Team GDW were incredibly eager to hit the road once again during the final weekend of October, armed with a pair of tickets to the sold-out Elliott BROOD concert taking place at The Avening Hall in Creemore, ON.  We secured tickets within an hour of being released for sale, and in hindsight, it proved to be a smart decision based on the popularity of this band (our introduction to an Elliott BROOD show last year was also sold out pretty quickly).  With the announcement shortly afterwards that Harrow Fair were opening, and the knowledge that Elliott BROOD put on an amazing live show, we had been waiting for this one since the ticket purchase was confirmed.

With a nine track set-list to open the festivities, the duo of Andrew Penner and Miranda Mulholland opened with “Told A Lie To My Heart” and immediately earned the full attention of the lively and engaged audience at The Avening Hall.  Harrow Fair have a canny ability to win over an audience pretty quickly, and the immediate reaction from the offset prompted both Mark Sasso and Casey Laforet from Elliott BROOD to observe and enjoy the remainder of Harrow Fair’s set from the wings.

Proceeding through the popular tracks “I Will Be Your Man” and “Held Tight,” I heard repeated requests from the crowd for “Wicked Game,” which the duo went on to perform and knock out of the park in the process.  Following this popular cover version with the Muddy Waters classic “When The Levee Breaks,” Harrow Fair’s time was drawing to a close, leaving “Bite The Way” as their final track.  Exiting the stage to a loud and well-deserved ovation, Harrow Fair had successfully fulfilled their warm-up duties once more.

Harrow Fair Set List:

  1. Told A Lie To My Heart
  2. I Will Be Your Man
  3. Call To Arms
  4. Emmaline
  5. Held Tight
  6. Hangnail
  7. Wicked Game
  8. When The Levee Breaks
  9. Bite The Way

 

After a brief intermission, Elliott BROOD made their way onto the stage and launched immediately into “Nothing Left” from their “Work and Love” album.  With a natural emphasis on the recently released “Ghost Gardens” album, the trio of Mark Sasso, Casey Laforet, and Stephen Pitkin introduced fans new and old alike to several new tunes.  Tracks from “Ghost Gardens” included “Til The Sun Comes Up Again,” “Dig A Little Hole” and “The Fall.”  I was incredibly happy to see the band perform the new track “2 4 6 8,” which allows Sasso the opportunity to really work his vocal skills.  It is always a challenge for a band to introduce new material to an audience that want to hear the ‘older stuff,’ but the reception remained strong throughout the night for all of the new cuts.

But, of course, many of the Elliott BROOD faithful were there to party, and craved those popular tunes from across the back catalog.  None of their full length albums would be ignored, with a great cross section of tunes being incorporated into the set.  Casey would keep the crowd rocking with “Jigsaw Heart,” “Lindsay,” and “If I Get Old.”  Mark would keep things lively too, performing hits such as “Owen Sound,” “The Bridge,” and “Second Son.”  And of course, both would combine to have the floor rocking (as in, the floor was literally rocking) with “Oh, Alberta.”

The crowd partied hard all night, not once pausing for air in their pursuit of the ultimate live party experience.  Two concert-goers even went so far to climb onto the stage and dance a little before hurling themselves into a mosh-pit of friends.  Fortunately nobody was hurt in the process, and with a quick request of ‘no more’ from Casey, the night continued with no further stage surfing activities.  After a great rendition of “The Valley Town’” Elliott BROOD brought their show to a close and left the stage to a very long and loud ovation.

Not quite done yet, the trio naturally returned for an encore performance.  And what a performance it proved to be, with five more tracks that would include two great cover versions.  Casey would lead off the encore with their hit “Northern Air,” and then both he and Mark would collaborate with the always popular “Write It All Down For You.”  With a brief hiatus from their own material, the band would offer their versions of “Just What I Needed” (The Cars) and “Bad Moon Rising” (CCR) before winding down with their own composition, the slower paced “Miss You Now.”

With a set list that spanned 23 songs, Elliott BROOD once again offered up an energetic live show that was entertaining from the opening note of “Nothing Left” to the closing riff of “Miss You Now.”  This trio have a well-deserved reputation of being one of those bands that just have to be experienced live, and this performance certainly did more than enough to uphold that claim.  The new material from “Ghost Gardens” integrated well with their established hits, and kept the crowd in the sold-out Avening Hall fired up for the duration of the show.

Elliott BROOD Set List:

  1. Nothing Left
  2. Better Times
  3. ‘Til The Sun Comes Up Again
  4. Jigsaw Heart
  5. Owen Sound
  6. The Fall
  7. Dig A Little Hole
  8. Stay Out
  9. Without Again
  10. Second Son
  11. Their Will
  12. 2 4 6 8
  13. Oh, Alberta
  14. Lindsay
  15. Down The Coast
  16. The Bridge
  17. If I Get Old
  18. The Valley Town

Encore:

  1. Northern Air
  2. Write It All Down For You
  3. Just What I Needed (Cars cover)
  4. Bad Moon Rising (CCR cover)
  5. Miss You Now

 

It was a pleasure to chat briefly with Mark and Casey after the show, and thank them for their recent interview with us to promote the new album release.  We also had the chance to catch up once more with Harrow Fair, and wished them every success for their upcoming (current) UK tour.  But this night really belonged to Elliott BROOD, and with a string of Ontario shows (and a few US dates) remaining on their tour schedule, we encourage you to immerse yourselves in one of the finest Canadian live-music experiences that will leave you craving much, much more.

~ M

Visit Harrow Fair’s website.

Visit Elliott BROOD’s website.

Listen to “Ghost Gardens” on Spotify.