By Divine Right - Horseshoe Tavern - Midnight
Picture it: Outside the Horseshoe Tavern, 11:30 PM. There is no lineup. There are no people hanging out. All is well with the world.
Outside the Horseshoe Tavern, 11:45 PM. Two separate lines have formed. One for ticket holders, the other for the people of the laminates. We wait. We try to act cool, nonchalant and sneak past the bouncers. We are embarrassingly stopped dead in our tracks.
Inside in the Horseshoe Tavern, midnight. By some stroke of luck enough people left the Horseshoe to allow most of the outsiders in. The club is of course suffocatingly packed. But anticipation hangs in the air like stale blue cigarette smoke.
On stage, a few minutes after midnight; By Divine Right and a whole team of dancers. If stage banter was understood correctly, they are contest winners and this is their prize. The party starts. This is not a band, this is a circus. Bodies and tambourines collide with one another and general mayhem ensues. Fists fly, more than a few drunken fans fall on top of one another and the onslaught of harmonic, melodic, pretty, powerful, rockin', rollin' celebration revs on.
And on÷and on÷until almost as quickly as it started, it stopped. The crowd relentlessly demands an encore until guitarist Colleen Hixenbaugh returns briefly to the stage to thank everyone for their support "This is a festival guys, no encores. Enjoy the rest of the music!" Oh sure÷like topping that act is gonna be so easy.
Billy & The Lost Boys - The 360 - 1am
There's a special sort of delirium that sets in at 1am - especially when it's Canadian Music Week. Three or four bands under your belt, one more to go and you ask yourself "Is this last band worth it?"
I am so glad I hung on for Billy & The Lost Boys.
Fronting the three-piece is Billy, a tiny girl to look at her but one with a gigantic stage presence. Blowing the "girl-with-guitar" stereotype right out of the water, Billy wrung the neck of her guitar like a Christmas goose. Snarling and growling into the mic one instant, assuming classic rocking out poses the next, she lead the Lost Boys through a high-octane set, surpassing (just barely) Aaron the bassist on mileage accrued via leaping amd jumping around on stage.
The only member to exhaust himself even more would of course be Shane on the drums, pounding out song after song of fast and furious pop-punk. The brevity of stage banter in between tunes made the whole show feel like one continuous onslaught. And at the end, bassist and guitarist collide together in a heap of jangled instruments and spent bodies, only to leap to their feet 30 seconds later and bound of stage.
Billy & The Lost Boys needed to provided the infectious energy rush needed to pull festival goers through until last call. Instead they excited my nerves so much I had trouble sleeping that night. Punkin' awesome.
Writer: Erica Basnicki