Music is emotion. It doesn’t matter what kind of music; it just matters that it speaks to our core. I don’t subscribe to the thought that rap music makes you want to do crime. Or that reggae makes you want to smoke pot. I believe that music is ambition. It can drive us forward, give us confidence, and help us to connect to this world of ours in some way.
Feeling connected is one of the most important things to have. Lately Dan keeps repeating a quote about the rules of happiness to me. There are 3 things everyone needs in this world:
- Something to do
- Someone to love
- Something to hope for
Music can meld into anyone of these important callouts above, especially in our youth. Think of it. When you are sad or lost and can’t be around other people, what do you do? I would say a great number of you turn to music. I know I have. When my brother passed away in 2007, my music values shifted greatly. Gone was the pop music and empty lyrics. I became more open and interested in people that wrote their own music and had their own stories to tell.
S.C.E.N.E. is the perfect festival for me. I get to wander around, spending the day with my husband, discovering new musicians and listening to their stories. It’s truly a wonderful experience.
This year marked our second year in attendance at S.C.E.N.E. Music Festival. Last time we discovered a couple of our new favourite bands, Theatre Crisp and Lambs Become Lions. This year we have expanded our list.
I keep being surprised by the talent we stumble across here in Niagara. It shouldn’t keep startling me but it does. I’m not sure what it is about Canada that allows talent to grow. It might be the medical and employment services in place to take care of people. Or maybe Canadians are just more intrinsically talented?
No matter the reason, S.C.E.N.E. didn’t fail to entertain and delight my ears.
Our first stop was to see Lambs Become Lions at the main stage. This is a huge step for them as last year they were playing a late set at Mikado. It’s nice to watch their growth and success. These uber-talented musicians put on a great show, like we expected, and had the crowd dancing. Even a giant stuffed gorilla got into the groove.
We stumbled across another musical talent, The Revival, having traveled all the way from Winnipeg (them, not us). They were participating in the War Child efforts and performing in front of the Court House Theatre. On the heavily trafficked steps, they had a tough job competing with the other performances for volume. With just guitars, drums, and the power of voice, they were quite a joy to listen to. I’d be very interested to pick up their album and get a chance to listen to them properly without street noise.
I loved everyone we saw but probably my favourite was Beth Moore. I am a big fan of Matt King’s album, Rube, and Beth’s style and lyrics rings of that sound (whether intentional or not). She has a folk sound with an essence of the unexpected mixed in. As she talked to the audience in between songs, she was interesting and funny, even when dealing with heavier topics like the end of the world. Mentioning her love of The Walking Dead, my first thought was how perfect her sound was for the show. I hope that someday I get to hear one of her tracks on the beloved AMC show.
After listening to the simple and elegant sounds of an acoustic guitar, we made our way down to watch a band we’ve been trying to find the time to see for nearly a year now… My Son the Hurricane. We have had them on our mind for such a long time we even named one of our comic strips after them!
Since Sunday afternoon, I’ve been trying to figure out how exactly to describe this spectacle. And that’s just what it is… a spectacle.
I have never seen this kind of a set-up in my life. The best I could come up with was their sound is an equal mixture of Eminem, Metallica, and Dizzy Gillespie. The band’s lead, Jacob Bergsma, knows how to work a crowd. I don’t believe I’ve seen another performer have exactly as much fun as he does on stage. The band is a crowd of people, all as talented as the next. I counted 3 saxophones, 2 trumpets, 1 trombone, 2 guitars, 1 drum set, and a percussion section. They even had the talented Sarah Beatty as a guest vocalist for a couple of songs. My Son the Hurricane is an experience you are unlikely to have anywhere else. Go see them.
Our last stop of the day, because it was a very long weekend to take in with the Niagara Falls Comic Con happening at the same time, was back to the Red Hot Chili Pepper to take in a second acoustic guitar performance.
Sharon Nutzati, a singer/songwriter from Thornhill, has a powerful voice that the microphone couldn’t seem to handle at times. She came across as a pretty shy but confident performer, who is on her way up to big things. It seems most singer/songwriters that play acoustic guitar have a storyteller persona. This still holds true for Sharon. One of her songs addressed her fears, which beforehand she warned that some are pretty weird.
Sharon is currently working on her first album and I’ll be keeping my eyes open for when that is available to the public. There’s something to be said for a person that can perform a Backstreet Boys song and actually make me like it. Sharon Nutzati isn’t a cover performer though; this was just a special one-time occurrence for us lucky audience members.
The greatest thing about attending S.C.E.N.E. was that I found new artists that were mainly based in the Niagara Region. I can follow these musicians as they perform in the region and help grow my fan mentality in the process.
Don’t worry people. I’m not a stalker… unless you’re Tom Waits. Then you may have reason for concern.
S.C.E.N.E. is one of the largest annual, one-day, all-ages music festivals in Canada, and a premiere destination for showcasing quality independent music. The festival attracts over 6000 fans to downtown St. Catharines each year, and is a hotbed for up-and-coming musical talent across all genres, featuring both Canadian and international talent. Past S.C.E.N.E. performers have come from as far as Europe, Australia, the U.S., and beyond, to take part in the festival.
Lambs Become Lions
My Son The Hurricane