Peter Elkas kicks off residency

Last Wednesday Peter Elkas and friends performed at Starlight, kick-starting a string of weekly performances until April 6. Elkas is currently on the road promoting his latest musical effort Repeat Offender, available now.

Elkas began the night by addressing the crowd, saying that he was “excited to hang out and get to know people in Waterloo.” He then turned the stage over to Ben Gunning, a friend and former bandmate. The pair once performed together in alternative rock band Local Rabbits, before splitting up to persue respective solo careers.

Gunning got the night started with his interesting alternative rock style. The band got the Starlight crowd grooving with some great syncopated beats and catchy hooks that borrowed from genres like rock, jazz and pop.

His quirky voice and avant-garde guitar style produced an eerie rock sound with an alluring quality that kept listeners on their toes whenever he went off into aggressive sounding guitar solos. Songs like “On Their Dime” featured some of Gunning’s jazz-influenced guitar work, showcased by his interesting use of scales and dynamic rhythms.

Backed by a bassist and a drummer, each member of the trio did a great job, but Ben’s flashy guitar work and voice certainly set him apart from the rest of the band. The final song of their set entitled “Mal de mare” was a fantastic song that used distorted guitar effects and added an extra level of sound that delighted the crowd.

Afterward, Peter Elkas took the stage and settled into a groove with some slow pop-rock songs with catchy hooks and mellow beats.

The band, comprised of Elkas on guitar and harmonica, a bassist, a drummer and an extremely talented keyboard player, generated some album quality sound. The mix of instruments produced a superbly crisp and clean sound that was rich and full. Elkas’s singing was soulful and poetic, while his guitar solos enhanced the free-sounding jams that the band occasionally dived into.

Towards the end of Elkas’s set, Gunning was brought back to the stage to share the spotlight with Elkas on a song. The ending of their set was sexy and loud, with all members showing off some serious musical chops that left the crowd cheering.

After the show, The Cord caught up with Elkas and asked him about his thoughts on the audience. “The crowd was excellent, I came here with modest expectations and a crowd of this size is excellent. Hopefully more people will come out over the weeks and bring their friends,” said Elkas.

After Elkas’s set, the Burt Neilson Band jammed late into the night with their replaying of the legendary Pink Floyd album Animals that was atmospheric and sublime.

Each and every act that occupied the stage contributed to an exceptional night of musical entertainment.

Elkas will be performing at the Starlight again each Wednesday until April 6.

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