Mark Mills, Windmills at Commonwealth

Tuesday 21st, April 2015 / 10:36
By Michael Grondin
Mark Mills at Commonwealth. Photo: Michael Grondin

Mark Mills at Commonwealth.
Photo: Michael Grondin

April 18, 2015

CALGARY — Imagine you’re at a garage sale. You walk in and spot a colourful silk shirt in the back of the garage. Without hesitation, without question, you pick up the shirt, pay what they ask and leave. This retro silk shirt fills you with confidence, making you the life of the party.

A performance by Mark Mills has the same effect as that silk shirt. He is the personification of inhibitionless party; his cool, ‘80s, synth-galore throwback jams are revitalized with a fresh, modern perspective. As such, when Mark Mills and opener Windmills played at Commonwealth Bar and Stage in anticipation for Mill’s new release (titled Celebrate, out this June) the duo provoked the packed basement into an uproaring dance extravaganza with tons of enthusiasm and excitement.

Windmills, or Cory Myraas, comes straight of a beach party in Kelowna. His expressive songs loop guitar and vocals overtop laptop created electronic elements, producing folk-inspired chill-wave. Lyrics like, “Found faith in summertime,” and “I feel it coming in waves,” are evidence of Windmills’ feel-good vibe.

Windmills’ upbeat and well-orchestrated performance got the crowd buttered up for the dance party that would ensue.

Mark Mills dances so hard that it’s tough not to want to join him. He takes one-man-band to a new level, playing pre-produced beats off an iPod while layering toy-synthesizer, guitar and vocals overtop.

Not a single body was still throughout his performance. Feet were shuffling and faces were smiling. “Shake your body with me,” invited the flamboyant, proud father of two, sharing stories of his kids in between his analog disco beats.

Mark Mills, at times hip-thrusting his way through the crowd, was animated, believing every word of his songs about getting high on life, and the audience harmoniously partied along.

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