Tag Archives: Steamboat

SappyFest 2010, Sackville, NB
30/07 – 01/08/2010

In the fall of 2006 I saw Shotgun & Jaybird play in my hometown of Oshawa. It was the only time I ever got to see them play, but it really changed my life. I’ve told the whole story here before, but in fewer words, that was the night I discovered the great festival that is SappyFest, which I had the pleasure of attending in 2008, 2009, and again just this month. It’s actually the end of the month now – I’m not sure what’s taken me so long to get down to writing, but if I wait any longer no one will care anymore.

This year for SappyFest I decided to go for an entire week instead of the usual 3-4 days. Part of the reason I went for longer was so that I could just relax in a nice environment, but I also wanted to check out more of Ok.Quoi?!, an arts festival that happens each year in the week leading up to SappyFest. I went to a roundtable discussion about public art installations, listened to some live experimental music, saw a ton of amazing short films and animations, and even participated in the “Consensus Bus” (a free bus trip open to anyone, but everyone who comes has to agree on the destination).

Of course, SappyFest itself was another fine 3 days of music, with a whole lot of my friends and favourite bands playing this year that was a given, but there were also a few new discoveries along the way. I had planned to shoot a lot of video during the festival, but of course, once I’m having fun I tend to “forget” my camera when I go out… but I did manage to capture two bands from the first night. Neither band should need any introduction for readers of this website as I’ve shot them both many times before.

Toronto’s best party band Steamboat played to a packed mainstage tent in what I believe was their first out-of-town gig! The response from the crowd was enthusiastic, and the band had another chance to get people dancing when they did another set (with plenty of special guest vocalists), closing out the festival on Sunday night at George’s Fabulous Roadhouse.

Finally, here’s Attack in Black playing a few songs. Lots of new material in their set, really hope they record them and make another album.

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Steamboat with André Ethier at The Dakota Tavern, Toronto

I never got a chance to see The Deadly Snakes play live while they were around, partly because by the time I discovered them, they were on the verge of breaking up. In fact, The Deadly Snakes played their last show a mere 21 days before my 19th birthday, and since it wasn’t an all-ages show, I didn’t get to go (the idea of sneaking into the Silver Dollar never even entered my 18-year-old mind).

I kept listening to the Snakes, especially the flawless double-LP version of Porcella, and my wounds began to heal. After all, how many other great bands did I never get to see live whose music I still listen to and love. The Snakes were different in that I actually had the chance to see them play, unlike say, Royal City, who broke up before I ever caught on to their music. Nevertheless, after a few years I realized it was time to look ahead and put the whole episode behind me.

Of course, on October 17th 2009 they played on-off reunion show… in Portland, Oregon. So, good news I guess, at least they will play if someone makes the right offer. Can someone in Toronto please book them??? Until then, seeing André Ethier sing Snakes songs with Steamboat will have to do (I really appreciate it, guys).

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Steamboat at The Garrison, Toronto

Maybe I’m just not seeing the right bands play, but going to a Steamboat concert is practically the only time I see people really cut loose at shows. Sure, I’ll see people dancing at other shows, but usually that’s just a few people up front, and only after the lead singer has repeatedly told them to (or worse, actually jumped into the audience and forced people to shake their booties). For whatever reason, a dancing audience comes easy to Steamboat. Peep this video I shot of them playing their song “Talkin’ Shame” at the Garrison a few months back where you can see that I was surrounded on all sides but folks cutting a rug. I must say though, Steamboat’s music lends itself to dancing far better than say, past subjects of this series like Julie Doiron or the Harbourcoats.

For the uninitiated, pick up either one of Steamboat’s EPs (both released last year, the first one is self-titled while the newer one is called Live in Nassau). Learn the words, put on your favourite outfit, grab some friends, and make your way down to the next Steamboat show. I guarantee you a good time.

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Steamboat with André Ethier at The Dakota Tavern, Toronto

Just a quick blog post tonight because I have to be up early tomorrow to leave for Sackville. I shot this on Sunday at the Dakota, where Steamboat were finishing up their eight-week residency. They brought out special guest André Ethier for a few jams, including the song Cop Killer from his last album Born of Blue Fog. I’d say the night was a success – when I got there after work it was at capacity and there was a group of Steamies (official name for Steamboat fans) up front dancing their butts off the whole night. Anyway, check out Steamboat and André if you haven’t already, they’re both 100% radical and wholeheartedly endorsed by the proprietor of this blog (me).

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