A great new festival started in the province in 2016 and this year I made sure that I was there for some of it’s second season. The Area 506 Music Festival that takes place on the New Brunswick Day long weekend was designed to be a celebration of New Brunswick community, culture, music, and goods.

The idea for the festival stems from the wish to create something that would encourage New Brunswicker’s from all over and celebrate. Festival organizers suggest that NB has so many amazing things to celebrate and they wanted a weekend to gather and join together in showing those different sides.

Area 506 Music Festival – Saint John, NB

A unique creation that takes place mostly on Long Wharf in a castle constructed of shipping containers. Communities from around the province are invited to show off their own special pieces of New Brunswick culture, as well as local businesses and vendors. The very cool entrance (seen above) is the first sight you see as you enter the festival grounds.

The festival features two stages, what I can the “day” stage, the Canada 150 stage features acts all day long as it’s free to enter the festival grounds during the day to take in the vendors showing the food, clothing and other wares from all around the area.

The Strumbellas – Area 506 Music Festival – Saint John, NB

Due to some logistical challenges I was only able to make the final evening on Sunday and take in the performances of Matt Mays & The Strumbellas. The crowd ranged in age for the 19+ ticketed events in the evening and thoroughly enjoyed the festival the performances throughout the weekend as a few I spoke with had been there for the whole event. Saturday Night featured Tegan & Sara & David Myles and others performing for the crowd.

Matt Mays – Area 506 Music Festival – Saint John, NB

Matt Mays is a perennial favourite throughout the Maritimes and at Area 506, it’s no exception, the crowd loved his honest performance and genuine endearment of his fans. The crowd loved it when he had told them he found his “Saint John, NB” ball hat in Ontario, later tossing it into the crowd.

The Strumbellas – Area 506 Music Festival – Saint John, NB

The Strumbellas finished the night and the weekend at Area 506 and nothing could have ended it better. This rock band from Ontario definitely features flavours of the Maritimes and fits into this festival perfectly. They excited that crowd with their energy, their music, and their personality. I’d never seen them before and I will definitely be following them more and they were highly entertaining.

I highly recommend the Area 506 Music Festival and I’m looking forward to covering even more of it in 2018.

 

Ed Sheeran – “Divide” – Album Review

Posted: 23rd March 2017 by refrainmusic in Albums

After a long hiatus and extended travel time, Ed Sheeran released his third album “÷”, read as “divide”. The novelty of his math symbol title pattern continues with “Divide” following the “Multiply” (“x’) and “Plus” (“+”) offerings. “Divide” steers us between Sheeran’s heart-felt ballads and distinctive acoustic, pop songs with the addition of some newly folk-inspired sounds.

Let this sink in for a moment, a week or so after it’s release, there were a staggering ‘nine’ tracks from Ed Sheeran’s Divide album in the top ten singles chart.

The two singles so far from the album, “Castle on the Hill” and “Shape of You,” were released on the same day, and lend insight into the two music streams for which Sheeran is known. If you haven’t heard ‘Shape of You’ yet, I’m not sure what rock you have been under. It hasn’t reached “Thinking Out Loud” stratosphere levels yet but wow, I hear that song everywhere. “Castle on the Hill” is an upbeat pop ballad, that has Sheeran styling all over it. Sheeran’s strengths lies in his sincerity and storytelling skills, he brings you along with him and lights up your imagination, sparking the visual cortex of our minds eye. The album starts off with a song that threw me a bit in “Eraser”, Ed Sheeran…rapping? After the second verse I was grooving to it though and although I’m not sure if this will be a huge song, it lends itself to Sheerans desire to evolve and experiment with his music.

The folksy offerings “Galway Girl” (which almost didn’t make the album) is ironically preposterous and catchy, and later “Nancy Mulligan” are definitely two of my favorites on the album that get your toes tapping and if you’re not bopping a bit to the latter song I’d be shocked.

