By Kayden Desmond
October 21, 2014
CALGARY — When July Talk members, Peter Dreimanis and Leah Fay, came onto the stage the crowd went wild, knowing they were in for an amazing performance. Backed up by their guitarist, Ian Docherty laying down eerie guitar riffs, bassist Josh Warburton, and drummer Danny Miles. Peter and Leah performing together is a unique experience to witness because of the energy and of how theatrical Peter and Leah both are when they perform (Leah Fay jumped into the crowd at one point dumping honey into people’s mouths). Dreimanis sings with a heavy voice similar to Tom Waits and Leah Fay bounces back vocally with her dark melodic lullabies. They come together in a sort of whiskey-soaked harmony with heavier blues songs like “The Garden” and “Gentlemen,” which really portray a tragic sort of love story between the two of them onstage. Both Dreimanis and Fay played off each other’s energy with almost perfect chemistry and on such a small stage as MacEwan Hall, it created a personal atmosphere between the band and the crowd.
The Rural Alberta Advantage is by far the purest definition of folksy Canadian rock music since the Tragically Hip. Nils Edenloff leading the band on vocals, Amy Cole on keyboard, and Paul Banwatt on drums sing folksy acoustic songs you’d anticipate to hear sitting around a campfire on a cold night. Edenloff melodically tells stories of his youth living in Alberta, singing about tornados in Edmonton and rockslides in Frank. The Rural Alberta Advantage played a mind blowing set that consisted at one point with Banwatt and Cole smashing a floor tom, while Edenloff shredded fast on his acoustic guitar singing and getting the crowd jumping with songs, like “Terrified” and fast-paced melodies like “The Dethbridge in Lethbridge.” The RAA really know how to please a crowd, as evidenced with nearly every show in North America being sold out. It goes to show that both July Talk and The Rural Alberta Advantage know how to put on a fantastic performance, especially in such a small, intimate venue as MacEwan Hall.
AB, Calgary, July Talk, MacEwan Hall, The Rural Alberta Advantage