The great thing about the Jazz fest at the Beaches is it takes over all of July. It is a truly a celebration of Toronto. For this little segment of the festival, I got a chance to witness three very diverse bands. Woodbine Park was a band from Lindsay Ontario called the Kents. The Kents comprise of four young and up and coming musicians. We have Warren, Fred, Luke and Tanner, whom later I found out are very tall gentlemen. I listened to their song, “Caroline (I can’t explain)”, which seemed to be a nice laid back tune, but live they are a pretty hard rocking band, and LOUD! They seemed to try some new material out on the audience and it looked like it worked to pick up new fans, well at least one, guess who… Right now from the first listen, this band has a great ability to organize a fine song but add great drama near the end.
Here are a couple of images from the Kents’ performance:
Next up was a Toronto band that has a great Reggae/Ska vibe called The Arsenals. The fearless leader Dizzy showed off his prowess with his trombone, and there was no rust involved. This is the kind of band that has you smiling from beginning to end. They pulled out some island tunes to keep us very happy. The Banana boat song was one of them, as well as the legendary Bob Marley song three little birds that also included a reprise of, “Don’t worry be happy”.
Just when you think you are living the island like he throws out Johnny Cash, doing” Burning ring of fire”, and even introduces a rubber chicken in the mix. It only gets better when he walks out into the audience and has a one on one participation with someone in the crowd. A dude named Walter who got very zealous and gave it everything he had right back to the singer. After that he invited two children to help out with a dance, and they killed it. I hope their parents where beaming with pride. If you ever have the need for a lot of fun, The Arsenals are your band.
Here are a couple of images from the Arsenals’ performance:
The final band of the night was Five Alarm Funk. They were described as a wild band and I started with some cynical comedy about how wild are they. Within the first song, I was totally proven wrong; these guys were the real deal. The conga player came out looking like Daft Punk. He then goes backstage and comes back as a banana. They were celebrating shark week with stuffed shark toys, and then they had the conga player wearing a hot dog hat. There were many other costume changes, but I will leave that alone. You need to see that for yourself.
This Vancouver band let us know this was their first time in Toronto. I hope this will never end. The horn section of the band was phenomenal and the drumming was absolutely solid. Every song was high energy, but a highlight was a song called, “Wash your face”. Another fun bit was the front drummer was working so hard that he broke make many sticks, but then threw them into the audience. There were a lot of free souvenirs given away that night. I even broke through the barriers to get one of those sticks.
Here are a couple of images from the Five Alarm Funk’s performance:
Toronto was there showing their love for bands they have never heard of before. Let’s hope this movement continues for the rest of the 30th anniversary of this great festival.
To see who is playing next go to… http://beachesjazz.com/
Learn more about The Kents at… http://www.thekentsband.com/
The Arsenals can be found here… http://www.arsenalska.com/
Five Alarm Funk should be here… http://smarturl.it/BootsandWheels