When I saw The Trews for the first time a few years ago at the Nakusp Music Fest, my thought at the time was, “I wish I had seen them in their heyday.” They were good, but they weren’t ‘great’ or ‘stellar’ or ‘memorable’ – but it did get me to go check out what I had missed all those years, including an acoustic show in Kamloops which was very enjoyable.
Last year I saw them at 99.3 The Fox, (our local radio station) ‘Seeds’ concert, as the headliner, and they blew me away! Something had changed – but was it a one-off fueled by the need to be better than the ‘beginning’ bands? Most definitely not! Tonight’s show was a repeat and more! The Trews have been consistently gaining speed with each new show despite a grueling tour schedule which has seen them bounce back and forth across Canada all summer.
I had a chance to ask singer Colin MacDonald what has them fired up over the last year.
“We’ve made a conscious decision to treat every show like our first. Instead of treating it like a job ie we ‘have’ to do it, we have fun with it and treat it the passion it is for us.”
That sense of passion is most apparent in Colin himself; slimmer, trimmer and smiling all evening, moving around the stage more than we’ve ever seen him do before.. the energy of the entire band is intense, infectious and seemingly infinite as they expend MORE energy as the show progresses! The crowd response is just as intense.. we sing the choruses of the songs, dance, fist pump and throw the energy back to the 4 men on stage for The World I Know, Not Ready to Go and So She’s Leaving. By the time the band launches into Power of Positive Drinking, even the security team (who earlier told me they were expecting a near riot of fans rushing the fence as they had heard The Trews were a ‘rowdy band’) were so into the music that they too were dancing, high fiving fans on the other side of the fence, and even taking close up pics of the band for a multitude of fans who handed over their cell phones.
Sing Your Heart Out is the first ‘near’ ballad on the set list and this chorus has the entire crowd singing it back to The Trews, with Colin taking out his ear monitors to listen, and JA smiling like the Cheshire cat.
Highway of Heroes is a touching moment, as Colin asks the crowd to take out cell phones or lighters, and light up the night – and until every last one of us does so, the band waits. The song closes to a near hush and then into a medley of Trews goodness.
A killer guitar solo from John-Angus MacDonald as brother Colin, drummer Sean Dalton, and bassist Jack Syperk leave the stage temporarily – what ever happened to the rock and roll guitar solo? Bring it back people!
The band returns and Burned is played for one of the very few times live! One of my favorite songs from the band’s newest album, and it sounds great live. Judging by the crowd, it’s not well known yet, but went over big.
Cowbell from Sean on drums and everyone ‘knows’ Poor Ol Broken Hearted Me is up next – the reaction is thunderous and has the awesome effect of drawing John-Angus right off the stage, down onto the speaker, across the ‘pit’ past security, and almost into the audience as he stands on the fencing and leans more than half his body into the crowd!
A powerful drum solo morphs this song with the last of the night, Hold Me and the ending crashes into silence as the last note is played… we know there is an encore, despite a strict curfew of 11pm. The security (all 6 of them) hop onto the fence and almost incite the riot they were concerned about at the show’s start, by egging us on to chant ‘one more song’.. priceless!
The encore was a cover of Cadillac, with Junkhouse/Blackie and the Rodeo Kings singer Tom Wilson (who was also the festival’s MC for the day), and then it was over!
The evening was amazing in the truest sense of the word… fantastic music under the stars, from a band that has outdone themselves over and over… this band is on fire! Cant wait to see where this wild ride will take them – and us!
©nightMair Creative 2012