This past weekend I had the opportunity to check out one of the newest live music venue’s in town, well, new in the sense that it’s now being used by someone new. The Tide & Boar is already one of my favourite restaurant’s in town (lord the ‘boar poutine’…any that have had it, you know what I mean, the homemade ketchup is heaven). For several years now, the T&B have had many live performances grace their ‘corner stage’ that is also a seating area when not a stage, but some bands busted that area’s seams (The Mellotones 8 members included in that list). The popularity of the great food, wide selection of craft beer and live musical performances led to a new addition to the venue across the hall from the main restaurant. The DUO Wine Bar & Cafe has been open for a while now, serving wine (obviously) along with locally roasted expresso and coffee, fresh baked breads and pastries in a rustic atmosphere. The latest addition, a stroll down the solitary hallway between the Boar and the Duo, is the Tide & Boar Ballroom. The ballroom has seem many a rowdy night as it’s life as 30 plus years Club Cosmopolitan, and a few other variations since then. When the ballroom became vacant I’d hoped that that the T&B would take it over as a music location for their expanding concert selection.
My first realization was that it’s a little hard to realize where the ballroom is if you don’t know where you’re going, and for someone unfamiliar you’d have to ask staff in either the DUO or T&B. One thing that I noticed right away is that it’s very dark in the ballroom, which is great when the band is onstage performing but as you wander the room or the balcony it’s a bit disconcerting as it’s a bit hard to see. The bar selection was a tad disappointing with such a large selection available in the two venues on the front of the building, and counting out money in the darkness (particularly on the balcony) was a bit difficult, that said, it was impressive that the bars took debit. A great thing was that they took out the old main bar to make room for seating just off the large dance floor leaving room for the crowd to both enjoy the entertainment seated or dancing. I loved that they’ve kept the balcony which creates a perspective for watching live music that is unique in a Moncton venue. Overall there are a few tweaks to the atmosphere and logistics that I’d personally make to the venue, but I am so incredibly happy that it is being used by the Tide & Boar and McSweeney’s Dinner Theatre.
The Mellotones show started promptly at 10:30 and began the first of three full sets by the band. I’d seen a few of the members during the ECMA’s in Halifax perform with other groups but this was my first time experiencing them all together. The eight-piece group casually stepped on to the stage with no fan fair or introduction, but the horns roared to life and their energy was infectious with the crowd. If you can sit still while these guys are playing, I swear you don’t have a pulse.
With a superb horn section that is reminiscent of Motown, they rolled through set after set of fantastic R&B, funk, and soul hits that had the crowd on their feet the whole time dancing, singing and bopping to the great music. This multi talented group led by lead singer and saxophonist, Jeff Mosher, is joined by a superb horn section featuring Jody Lyne on trumpet, Eric Landry with the trombone and Sean Weber playing lead saxophone and EWI. The band’s rhythm stays in line with Brad Conrad on guitars, Ian Mosher on keyboards, Mike Farrington Jr. on bass and Damien Moynihan on drums.
An amazing night of music, dancing, and live entertainment the Mellotones do not disappoint in any way shape or form. I highly recommend getting out to see this band the next time they roll into town, and hopefully it’s at the fantastic Tide & Boar Ballroom, don’t hesitate to check out both, or go for the full monty, have a great meal at the Tide & Boar, an after dinner glass of wine at DUO, and a great show in the new Tide & Boar Ballroom. Thanks to the Ballroom and The Mellotones for a a great night!