Okay. There is something I have to put on the table. I am in my 40’s, so nobody is referring to me as a bad-ass or some radical or even cool… in any way whatsoever.
That being said, the 18 year old artist-with-an-attitude, punk wannabe was jumping up and dancing (albeit with a bad hip) on Sunday night in St. Catharines at the 17th annual S.C.E.N.E. Music Festival.
S.C.E.N.E. is an acronym for St. Catharines Event for New Music Entertainment (well, it is sort of an acronym).
Whatever you want to call it — the entertainment value was incredible (even better than the photo above) — more than 6000 fans flooded intimate venues and outdoor stages with more than 150 performers on a variety of stages throughout the downtown core in an event that started at 1 pm and went past 1 am.
So, why did an old guy like me get home after 2 am on a Sunday night?
The musical talent that I am drawn to was on display at Mikado Café & Bar as I was fortunate to be in the audience when Lambs Become Lions took the stage and then Theatre Crisp closed out the night!
Despite putting on terrific shows, these two Niagara bands couldn’t be more different.
I was blown away by the talent and professionalism that was on display with Lambs Before Lions. Eric Conlon’s vocals brought a rich sincerity to heartfelt lyrics and this relatively new band played off each other with the familiarity of a group who were friends forever. They already have a powerful stage presence and the packed house seemed to know the lyrics to all of their songs.
I don’t know enough about the nuances of music to pretend to review them, other than to say despite the fact that I could hear some of that distinctive Ontario sound in their songs (I heard hints of Steven Page and The Arkells), this is a band that is developing a distinctive sound and they can list me among their fans!
You can check out their band page here and listen to a couple of their tracks from their album Cicada.
The second band was Theatre Crisp and if I had been worried about staying up so late before I came, I realized that even the dead would dance when they started to play.
This band plays an incredible fusion of funk, rock and rap fuelled by the pure joy of performing. Their lyrics have a clever simplicity that is wrapped in a fun and wholly danceable sound that is distinctively unique.
If their incredible style and funky beat wasn’t enough to get you going, the inclusion of Dave “D.C.” Cox and his incredible tap dancing into their stage show would hook you in all the way.
You can check out their band page here and listen to a couple of their tracks from their album Modern Daze.
I was only at the festival a few hours and had a blast and you can bet I will make sure I get in more bands and venues next year!
For more information on S.C.E.N.E. click here.