is on the verge of a huge creative rebirth. The more alternative, acoustic-focused music with which she earned a huge following is making way for big-production pop, without breaking a sweat or losing any of the heart. The title track from her new album Crush released a few months ago; it’s great fun, and between that and her wonderful 2016 EP Halloway, it seems Violet has truly found her voice which makes for a fantastic live show.
Hailing from London, two-person band Anavae are one of the most exciting acts out there and I can’t wait for them to take over the world. Their music combines hard rock with aspects of modern pop and hip-hop production, resulting in a huge energy that’s hard to come by. With just two members, replicating the huge sounds of their records could be incredibly daunting, but they absolutely nail it. Between whacking the life out of giant orchestral drums and an absolute belter of a vocal performance, Anavae are a true force to be reckoned with.
Another St. Catharines act, Fat Moth are a psychedelic dream. Between a full album release earlier this year, a summer tour and a string of festival performances, Fat Moth have been moving from strength to strength in the last year. They’re groovy. They’re fun. They rock hard and there’s a huge emotional core that makes their live sets incredibly moving. But what’s more, when given the chance, they make their concerts as collective as possible, inviting local artists to help decorate their venues and always looking for local talents to fill their supporting slots. They don’t just give you a concert, they provide an atmosphere.
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong
Again, a weird name, but a worth while listen. These guys groove hard, bringing a sorely needed burst of energy to ska/rock-style music. Their original music is inventive and joyous, with luscious guitar textures and an incredible sense of rhythm. Their live sets, however, also include covers that honour the originals without compromising the band’s own style. And that’s saying something: their covers include everything from Pink Floyd to songs from The Lion King. They’re an astounding performance to witness.