Friday night—Sticky floors and drunken hipsters set the scene. A roadie walks about the glittering stage tussling instruments around as the bands mingle in the crowd, seemingly it’s another night at the Horseshoe. Though, this night was laced with something special for the, not so, little prairie band called Rah Rah. Friday marked the release of their fourth album, Vessels and they brought along a few bands to celebrate.
All the way from Regina (seemingly in the 1980’s) Snake River played to the filling room, but they might have never known. So immersed in shredding guitars and the world they’ve created with their latest album, Songs from the Adjacent Room, each band member seemed to play to themselves.
Lead, Chris Sleightholm hung his head as he played. With his face covered in sweat and hair, it was clear he only broke away from his trance to push up his glasses when they inched too far down his nose. Guitarist, John De Gennaro bearly opened his eyes after taking his place on stage left. Somewhere in guitarist land he grooved along to the set rarely moving from his place. Lost in the rhythm, they still managed to draw the crowd to the front.
Needing no introduction to the tavern, or the crowd, Fast Romantics burst onto stage with a set so good, you sort of forgot Rah Rah was following after (but just for a second, I swear!) I must say, Matthew Angus is a treat. He runs around the stage giving everyone exactly what they want. Especially that one guy, the one with the moustache, if you were there you know who I’m talking about. The guy who was front row, dancing bobbing, jumping while everyone else, not so subtly, moved away to give him room to just…be himself. He didn’t cry exactly, but there may have been some repressed tears deep down inside when Angus jumped from the stage to sing with the die-hard fan.
But if you didn’t see that you were too busy looking at Kirty, who wasn’t taking a backseat. The newest member took her place next to Angus and proved once again not only can she hang with the boys, but also she can also rock the hell out of keys and a tambourine as well as shred some vocals. As if their talent wasn’t enough, Fast Romantics treated The Shoe to a song written just last week. American Love was sung in the graces of The Horseshoe and it did not disappoint.
And now! Drumroll please, for the band of the evening.
Rah Rah, ran onto the stage with smiles and was met with a love from the crowd so intense that everyone pressed against the edge to the back of the bar took part. Instantly jumping in with (in my opinion) most catching track off Vessels (Be Your Man), Marshall Burns took the mic first, failing to hide his excitement he bobbed along in his suit, sans tie. –Playing a total of 15 tracks to the crowd of fans, both old and new, the set-list showed that the band cared. it was definitely a well thought-out surprise,to heard songs from previous albums filling the set along with the new. A way to make sure all groups were fully satisfied by what they heard. It was one of the happiest shows I’ve ever been to. The crowd was enveloped in dancing and the awkward cheerful charm the members unleashed. There was never a moment when they weren’t smiling or giving the moment everything they had and that was just the beginning.
“Now begins the dance portion of the evening,” Kristina Hedlund said setting her violin aside. The jumping began as she dominated the stage as, Chip Off The Heart, amped up the already enthralled venue. Taking the mic next Erin Passmore ditched her keyboard and the stage. Finding her way onto one of the amps for, Surgery, Passmore raised her hand to the ceiling and lost herself in the night.
The energy, the fun and the talent of the band made the release something to remember and proved those prairie-folk sure know how to party.
Check out a review of Vessels.