After 363 days, October 30th, 2016 came around. We had packed things up and decided to leave the music scene in Ontario. We left for various reasons. Life got busy, I (Lance) lost my passion for putting on shows and the market seemed to be congested with companies that were copying our model and competing for the same real estate.
However, after being out of the game for 10 months, I took a long look at the list of bands that I had worked with during my time running Break Loose Entertainment. Much to my chagrin, I realize that about 75-80% of the bands that we had the pleasure of working with were no longer performing at shows. This was a tough pill to swallow and I did a little research. I realized that most companies had strayed away from working with the new bands, the young bands and the struggling bands in our industry. Gone were the all ages shows, gone were the opportunities for artists to perform in front of a crowd on a stage in a professional manner. It was then that I set the wheels in motion to bring back Break Loose and I started to put together the pieces that I am hoping will make us a bigger and stronger entity in the market as well as create an atmosphere for all bands to grow and most of all do something that many seem unable to do - foster a market that will grow together and expand together and succeed together.
Enough about us for now. That brought us to last night. October 30th, 2016 we returned to London, Ontario to put on an incredible show at Norma Jeans. If last night was a sign of things to come for Break Loose and the bands that we work with and for, it is a sign that things may finally be ready to explode with the proper amount of passion, dedication, talent and drive.
The talent last night was mostly new to us. The one returning band from when we did shows prior was Ironbound. They were joined on stage by Populusque Romanus, Evergreen, Nostalgic Brightlights, Bare Bones and Fill The Void. The talent that took the stage blew me away from the very beginning and I would be remiss if I didn't take a few moments to talk about each of the acts.
First off, Populusque Romanus packed the house from the very beginning. These three young women really took that stage and made it theirs from the very beginning. They played a set that was heavily weighted by covers and the original that they finished with was incredible and shows versatility that is seldom seen in such young musicians. Everything about their act was on point as they made each cover their own and possibly my favorite thing here was the stage presence of the band. Often times I find myself telling bands that have been together for ages and that are far more mature in age that they need to capture the crowd with what they DO and not just what they PLAY. I did not have to give that advice here and that was refreshing. I found myself hoping that these young ladies will work with us again in the near future because they hammered everything home and on point. They brought in a great crowd, they performed exceedingly well and they understood and showed professionalism in all aspects all night.
The second act of the evening was Evergreen. All that I could say as I watched them perform was "wow". I have a very specific genre that I would say is my favorite and almost no artists are playing that style of music in today's day in age. I told the band just as much as they finished their set. I was blown away to see that kind of dirty, grungy rock and roll on display at one of our shows and even more impressed to see that performed by a band made up of younger musicians. There is still hope in this industry and I would be remiss if I didn't say that I hope to see a lot more of them and a lot more of their style of music as we carry on in London!
I was most excited to see Nostalgic BrightLights coming in I think. Two main things drove me towards the desire to finally see them on stage. First, I know Tyler and Chris very well and have had a chance to see them perform in a few different bands. This was my first chance to really see them perform something slower and definitely different than their norm. I also was excited to see August and how she could command the stage. I have seen her at shows now for years and I knew that she has always worked on things musically but this was my first chance to finally see her on stage. I would say that the band did not disappoint me on both counts. It was awesome to see a new genre experimented with by the guys that I was familiar with and it was also awesome to see them balanced on stage by the two strong women in the band, August and Sandra. This group has a strong future I think and will only grow the more that they are on stage and hopefully that growth will take them to the heights that four talented artists should attain.
Bare Bones took the stage next. A great group of talent that I had the chance to speak to a fair amount before the show. First off, I was very happy to hear while they were on stage that they are about record their first EP. Definitely a big step for any artist in their development is putting something together that is theirs that they can share with and sell to the masses! In stage these guys were fantastic. The drumming was outstanding. The vocals and presence of the lead singer were outstanding and personally, I am always a sucker for a band that adds in the keys. Many bands do it in studio but it seems more and more rare that a band can incorporate the instrument on stage. Bare Bones are that perfect mix of indie and rock that is a marriage made in heaven. These guys are going to be amazing to watch grow and I personally cannot wait to buy an EP when the work is done!
Our next act was Ironbound. As mentioned, I know these guys and have known them for a long time. There is nothing more than can be said about this band than "amazing". I have always enjoyed watching them perform and the thing that I love most is that it doesn't matter where they play or who they play for. Whether it is for their own fans, fans of other bands or even if we are talking about the regulars that are at the bar for drinks...everyone is always rocking out, headbanging and cheering for them throughout their set. Ironbound is one of the most under-rated bands in my opinion on the London music scene.
Our final act was of course Fill The Void. I told the band as they took to the stage that I had high expectations for them. As I awaited their set I simply felt that this group was going to impress me and that they did. Even though they were the last band of the night the audience still had some left for them and there wasn't a person n the house that was not fixated on the stage and focusing upon their music. Fill The Void definitely brought an air of professionalism with them and we definitely look forward to watching them continue to grow and hopefully will get to watch them tear up our stage many more times in the future with their own personal brand of high energy rock and roll!
All in all, as stated, this was an incredible first night back for us. 6 outstanding artists. a venue full of music fans and a night that really went off without a hitch.
The one thing that impressed me most that happened off stage is that the performers coordinated well with their fans. There were very few bodies that were coming and going as the night went on. Most people came early and stayed for the bulk of the show. This is of utmost importance for anyone. If you are playing a show, please invite your fans out for a night of entertainment. All bands have something special to add to the ears and eyes of any fan and that is how we begin to make the music industry in Ontario go round again. It needs to be a treat so see live music performed and not a chore.
Thank you everyone involved. The artists, the fans, Norma Jeans and of course, my right hand man, Eric Cayen.
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