Elliott BROOD: Live at The Sanctuary

Elliott BROOD - Sanctuary

So there are things that we are guaranteed to experience on an annual basis, like birthdays, shoveling snow, and paying taxes, and then there are things that we love to experience annually, like catching up with one of our favorite bands live.  Regular readers already know that Team GDW are huge fans of Ontario’s ‘Death Country’ trio, Elliott BROOD; a band we have managed to see live annually over the last three years.  With 2019 winding down, that streak almost came to an end – almost!  But on a mid November Friday evening, we found ourselves back at The Sanctuary Centre in Ridgeway, ON, for yet another date with this amazing live band.

Following a short set from local band, The Weather Wild, the popular trio of Mark Sasso, Casey Laforet, and Stephen Pitkin were welcomed to the stage, and would delight all with one of their most energetic and intense live performances to date.  Launching immediately into “Til the sun comes up again” from their most recent 2017 “Ghost Gardens” album, Casey would initiate a dialog with the room.  “How are you guys feeling tonight?” he asked, prior to a performance of “Nothing Left.”  “We’re gonna do a drinking song, because we know none of you are drinkers at all. This is for all your friends who aren’t here, who are drinkers.”  Both cheers and the raising of beer glasses from around the room signaled early that this was going to be a fun and rowdy show, and nobody would be disappointed.

With a seventeen track set list, and a further four encore numbers, the BROOD were on fire all evening.  Splitting the vocal duties, as is their forte, Mark would take the lead on tracks such as “Nothing Left” and “2 4 6 8,” and Casey would do the same with “Jigsaw Heart” and “Dig a Little Hole.” And behind both vocalists, seated at the drum kit, Stephen would orchestrate the beat and keep everything tight to allow all three performers to shine.  Unlike our previous Elliott BROOD encounters, this particular evening saw a very active Casey Laforet, who is often confined to his seated position (required for the bass pedals), but this time around was bouncing around the stage, and frequently jumping from it into the crowd of friends and fans surrounding him.

Sharing their popular hit, “Oh Alberta,” very early into their set, the party spirits were reinforced.  “If it’s possible to have a hit song as a country rock-banjo band, this is as close as we’ve ever gotten,” Casey announced prior to the track.  “It was huge in Denmark, not so much in Norway, as our Uncle Bob used to tell us,” he added in jest.  And with a fully engaged audience, the trio would add many other favorites to keep this Friday night party going, including “T-Bill,” “Northern Air,” and “The Valley Town.”  A few new, unreleased tracks were added to the mix too, including one provisionally titled “Out Walking.”  “We’re making a new record…so a year from now, you might know this song,” Casey announced prior to this new song.  “This is why you should never leave your house.  This is what this song is about. Just stay home, it’s great there.  You’ve got everything you need. Why are you going outside?  Though we appreciate that you’re here right now at an Elliott BROOD show.”

Closing their set with a highly energetic rendition of Mark’s “Banjo Song,” the trio would take their temporary leave from the stage, lured back by an audience still thirsty for much more.  And talk about a stunning encore to send the crowd home.  Mark would take the lead once more to deliver “Johnny Rooke,” before yielding to Casey for an outstanding version of “If I Get Old.”  And in true fashion, both would collaborate to end the evening with “Miss You Now,” performed with an unmatched intensity that we had not previously seen for this slower number, including some on-stage cheerleading from a good friend of the band in the crowd.

Another phenomenal performance from Elliott BROOD, rocking the stage at The Sanctuary, and once again maintaining their reputation as one of the most entertaining bands on the live music circuit. Rest assured that we plan to keep tabs on their tour schedule for 2020, and will do whatever it takes to keep our own personal annual pilgrimage to an Elliott BROOD encounter alive.  Thanks again to Mark, Casey, and Stephen, for this much-needed evening of music, and we very much look forward to the next album and subsequent tour.

Set List:

  1. Til The Sun Comes Up Again
  2. Nothing Left
  3. Jigsaw Heart
  4. Dig A Little Hole
  5. T-Bill
  6. Oh Alberta
  7. Without Again
  8. (Unknown Title)
  9. 2 4 6 8
  10. Woodward Avenue
  11. (Unknown Title)
  12. Northern Air
  13. The Bridge
  14. (Unknown Title – “Rock & Roll song”)
  15. Out Walking (New Track)
  16. The Valley Town
  17. Banjo Song


  1. Johnny Rooke
  2. If I Get Old
  3. Write It All Down For You
  4. Miss You Now

The British guy that crossed the ocean and crash landed in central Pennsylvania (to quote Greg Keelor, “And I wonder what am I doing here?”). As the youngest of four siblings, exposure to music from a very early age nurtured my passion and appreciation for many musical genres. Continuing to discover some amazingly diverse and talented musicians based in Canada, I gravitate to live music experiences and remain devoted to spreading the word about such a vibrant music scene.

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