The Paper Kites hold second largest show at Maxwell’s

The Paper Kites brought a dreamlike beauty to Waterloo’s Maxwell’s Concerts and Events on Friday night, inviting the audience to enjoy an intimate experience. Horse Thief warmed up the crowd with their greatest hits, most notably ending their performance with their latest song, Another Youth.

This tour is the last we will see of The Paper Kites for a while as they plan to head back into the studio to work on their next album. Lead vocalist and guitarist, Sam Bentley, remarked how they could not have stopped in Waterloo, as this is their third time playing and they always have a great time.

Last year, their show was held at Starlight Social Club in uptown Waterloo which was a much smaller setting.

But as the popularity of this Australian band continued to grow, so did the space. This show was, in fact, the second largest show The Paper Kites have ever played in Canada, next to their show in Toronto.

The concert opened with the band powerfully walking onto the stage, welcomed by the audience’s excited screams and cheers. Without even saying hello, The Paper Kites began to play Revelator Eyes from their 2015 album, TwelveFour.

Quickly, the audience began to sing along and it was obvious from then on that this was going to be an incredible evening.

Melodic guitar solos erupted under smoky lights as lead guitarist Dave Powys strummed to the beat of Renegade. Beside me, girls were crying and humming to the beat through their tears screaming “I love you!” hoping the band would catch a glimpse.

After playing four songs, Bentley cued to the light technician to turn off the lights and politely asked the room to be silent. Bentley spoke with a calm voice into the microphone, “we want you to focus on the music, so we are going to turn down the lights as much as we can and try to make the room as quiet as possible.”

This would be one of the only times Bentley would speak to the audience.

Once the crowd was able to smooth out its lasting murmurs, the band stood there waiting a moment before beginning an acoustic rendition of their greatest hit, Bloom. Singing the first ballad, fans began to sway to the band’s subtle percussion, soft electric guitars and tender harmonies.

When the room was illuminated again, an arousing applause immediately exploded.

People couldn’t get enough of the ‘Kites and the ‘Kites couldn’t get enough of Waterloo.

The band made sure to capture the moment by taking a selfie with the crowd to upload to their Instagram.

The show ended under blue lights as Bentley passionately sang Electric Indigo using a gentle, yet thoughtful, approach to say goodbye to the crowd. But of course, the band could not say goodbye just yet.

After countless pleading chants from the crowd for the band to come back on stage, they graced us with two more songs.

Huddled in a circle around a single mic, The Paper Kites used their best asset, their vocals, to perform their very last song for Waterloo: an acapella rendition of St. Clarity. They snapped their fingers to keep the beat and the other members of the band sang harmony to compliment Bentley’s lead vocals.   

Finally, they performed Halcyon in the same circle, using the same single mic. The only person to hold an instrument was lead vocalist Sam Bentley, who softly strummed the melodic strings of the guitar, leading the band through the song.

The night was truly a benchmark for The Paper Kites and Waterloo. For the ‘Kites, they successfully sold out their second largest show in Canada and we were graced once again with the angelic harmonies and subtle musical beats.

Oh, what a beautiful night for music.


Photos by: Emi Zibaei


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