To me it appears that Sheeran has mathmatically (see what I did there) styled this album to dip in as many flavors and audiences as possible. Sheeran possesses a knack for delivering albums that are almost guaranteed to have songs charting.

“Perfect” is full on icing sugar; it’s the school dance, 45rpm ballad that should be make you roll your eyes, but doesn’t. Nothing about its musicality or arrangement is original but the validity of the song is pretty undeniable. You can totally see it in a flashback film to the 50’s and on that film’s soundtrack. I’m sure that it will grace many a summer 2017 wedding soundtrack, moments for which it was built for. “Dive” is a wonderful ballad that slips into Sheeran’s vocal rasp that is typically hidden on most songs. “Supermarket Flowers” (pass the kleenex please) is a heartfelt song for his grandmother that emotes with the aftermath of her death. If this one doesn’t get you in the ticker, your heart may have stopped. “How Do You Feel” had a very early Bill Joel-esque feeling to it that I enjoyed, a rainy day, cup of coffee by the window song.
I seriously laughed out loud to “What Do I Know” as I literally say those four words frequently after voicing some random opion, a catchy song that will have you hand slapping the steering wheel while you sit in traffic.

The extended edition of the album adds several upbeat, fresh tracks to the end of “Divide”. “Barcelona” incorporates Ed’s travels on his hiatus, giving it a fun, adventurous quality. International flavors abound with Barcelona and “Galway Girl”, the joyful “Bibia Be Ye Ye” features lyrics in Twi, a language spoken in Ghana. The title means “All Will Be Well” (come on, I know you wanted to know) and the rapid beat and fun guitar highlight this song and give it a very Paul Simon – Graceland vibe.

The overwhelmingly talented Sheeran, now 26 years old, has three massive hit albums behind him. Where does he go from here (I suspect an album named “-” Subtract)? One thing that appeals to me about Sheeran is that he is the architect of his own career. His skill of creating an album that effects many an individual and mood is unsurpassed in the industry at the moment in my mind. “Divide” is a strong offering that we will be listening too (at least until the next math symbol) for some time. I give it a strong 8/10, cheers!

The Trews – Casino NB – 12/15/16

Posted: 18th December 2016 by refrainmusic in Concerts

As a mass of arctic air ominously bears down on the area and plunging us into sub -30C temps is not enough to stop us from checking out one of the favorite Canadian rockers of the last decade or so. The Trews are always a good show and tonight at Casino NB they will surely keep our heart rate up and keep the temerature inside high with their always lively show.

The Trews – Time Capsule

The Nova Scotia rockers, The Trews are looking in two directions, both backward and forwards on their new release Time Capsule, and roll into Casino NB as part of a National tour to celebrate the release of their latest offering.
Resistant to “just” doing a greatest hits album as their label wanted, Time Capsule meshes 16 of the band’s biggest hits including “Not Ready To Go,” “So She’s Leaving” and “Highway Of Heroes,” combined with four brand new recordings: “Lotta Work/Little Love,” “Sing Your Heart Out,” “Chinese Kites,” and “Beautiful & Tragic.”

Colin MacDonald – The Trews – Casino NB -12/15/16 ~ Refrain Photography

The fact that it was a seated show kept puzzling frontman Colin MacDonald as he pointed out by saying “welcome to the conference”, it’s a rock show he pointed out, get up and move! People wanted to move and the Trews are a band that can get you moving with songs like ‘The Power of Positive Drinking’ and ‘Poor Ol Broken Hearted Me’. Interactive, rocking and reflective the band told stories about the song called ’65 Roses” a tribute to kids battling Cystic Fibrosis done acoustically between brothers Colin and John Angus.

As always John-Angus’s guitar was a highlight of the show, combined with the vocals of brother Colin, the brothers and their fellow band mates always entertain in lively manner and tonight was no exception.

