After our wonderful experience in London, ON, with Elliott Brood and the Great Lake Swimmers, the next evening found us travelling to Guelph for a concert featuring Hannah Georgas and Wintersleep.  Having been a fan of Hannah for a few years, we knew that this show was a must.  Wintersleep are a recent discovery for us, having heard tracks on satellite radio from their “The Great Detachment” album, which would be heavily promoted on this tour.  We did actually have a few older Wintersleep CDs in our collection, and took a crash course of listening to become familiar with their music during the few weeks that led up to the show.

Hannah Georgas, Guelph Concert Theatre, Guelph, ON, 3 Dec. 2016
Hannah Georgas, Guelph Concert Theatre, Guelph, ON, 3 Dec. 2016
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Fresh off the release of her recent “For Evelyn” album, Hannah Georgas made her way onto the stage accompanied by her band.  While newer material was to be expected, Hannah opened her set with “Enemies” from her self-titled 2012 release. She also performed three tracks in a row from this album (“Fantasize”, “Shortie,” and “Robotic”), and closed her set with a return to this release (“Waiting Game”).

From “For Evelyn,” Hannah would delight the crowd with her smash hit single “Don’t Go,” as well as adding “Ride Back,” “Crazy Shit,” “Waste,” and the title track.  Another track was added to the mix with which I was not familiar, which I expect was perhaps from her iTunes release that preceded her most recent work.  The 11-song set was a great introduction to her live material, and we hope to catch up with Hannah again someday soon.

Hailing from Nova Scotia, Wintersleep brought their brand of indie rock to the Guelph Concert Theatre, and launched straight into “Santa Fe” and the current single “Spirit” from their new album.  Having spent time lately playing their “Welcome to the Night Sky” CD during my daily commute, I was happy to hear them perform tracks that included “Drunk on Aluminum,” “Archaeologists,” “Search Party,” “Oblivion,” and past hit “Weighty Ghost” (which recently received airplay on several indie stations – kudos to them for that).

With the exception of one track from their 2005 Untitled release (“Jaws of Life”), the remainder of the set would be devoted to “The Great Detachment.”  Wintersleep effortlessly performed “Shadowless,” “Who Are You,” “Freak Out,” and “Metropolis,” before closing with a well-received version of their recent hit “Amerika.”

Returning for their encore performance, Wintersleep would delight the crowd by paying homage to their “Hello Hum” album and perform both “In Came the Flood” and “Smoke.”  To close the set, the band selected “Nerves Normal, Breath Normal” from their Untitled album and turned the 7:23 track into an epic performance that provided all band members (added emphasis on the drummer) the opportunity to jam for 10 minutes plus, and received a much deserved ovation from the packed ‘standing room only’ crowd.  With a 16-track set list, Wintersleep delivered and the crowd reveled in the experience from the opening chords of “Santa Fe” to the final notes of the encore.

Whether you have a preference for the synth-pop sounds of Hannah Georgas or the melodic (yet raw) indie rock that is Wintersleep, we strongly recommend both and hope to see them again soon.

~ M

Visit Hannah Georgas’ website.

Visit Wintersleep’s website.