Saturday, May 30, 2009

Concert Review: Joel Plaskett

May 28th, 2009. Rebecca Cohn, Halifax
Fellow Concert goers: David Marsh and Joelle Grant
Artist: Joel Plaskett Emergency with Bill Plaskett, Ana & Rose, and other friends

Halifax loves Joel Plaskett. A sold out show on the 30th and a show near capacity on the 28th at the Rebeccca Cohn is evidence of that. It was a homecoming show as they were getting back from a cross Canada trek. Joel mentioned numerous times how it was good to be home, although I think what he was most excited for was seeing his cat White Fang again. He mentioned his cat numerous times throughout the show, adding to his already lovable and down to earth personality.
The show was split into two sections. The first part was an acoustic based set that saw his father Bill along with Ana Egger and Rose Cousins accompany him for a number of songs. Both Rose and Ana also took a turn singing a song off of each of their records. Joel also played a few songs with just his father, including the tune Heartless, Heartless, Heartless which they wrote together. Joel also played a few songs alone with his acoustic guitar. At first he stood at the mic trying to decide what he was going to play. He wanted to play something different since he was back home. After some requests thrown his way including somebody who yelled "play something by the Beatles!" before he settled on You Came Along. A few lines in he quiped "this sounds like a Beatles song" as he continued the solo acoustic set. During that set he also played Love This Town, an ode to Halifax. The solo set wrapped up with him playing Lazy Bones before being joined halfway through by Ana & Rose. The acoustic part of the show was enjoyable, getting to see the talents of not only Joel, but also the friends who really have helped make the whole Three experience a display of great musicianship both on the album and live.
After a brief intermission the show continued. This time he was joined by the rest of the Emergency band and Peter Elkas along with numerous other musicians throughout the night. A saxaphone and trumpet player came out for Through & Through & Through, which was fantastic as there was a plethora of muscians playing one of the finest songs off the new album. A couple guys playing penny whistles joined him for Sailors Eyes which made it next to impossible to forget that you were in Nova Scotia. Another highlight of the night was during A Million Dollars when everybody in the audotorium was clapping together sending a thundering shudder throughout the room.
The show ended with an encore where Dave Marsh came out with a guitar which can only mean one thing; Fashionable People featuring Joel on the drums. The song even got some people in the crowd onto their feet. Finally the show ended with On & On & On. Which went on and on, with Joel trying to make up a few ryhmes in the middle and faultering in a hilarious way as Dave had something wrong with his drum kit. But they kept going on and on with the song ending with Joel getting the whole crowd to sing along about his little White Fang.
Overall it was a fantastic show, a fine display of a plethora of talented musicians who maybe don't get as much attention outside of Nova Scotia as they deserve. Throughout the night there were 13 or 14 people who contributed to the show. After seeing them rehearsing in April, it was neat to see the way that the songs had gelled nicely together into a well organized show with many parts that kept the audience captivated while feeling fresh at the same time. This was my fifth time seeing him, and hopefully I'll see him five more times!

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