John-Angus MacDonald – The Trews – Casino NB -12/15/16 ~ Refrain Photography

Another great Trews show of 16 songs followed up by a four song encore had the crowd delighted at the end and humming out into the frigid December night a little warmer than when they came in. Thanks to the Trews, Casino NB, and PPRL for another great night of entertainment!

Marianas Trench – Casino NB – 11/20/16

Posted: 22nd November 2016 by refrainmusic in Concerts

The final night of a busy week at Casino NB that saw four great shows in five nights grace the Molson Canadian Centre stage. It’s an early 7:00pm start that brings us three Canadian acts tonight from opposite ends of the country with Newfoundland electric-pop band “Repartee”, and British Columbia based Shawn Hook and headliner Marianas Trench.

Repartee - Casino NB - 11/20/16 ~ Refrain Photography

Repartee – Casino NB – 11/20/16 ~ Refrain Photography

If you are a music fan that is looking for something new, electric-pop band Repartee from St. John’s, Newfoundland might be something for you. Listening to vocalist Meg Warren I couldn’t help think of a young Gwen Stefani in comparison mixed with a bit of 80’s flair, which the overall band had me thinking about. That 80’s new age, synth laden band has relentlessly toured over the last six years, since the release of their first EP, criss crossing the country with the likes of ‘Lights’, ‘Teagan & Sara’, and the ‘Arkells’. In 2012, they won five MusicNL Awards and in 2013 they were nominated for an East Coast Music Award for Rising Star, they are now touring with a new album called “All Lit Up”. I was pleasantly surprised with Repartee and would definitely check them out again and look forward to hearing more.

Shawn Hook - Casino NB - 11/20/16 ~ Refrain Photography

Shawn Hook – Casino NB – 11/20/16 ~ Refrain Photography

Up next came Nelson, BC native Shawn Hook and his study of piano beginning at the age of four at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Vancouver definitely shone through. A skilled pianist it’s obvious that that is a comfortable zone for the artist. He became the first artist/songwriter to sign with ABC Studios in Los Angeles, which aided in gettting his songs placed on ABC shows including Eli Stone, Kyle XY and Greek. His song “Without You” premiered on MTV’s series The Hills. A strong set was displayed, complete with minor wardrobe malfunction (he couldn’t get out of his leather jacket, thus his bassist to the rescue to help him get out of it) with plenty of crowd interactivity and crowd knowledgable of his lyrics singing along.

Marianas Trench - Casino NB - 11/20/16 ~ Refrain Photography

Marianas Trench – Casino NB – 11/20/16 ~ Refrain Photography

Vancouver based Marianas Trench next brought their music, old and some new, to a diverse group of fans at Casino NB on Sunday night.  One thing that impresses me about the band has maintained it’s membership from the original forming for fifteen straight years now with frontman Josh Ramsay, Lead guitarist Matt Webb, Bassist Mike Ayley, and drummer Ian Cassleman.

This tour was obviously amped up for this jaunt across the country as large LED screens, a raised drum platform and a piano in the crowd spoke to the elevation of the production value of this show, not to mention the many extra bass cabinets lining the front of the stage.

A predominantly female and diverse crowd, the crowd was spread from the very young kids in the preschool age bracket, all the way up to your average adult and a few seniors, with the majority being in their teen to young adult age.   I love general admission standing shows (no seating on the floor, just the rear bleachers) they allow you to move around and get a different perspective of the show, I wish they did this more.

Frontman Josh Ramsay is obviously the centre of attention, flamboyant, entertaining, energetic and certainly has no qualms of saying what ever comes to mind, and I do mean anything that pops into his head.  He interfaces with the crowd, get’s them excited and obviously enjoys his role as the showman of the band.  Both shows that I’ve seen them now, Ramsay travelled out through the crowd, all the way back to the bleachers, through the main body of the crowd, while the band continued playing. This time was slightly different as at the back of the room was a piano where he settled in to perfrom a song amongst the crowd.  The band entertains from beginning to end, they talk to their crowd, they laugh and joke with each other on stage, and look as though they are just having fun.

