Watching live music fills my soul in a way that nothing else can. I haven’t been to many concerts this year, so I was excited when my lovely sister Julia invited me and Zevi to a show at the Ironwood. Between Julia and her friend they’d gathered a pretty large group so we had quite the contingent out to see some great bands!
The Ironwood is one of my favourite places in Calgary to see bands play. Shows generally start at a reasonable hour, the environment is relaxed, the sound quality is top notch, and it’s not earsplittingly loud. Can you tell I’m getting old? We had great seats almost as close to the stage as you can get, and while I initially worried I’d walk out completely deaf, our vantage point turned out to be just perfect.
The bands on the bill that night were both from Victoria. First up was Towers and Trees, a six piece fronted by the dynamic Adrian Chalifour. I was really impressed by their energy and by how tight their set was – they sounded like veterans rather than a band on their first Canadian tour! With beautiful harmonies on the slower ballads and frenetic bluesy spirit on the up tempo numbers, the set was a great mix of feeling and showmanship. They were great at interacting with the audience, unplugging and playing a song in the crowd and encouraging lots of clapping and snapping along. I’d never heard their music before that night, but I came away a big fan! They’ve got a record coming out in the next few months, and the first song off of it more than lives up to their live performance. I can’t wait to hear the rest of the album!
While Towers and Trees were a new discovery for me, I’d been listening to Mike Edel for quite some time. I saw him a couple of years ago when he came through Calgary and enjoyed his set so much that I picked up his album, The Last Of Our Mountains, which has been on heavy rotation ever since. Mike’s voices is powerful but also very raw and real, and it has an almost whispery quality that makes you believe that everything he’s saying is coming from an honest place. He played a lot of material from his new album, which is coming out in a few weeks, and I was happy to hear that the new songs were just as gorgeous as the ones I’ve listened to so many times. It turns out Mike is a storyteller too, and we were treated to the stories behind some of the songs he was playing. It’s always fun to hear about the inspiration behind the lyrics!
It was a great night of music, and the perfect combination of a new discovery and an old favourite. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for the upcoming releases from both Towers and Trees and Mike Edel, and you should be too!