GUEST REVIEW: Bands rock The Clova

Cloverdale band Ransom For The Captives performing at The Clova Cinema. - Paul Fitzgerald Photo
Cloverdale band Ransom For The Captives performing at The Clova Cinema.
— image credit: Paul Fitzgerald Photo

By Paul Fitzgerald

The Clova Theatre presented two of Cloverdale's up-and-coming artists over the weekend, Last Call Home and Ransom For the Captives.

Both these bands and another band they invited, Sally's Hot, from Port Moody, put on an amazing show Sunday Feb. 19, at 2 p.m.

I have to give a lot of praise to these kids. The professionalism displayed and with the ability and talent shown, it showed me what today's teens can accomplish. I am a resident of Cloverdale, a music lover and have the joy to be able to review shows as a passion. A recent disability has only allowed me to continue with this one passion of mine.

I thought the whole event was very well done. All three of these bands have a future in performing. The covers and original songs played today were entertaining and sounded great. Doing the sound can be a challenge even for the most accomplished of artists. There were the occasional technical difficulties but the soundman and the musicians recovered quite quickly and the show never missed a beat.

The concert opened with Last Call Home. This quartet from Cloverdale, who are students from Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary, did a tight, well produced act. They performed no original songs today but their inspirations included some of my favourite bands. These were Green Day, White Stripes, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Down with Webster.

Guitar/ vocalist, Sam Hobeyn is a natural frontman, also shared with Matt Friesen, on guitar and vocals who split the singing between them.

Carson Hoy on drums and Jordon O'Donovan on bass both played fantastic. Talking with the band after the show really showed me the spirit that these kids have today. Carson and Jordan have started a side business in production and DJ services. The motivation is impressive to say the least.

The next act was from Port Moody; another teen band, Sally's Hot. These guys were not only talented in performing, they also played some awesome original work.

They were very comedic on stage and had the audience in stitches sometimes with the funny comments and introductions to their songs. Two of their songs that really stood out were "Bring me Down" and "Entitled".

Front man Zak Johnson on guitar and vocals could be a comedian on the side. TJ Gibson on the drums had a powerful set, very impressive, Chris Macbeth on rhythm guitar and backing vocals shared the stage and one liners with Zak through out the intros and they make a great team with their style. Robbie Blythe on bass was amazing. The technical abilities I saw just amazed me. These guys played very tight. Nice job guys. Very nice indeed.

The headliners for this show was another band from Cloverdale, Ransom for the Captives. They are also Lord Tweedmuir students. This six-member band was talented and played with different styles of music from acoustic to real edgy rock. I liked their ability to change and not focus on one style alone.

Lead singer Rochelle Paterson shared the spotlight with bass player/vocalist Paul Engels. Together the music flowed and when a challenge arose, when Rochelle's cordless mic stopped working, they recovered and shared a microphone between them. Very professional. Paul Engels really performed well. I watched his style and the way he was able to play those technical pieces and still jump around the stage told me he was someone we were going to be seeing in the future.

Keyboardist Lauren Dyck had great presence, a smile that would not quit. She played awesome and was truly enjoying it.

Drummer Zach Birmingham doing his drum solo had me flashback to the '70s when I saw such artists like Jerry Mercer of April Wine or early Neil Peart from Rush in 1977. His drum solo and their original Clever Jam which came next were the highlight of the show. These kids were not playing as teens but like seasoned professionals.

Then there are the two stellar guitarists Robert Crews and Nik Dragutinovich. They both played lead in my opinion. Nik's acoustic playing was very nice and the heavy, edgy Rock riffs and fret work by both guitarists was spectacular. Well done guys. Your original work was great and the cover tunes were equally well done. An Eleven Song show is very good for a band as young as yours.

The setlist included: Green Day's Know Your Enemy, Sleep Now (by Paul Engels), Anthem, All To Myself (Marianas Trench cover), Drum Solo by Zach Birmingham, Clever Jam by Zach, Paul, Nik and Robert, False Crowns, Deck of Cards, Sing (My Chemical Romance cover), Just Sayin and Business as Usual.

I have to say congratulations to The Clova Theatre. It is a great venue to showcase these young artists and The Local Media and the community needs to help promote our young talent whenever they can. I'm looking forward to seeing more acts at The Clova.

– Paul Fitzgerald is a contributing writer for RockStar Weekly Magazine.

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