Marianas Trench - Casino NB - 11/20/16 ~ Refrain Photography

Marianas Trench – Casino NB – 11/20/16 ~ Refrain Photography

After an 80 minute set that included a several song encore the band bid farewell and this ended another great evening of entertainment at Casino NB. Thank you to Repartee, Shawn Hook, Marianas Trench, Casino NB, and PPRL. See you next time!

 

Theory of A Deadman – Casino NB – 11/19/16

Posted: 20th November 2016 by refrainmusic in Concerts

Saturday night brought a unique show to Casino NB with Canadian rockers Theory of A Deadman bringing in their stripped down acoustic show to the stage. A packed house welcomed them to the stage, for a more intimate view of the band that has had us enjoying their music since 2001.

Theory of A Deadman - Casino NB - 11/19/16 ~ Refrain Photography

Theory of A Deadman – Casino NB – 11/19/16 ~ Refrain Photography

I wasn’t sure how a Theory concert would go in a stripped down show having seen them in full on electric show previously. Needless to say I was pleasantly surprised as Theory of a Deadman still cover the range of rock, to the power breakup song, to heavy riffed tracks. At their heart, the Canadian quartet hits hard on dark, angsty tracks such as “Drown”.  Tyler Connolly & Co. want to keep a foothold in the rock mainstream but the lead vocalist remarked that many ask what type of band they are and they feel they cover the gamut, but in the end the are a ‘rock band’.

They also did a nice tribute to Canadian poet, songwriter, and entertainer Leonard Cohen with their latest single, their version of “Hallelujah”, off their upcoming alubum due out in the spring of 2017. They said that they had recorded it years ago but had never used the recording on any of their albums and felt that it was time now to do so.

Theory of A Deadman - Tyler Connolly - Casino NB - 11/19/16 ~ Refrain Photography

Theory of A Deadman – Tyler Connolly – Casino NB – 11/19/16 ~ Refrain Photography

The crowd was well into the show with many sing-a-longs encouraged by the band, many shout outs to the band between songs and it was another well received show by the packed house.  Going into the show I wasn’t sure what to expect but in the end it was a well rounded show that pleased everyone from beginning of the thirteen song set right up to the two song encore that featured one of their biggest hits in “Santa Monica”; which the band said was one of their favourite songs to sing every night. I’d encourage anyone that was thinking to go to a show on this tour to do so.

Another great night of music and thanks to Theory of A Deadman, Casino NB, and PPRL.

 

 

X Ambassadors – Casino NB – 11/18/16

Posted: 19th November 2016 by refrainmusic in Concerts

Up tonight at Casino NB was a band I didn’t know much about going in, really only having heard a single song, but by the look of the parking lot and the very full Molson Canadian Centre I was alone in that unfamiliarity. A decidedly younger crowd was in attendance this evening, lots of youngsters accompanied by their Moms, teens, and ranging into the much older. I wasn’t sure what exactly I was in for.

X Ambassadors is an rock band from New York that consists of lead vocalist Sam Harris, keyboardist Casey Harris, lead guitarist Noah Feldshuh, and drummer Adam Levin. Their most familiar tunes include songs like “Jungle”, “Renegades”, and arguably their biggest single “Unsteady” off of the band’s debut album, VHS, released in June of 2015.

X Ambassadors - Casino NB - 11/18/16 ~ Refrain Photography

X Ambassadors – Casino NB – 11/18/16 ~ Refrain Photography

Sam Harris doesn’t sit still, pretty much ever, throughout the entire performance. Rotating through just holding a mic, to a bass, to a guitar and even chiming in on the saxophone. He was interactive, which you all know I love, talked with the crowd, told stories, led the crowd in interactive sing-a-longs. He thoroughly looks like he’s enjoying every minute and passes that on to the crowd.

