SaturDAY, February 8 2020 | 4:00PM | $20
Songs of Hope, Freedom & Praise
Featuring the Waterloo Region Mass Choir, with opening artist Verese Vassell-Bowen (Rese Bowen)
A full gospel choir experience with live rhythm section, complete with hand-clapping, foot-stomping and harmonious voices raised in song. Rooted in the American south, gospel music is an oral tradition, harmonic and textual with an unmatched intensity. Join us as we mark Black History Month with a mixture of spirituals and traditional and contemporary gospel music.
The Waterloo Region Mass Choir is a multicultural, interdenominational and intergenerational Christian community gospel choir based in Kitchener, Ontario and is comprised of members from the Waterloo Region and surrounding areas. Founded in 2018 by Artistic Director, Darren Hamilton (an alumnus of the Juno-award winning Toronto Mass Choir and the Juno-nominated Youth Outreach Mass Choir), the choir’s mission is “to advance the awareness and impact of gospel music in the community”. Most recently, Waterloo Region Mass Choir shared the stage with KW Symphony and the Grand Philharmonic Choir adding a gospel flare to the 2019 Yuletide Spectacular event. The choir has also performed at local churches and endeavors to share its gospel music repertoire at music festivals, concerts and other community events both within and outside of the Waterloo Region.
SUnday, February 16 2020 | 7:00PM | $20
Reuben and the Dark
Reuben and the Dark’s un | love opens a breathtakingly honest window into one of the most dramatic times in frontman Reuben Bullock’s life. The spirited Canadian folk-rock outfit’s third album tells Reuben’s story of endings and hope for the future. un | love is a bare, cathartic exploration of life’s crossroads: a heartrending yet free-spirited collection that explores the fateful depths that await us there.
“This record is an undoing,” says Bullock. “An unraveling of the things that were closest to me.” un | love is about that absence, a void that Reuben fills with captivating poetry and vivid sound. On the eleven soul-searching songs of un | love, Reuben and his band take the listener along on an impassioned escapade of the heart – the result is Reuben and the Dark’s most intimate work to date.
Written over the winter of 2019 between the opposite climes of Montréal, Québec, and Sayulita, Mexico, un | love came together swiftly on the heels of the band’s 2018 album, Arms of a Dream. In comparison to the hard-wrought and polished songs of Arms of a Dream, the new album shows a drastic turn in Reuben’s ease as a writer and freedom as a recording artist. Penned largely in the studio, un | love bares the raw emotion in Reuben’s words, articulated with the spacious, intuitive sonics of his band. The result of this collaboration is Reuben and the Dark’s most tense yet harmonious album to date, with a dynamic palette that suggests the levity of a passing storm.
This is perhaps no more clearly evident than on the first single, “faultline,” where an infectious chorus bursts through the layers of tension with rays of clarity. Over an anthemic melody of chiming guitar and rolling highwayscapes, Reuben offers a foretelling admission: “I’m not looking for trouble, but trouble is on it’s way. It’s a faultline on this map of mine.” “It feels like a reflective song,” says Reuben. “Driving on the highway late at night. Looking back over your life. The plans you made. And the way those plans can change. Driving while your passenger sleeps beside you. It’s about trust and self-destruction. Feeling power and a lack of control.”
Produced by Reuben and the Dark with Marcus Paquin (The National, Timber Timbre, Local Natives) and Kevin Drew (of Broken Social Scene), un | love mines this raw, unfettered emotion from within Bullock. By letting his expectations go and inviting spontaneity in, so fell away the emotional constraints. For that, Reuben’s voice on un | love is at once unbridled and fallible. Through his dense imagery, perhaps for the first time truly, shines a clear light, shot straight from Reuben’s weighted soul – wide open, blown away, untangling the pain.
“I want to die by the river, see the sun rise up like a fire through the trees.”
SATURDAY, February 29 2020 | 7:00PM | $20
The Soviet Influence
The Soviet Influence is a music group founded by Peter Snow in 2011. They have one full length release Boundaries, and two EPs, Check Boxes and Rust. These recordings were completed with a range of musical collaborators from southern Ontario. Based in Limehouse, Ontario, The Soviet Influence makes music influenced by such bands as Radiohead, Broken Social Scene, The Tragically Hip, Death Cab for Cutie, and Sigur Ros. The group’s songs are thematically linked to a loosely defined genre called “death-consciousness.” This is meant to be a mostly unserious poke at the existential crises that reoccur throughout Peter’s lyrics. As a songwriter, Peter is interested in speaking from inside the minds of various characters. He weaves themes of internal struggle, interpersonal problems, and political unrest. The band’s more recent work has continued along these themes while being especially political at times.
One review of Boundaries referred to the music as “more art than commercial.” While the Soviet Influence does generally aim towards artistry rather than commercial sensibilities, there more recent work has featured songs that are more widely accessible. The music itself utilizes some unusual structures and dissonant components, as well as experimentation with spoken word. Ultimately this is guitar-driven music with songs crafted around interesting or novel sounds.
More Concerts Will Be Added soon