Starlight hosts impressive indie showcase

This past Saturday, the Starlight Lounge wrapped up their Indie Band Festival after three nights of showcasing talented independent artists from across Ontario.

The New Music Society (NUMUS) is one of Waterloo’s cultural institutions that helped bring together some of the most innovative and challenging musicians from Waterloo and Ontario.

The NUMUS mandate is to advance the public’s knowledge and appreciation of music by providing and promoting musical performances and concerts from up and coming Canadian artists.

Late night CBC radio host Laurie Brown was in attendance and filled the role of host and curator for the evening. Brown, who currently hosts The Signal every Monday to Saturday on CBC Radio 2, spoke with The Cord briefly between sets.

“I was asked by Glenn Burh, a very talented music composer and member of the NUMUS society, if I would assemble good artists from Ontario to do a late night series for the Starlight,” explained Brown of her involvement with the festival.

Describing her eagerness at the opportunity, she concluded, “Of course I said yes.”

All three evenings presented something different.

Thursday, Drumheller opened up the festival displaying their free jazz style.

Friday evening featured Daniela Gesundheit (also from Luxury Pond) with her side project Snowblink.

Also in attendance on Friday were Kevin Breit and Sisters Euclid, displaying their collaborative brand of jazz fusion.

Saturday evening’s performance was extra special because Brown brought a CBC recording crew with her to capture the amazing sound of the Luxury Pond.

She described their sound as “a great musical happening” and went on to say that “Luxury pond changes the definition of contemporary music.”

Luxury Pond front man Dan Goldman and musical partner (as well as his wife) Gesundeit from Snowblink collaborated with The Penderecki String Quartet, a well-established group of performers with strong ties to the music program at Wilfrid Laurier University.

The light guitars and beautiful vocals from Goldman and his wife, in conjunction with the quartet, made for an overwhelming musical experience, ripe with emotion.

The Penderecki String Quartet at one point offered their own tribute to great composer Henryk M. Gorecki, displaying their musical expertise.

The piece was intense and intricate, often with sudden changes in tempo, tone and texture. Luxury Pond’s final song left the crowd roaring with applause.

As Luxury Pond finished and local electronic rock band Bocce took to the stage, the atmosphere underwent an amusing change.

The less regular, slightly older and more reserved crowd shifted to the usual Saturday night university bunch, ready to party alongside Bocce’s impressive upbeat performance.

The guys rolled through songs both old and new, playing a few tracks from their latest album Disambiguation.

It was no wonder Bocce was chosen to end the night off, as their fist-pounding beats and distorted electronic sounds elevated their goofy, off-the-wall stage presence.

The night was a rousing success and as the evening faded into its usual Global Warming club night, it left the audience looking forward to the next time Starlight hosts another indie showcase.