The keys were definitely a thing that stood out for me as well, manned by the very talented Casey Harris. A couple of solos created on songs which created phenomenal introductions to songs like Unsteady. There was a “bounce” to the show that Harris kept going throughout the night accompanied by drummer Adam Levin, you just couldn’t help but nod your head to their music.

Strong vocals, crowd interactivity, powerful musicianship, needless to say I was pleasantly surprised with the X Ambassadors and their live show. They entertain you from beginning to end and leave you wanting more, what more can you ask for?

X Ambassadors - Casino NB - 11/18/16 ~ Refrain Photography

X Ambassadors – Casino NB – 11/18/16 ~ Refrain Photography

 

Another night of great music and entertainment at the Molson Canadian Centre, I’d definitely recommend tuning in to this band and getting out to see their live performance. Thanks to Casino NB, X Ambassadors and PPRL.

 

Sam Roberts – Casino NB – 11/16/16

Posted: 17th November 2016 by refrainmusic in Concerts

Tonight at Casino NB the crowd gathered to see Montreal rocker Sam Roberts and his band. Roberts has been a fixture on the Canadian music scene since the early 2000’s when his hit “Don’t Walk Away Eileen” was in heavy rotation on Canadian radio and has had a smattering of hits over the last decade. But first up we had musician Adam Balwin from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia to warm up the fans in the Molson Canadian Centre this evening.

Due to some logistics and timing I was unable to get photos of the opener this time but still got to view most of their forty minute set prior to the headliner. Some may have recognized Baldwin if they are fans of another Canadian artist in Matt Mays, since Baldwin has played guitar in Mays band since 2008. While I enjoyed the set it was almost like it was being forced a bit, with there being an obvious influence of Springsteen and the like in the musical musings of the band and Baldwin.

Sam Roberts - Casino NB - 11/16/16 ~ Refrain Photography

Sam Roberts – Casino NB – 11/16/16 ~ Refrain Photography

Sam Roberts took to the stage with no introduction and broke right into their first song right away. You’ll notice a general lack of photos in this review as this has to be one of the worst “lit” shows I have ever attended, let alone tried to shoot. During the first three songs (which is typically when us intrepid reporters are allowed to photograph) the stage was awash in full reds, and blues, back lit and sometimes almost in full darkness. We literally could not see the face of the performers at times, some will say what does that matter you’re there to listen, for me and many others I come to “see” the performer. At times throughout the show I went to the back of the room and literally, if there was no sound, I couldn’t have told you who was on the stage. To me this made the show quite a bit less enjoyable from a viewer stand point.

But I digress, on to the music, which as usual with a Sam Roberts show was nothing but great. Sam Roberts is a Canadian rock singer and songwriter, whose 2001 debut release, The Inhuman Condition, became one of the bestselling releases in Canadian music history. Since then he has kept rolling releasing six more full studio albums and extensively touring over the last 15 years.

Rolling through the familiar tunes and the new songs like one of his latest singles “If You Want It”, off of their recently released studio album Terraform. Roberts entertained the strong fans base that knew the words to most of the songs, there were several sing-a-longs encouraged by Roberts, quieting the band to let the fans join the show. Loud ovations were not surprising for the classics like “Don’t Walk Away Eileen” and “Taj Mahal” as well and many joining in.

All in all another awesome Sam Roberts concert, with great tunes and great crowd, Sam is currently on a four date tour in the Maritimes and will be making stops in St. John’s, Halifax, and Charlottetown on this jaunt through the East.

Thanks to Casino NB, Adam Baldwin, Sam Roberts, and PPRL for another night of great music.

 

Our Lady Peace & I Mother Earth – Casino NB – 11/04/16

Posted: 17th November 2016 by refrainmusic in Concerts

A sold out show during the middle of the week doesn’t happen often but when it’s two great Canadian bands of the 90’s, one reunited with it’s original singer. There was a diverse age group for this show as I walked through the crowd, parents that were fans 20 years ago bringing their young ones to see to rocking bands from their own youth.

