“Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Nudie. Welcome to my House of Rock,” spoke the well-known Island country singer-songwriter as he introduced the first Music P.E.I. Week event of 2013 last Friday night at The Mack.
After huge responsive cheers from the sold-out crowd in front him, the night’s hit of a host then went on to elaborate a little further.
“You’ve probably figured out by now that this isn’t actually ... my house,” he said, as laughter echoed about, “but if it were, the drinks would be free.”
And with that, the nine-day extravaganza that is Music P.E.I. Week began, as the premiere event entitled Nudie’s House of Rock was kicked into action.
The brainchild of producer Mike Carver of Music P.E.I., it featured four different Island original rock bands — two at the emerging level, and two at the established level — with a presentation of two bands on stage at once: The Meds and Coyote (the two emerging bands for the first half of the concert) and Two Hours Traffic and Paper Lions (the two established bands for the second half of the concert).
Trading off songs as the evening flowed, the indie bands were also interviewed in between tunes in talk-show style format by Nudie.
An engaging concept on paper — but how would it play out on stage?
This was the question lingering in the back of the minds of many, as they knew they were in for a unique musical treat as the evening began, but weren’t sure exactly how it would pan out before them.
Even Nudie himself commented on the question marks being thrown at him by various inquiring people leading up to the night.
“Most people would say, ‘Oh I get it, it’s a battle of the bands.’ I would say, ‘No, it’s not a battle of the bands ... it’s an exhibition, not a competition.’ So then, most people would say, ‘What’s the point?’ My reply was always the same, ‘It’s rock n’ roll. There is no point.’”
Again, huge laughs and applause filled his house, as the night of rock then got underway.
And so how did it all come together, you’re now wondering?
Well, I can tell you this: it was unquestionably one of the most entertaining rock shows of Island talent I have ever seen on P.E.I. And through three songs each by Coyote and The Meds, and six songs each by Two Hours Traffic and Paper Lions, we were treated to a superbly captivating presentation of original rock ‘n’ roll, all delivered with an overall sound in that packed-in Mack theatre that was completely top notch.
And that, it’s fair to say, is all the “point” that anyone would ever need.
Before the night was through, too, the first award of Music P.E.I. 2013 was handed out, as members of Charlottetown’s North Lakes dashed up to the mike to accept their well-deserved award for rock recording of the year.
The definite culmination of the evening was the collaborative finale number, as all eight members of Two Hours Traffic and Paper Lions played together for the first time ever, and made full use of the stage as they fittingly performed a cover of Nudie’s My Sweet Ache, rocking the roof off that House of Rock.
And how is this for the epitome of tightly-woven Island communal music support — Nathan of Two Hours Traffic (who is also the lead singer of North Lakes), wearing a Paper Lions T-Shirt, with John of Paper Lions wearing a Two Hours Traffic sign on his chest, as both rock bands played a cover together by the P.E.I. country artist that hosted the concert.
It couldn’t be a more perfect way to illustrate not only the kind of interconnected support network that Music P.E.I. is about, but what music is about on P.E.I. in general.
And, in turn, it couldn’t be a more perfect way to blast off Music P.E.I. Week 2013 into the strong momentum that’s carried it through to the finale weekend now at hand.
See this week’s picks herein for a handful of choices of all the stellar music still left to experience on the Island this weekend.
Next week: Highlights from Music P.E.I.’s finale weekend — see you out and about!
Todd MacLean is a local freelance writer and musician. If you have a comment or suggestion for a review, you can get in touch with him at email@example.com or at 626-1242. But he won’t be offended if you don’t.
See Page 2 for Todd's Picks