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.
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.
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.
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.
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!