Due to some logistic issues I only made it to the first half of the opening act, The Standstills. What I did get to see was a high energy duo from Oshawa, Ontario of Johnny Fox (guitar & vocals) and Renée Couture (drums) warming up the crowd full steam ahead.

All over the gamut the duo were welcomed by the IME/OLP crowd with great fervor, blending a mix of rock, blues, and I even heard a rockabilly twist in there a bit. Renée is a dynamo on the drums as her hair flies as fast as her stick, and Johnny leads you through with strong vocals and riffed guitar playing, and this night the crowd loved it. I’d definitely check out more of the Standstills in the future.

 

 

Edwin & I Mother Earth - Casino NB - 11/04/16 ~ Refrain Photography

Edwin & I Mother Earth – Casino NB – 11/04/16 ~ Refrain Photography

The crowd was clearly comprised of fans of both bands about to follow, this crowd was full of fans; full of people who were actively listening to the pair of bands in the 90s and early 2000s.

Edwin looked like clean cut, yetaged version of himself from the past; same hair but with the grey noting the passage of time for both group of fans. However although I found he appeared a bit ‘bored’ early on, his voice was just a powerful as ever and as the show went on he proved he’s still got it. The band and Edwin meshed like all that time hadn’t passed as an adult, watching them for a second time I wondered what they could have done together through all those years. The crowd was just “into it” for both bands and they sang, boy did they sing, and not just for the ‘hit’ songs but for the more obscure songs as well. The crowd ate it up and were led even further towards OLP.

Raine Maida & Our Lady Peace - Casino NB - 11/04/16 ~ Refrain Photography

Our Lady Peace – Casino NB – 11/04/16 ~ Refrain Photography

On to OLP and the crowd swelled a bit in anticipation of the headliner of the night. Has Raine Maida aged in the last 20 years, at all? Seriously, this guy looks like it’s still 1995, but I digress; but come on it’s not fair!

OLP were as entertaining and tight as any time that I’ve seen them previously, they don’t mis a beat (no pun intended) and are smooth and crisp in every transition.  Playing songs from the last 20 years and mixing in some new songs that I have to say were very good, the band were as good as ever. Their crowd interaction, if you’ve read any of my reviews you know that is important to me, was up there for sure, with a few stories and a plethora of sing-a-longs.

To me OLP is still as good as they have ever been, are definitely worth going to see if you have not had the opportunity and have enjoyed any of their music from the last few decades.

Raine Maida & Our Lady Peace - Casino NB - 11/04/16 ~ Refrain Photography

Raine Maida & Our Lady Peace – Casino NB – 11/04/16 ~ Refrain Photography

Thank you do Casino NB, The Standstills, IME, OLP and PPRL for another night of outstanding music brought to our city. Cheers!

 

Natalie McMaster & Donnell Leahy – Casino NB – 10/19/2016

Posted: 20th October 2016 by refrainmusic in Concerts

Tonight award winning Cape Breton fiddling sensation Natalie McMaster and her husband Donnell Leahy are here to get the toes tapping and the hands clapping at Casino NB. From the hills of Cape Breton to the outskirts of Ontario, two fiddling traditions, creating a new fiddling sound. The ferocious fiddling duo of Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy take control of the stage with a vibrant cacophony of energy and love for their craft that combines their traditional heritage with their appetite for the contemporary. Playing over 100 shows a year, travelling as a family with their six children, they bring a well rounded show of classic and modern fiddle playing to their crowds.

