GoLive has become one of the largest, most active clubs at Brock in recent years. Over the past few semesters they have hosted numerous concerts across the community, bringing people together and exposing them to some of St. Catharines’ finest musical talents. They started the semester off strong on January 9, hosting a brilliant night of music at Isaac’s Bar and Grill, ahead of their Jan. 15 show at Warehouse.
Normally, GoLive events are headlined by GoLive’s own in-house band: many of the group’s members are musicians who combine their talents to form a cover band for the show. At Isaac’s, however, the group recruited three of the city’s best up-and-coming acts. Starting the night was Neighbouring, a fantastic three-piece indie rock act that deserves far more attention than it’s getting. Their music is driven by deep, personal roots, but without ever shaking off a boyish charm and sense of fun that it’s hard to find elsewhere. Frontman Caleb Shaver is clearly delighted to be doing what he’s doing: he pours his heart and soul into his performance, but never forgets to dance along and crack a smile. Neighbouring’s stage presence embodies what shows like this should be about: coming together to have a good time.
Up next were The Treetops, a local band that had somehow passed me by up until this show: they are astounding and I am deeply upset that I didn’t discover them sooner. As a five-piece band they were the largest group to take the stage at the show; their sound, as a result, was larger than life. Their arrangements make full use of the talent at their disposal, with their two guitarists always playing parts that were distinct from one another, with bass guitar adding an additional layer and always backed up by a deep groove from their drummer. That’s to say nothing of their lead singer Alexandra Tomulescu, quite possibly one of the most energetic and captivating performers out there right now. Between a voice that defies any attempt at comparison to an enigmatic on stage persona and a fashion sense that puts every hippy and textiles student to shame, Tomulescu stands out in my memory of the night. The Treetops put on an excellent and varied show and I hope to see much more of them as the year progresses; they mentioned on stage that an album is in the works and I can’t wait to hear it!
Headlining the event were The Bae Beach Club. If you’ve been reading The Brock Press at all lately, you’ll already know that they’re one of my favourite local acts. Their summer beach vibes and surf-rock delights never fail to amaze and they were in fine form at Isaac’s, with an entire crowd ready to dance with them. There was something new here, though: as far back as the Cicada Festival in October, The Bae Beach Club have been experimenting with new material that took on a slightly different vibe. Some of that material was played here, but rather than standing out as something new, it felt like a natural inclusion in the set while still standing apart. There was, however, a moment that did stand out: as it turns out, this would be the last Bae Beach Club concert to feature Noah Rastegar, who has been their exceptional lead guitarist for over a year now. The loss is clearly felt by the band, who dedicated a slow and moving ballad to him during the set. But they also went to great lengths to not let this hang over the show, or indeed the band: the vibe was consistently one of celebration that never let up. It’s a shame to see Rastegar leave the group, but he moves on to new pastures and I have no doubt in my mind that The Bae Beach Club will continue to thrive no matter what.