Donnell Leahy & Natalie MacMaster - Casino NB ~ Refrain Photography

Donnell Leahy & Natalie MacMaster – Casino NB ~ Refrain Photography

A night filled with stories about their background and their meeting, their mutual love for music and how it brought them together, not just playing it but loving it in a way they are trying to pass on to their six children. Something they are obviously succeeding at when they brought out five of their six children, each with a fiddle in hand and blew my mind with how well these youngsters already play. The first being five years old and wowing the crowd, all the way up to their ten year old daughter. All fiddled their way through a single song and as Mom & Dad continued to play, the kids set down their fiddles to finish dancing the song away in a lined up jig. It was a miraculous display that was quite entertaining from ones so young, and what Donnell later called their “retirement plan”. It’s a family affair and it’s obvious they love performing together as I noted a small loving smile between Natalie and Donnell during a rousing ballad.

Donnell Leahy - Casino NB ~ Refrain Photography

Donnell Leahy – Casino NB ~ Refrain Photography

From slow waltz’s, to soaring ballads, to blistering songs like one called “Fiddler’s Despair” performed by Donnell, they covered a well rounded gamut of music from the hollow’s of Cape Breton, the Highlands of Scotland and everywhere around the world.
Backed by three other musicians, a drummer, guitarist, and a piano player that were all featured in their own right. Complete with a fantastic bagpipe solo, that had the Scottish in my blood jumping, by multiple instrumentalist Matt MacIssac.

A wonderful evening of music, stories, and entertainment from two premier performers (and their kids) was enjoyed greatly by all including two fiddling greats, locals Ivan and Vivian Hicks. Thanks to Natalie, Donnell, Casino NB, and PPR for a wonderful night of entertainment!

Loverboy – Casino NB – 08/27/16

Posted: 28th August 2016 by refrainmusic in Concerts
Loverboy - Casino NB - 08/27/16 ~ Refrain Photography

Loverboy – Casino NB – 08/27/16 ~ Refrain Photography

Casino NB welcome 80’s rock staple Loverboy to the stage tonight and to say that there is a bit of nostalgia is an understatement.  The Canadian quintet from the hairdays of the ’80s are now pushing there 60’s, but they all play with the joy of doing something they love, relishing the retro spotlight that brings out their fans and the fans relish it too. Mixed with a weekend ‘classic car show’ in the Casino parking lot it was a great recipe for a classic night of music.

Loverboy - Casino NB - 08/27/16 ~ Refrain Photography

Mike Reno & Paul Dean – Loverboy – Casino NB – 08/27/16 ~ Refrain Photography

Bassist Ken Sinnaeve owned his many solos, and the riot of sound he waged with drummer Matt Frenette was a rhythmic sensation in the middle of the night. Both pulled out rapid rounds of electrifying beats that exploded into “Turn Me Loose,” the song that launched the band’s career in 1980 and the crowd loved every second of it.

Ken Sinnaeve - Loverboy - Casino NB - 08/27/16 ~ Refrain Photography

Ken Sinnaeve – Loverboy – Casino NB – 08/27/16 ~ Refrain Photography

Matt Frenette - Loverboy - Casino NB - 08/27/16 ~ Refrain Photography

Matt Frenette – Loverboy – Casino NB – 08/27/16 ~ Refrain Photography

A full house at the casino, sang along with the classic lyrics of an era gone by with fervor and enthusiasm. Guitarist Paul Dean was on his game like the other musicians in the band hammering out solo after solo and highlighting the guitar laden rock of the 80’s. Mixed with the keyboards of Doug Johnson that were so synonymous with 80’s rock music things sounded fantastic.

Paul Dean - Loverboy - Casino NB - 08/27/16 - Refrain Photography

Paul Dean – Loverboy – Casino NB – 08/27/16 – Refrain Photography

At 61 lead singer Mike Reno may not be sporting the red leather pants anymore, but with bandanna, black shirt, and black jeans sporting a looped chain, his mojo’s intact, as he simply wails on the high notes from the start to the end.

A strong 75 minute set complete with two song encore brought us flying back to red leather pants, big hair and great music. Thanks to Loverboy, Casino NB, and PPRL for another great night of music.