Up first was The Ruffled Feathers, with their rich chamber-pop sound and usual assortment of instruments, from slide trumpet to ukulele, megaphone to mandolin -- which was at one point played with a bow! I have had the chance to see them a couple times this year already, and the have been improving each time. The songs, and each member of the band, were brimming with energy.
Most of the set had (the adorable) Gina Loes on vocals, but there were a lot of group vocals, as well as other members, Andrew Lee and Charley Wu (both only slightly less adorable) taking over from time to time. They ended the set with their new one, “Blueprints for a Failed Revolution” and and older one I didn't catch the name of, but started slow and soft and built to a great big ending.
Victoria's Mike Edel was up next, and he had an upbeat and energetic folk rock vibe going. His voice, at times, reminded me of both Colin Meloy or Marcus Mumford, or a bizarre cross between the two, but didn't sound like a copy of either. He had a good mix of faster, upbeat songs mixed with a few slower ones, and part way through the set, he broke out a Gretsch White Falcon, which is a guitar I want, even though I don't, and probably never will play. He also brought out another secret weapon near the end, Steph Macpherson for backup vocals on a song, and getting the crowd to join in as well.
His set did seem to go on a bit long, though. While the set was enjoyable, it definitely dragged on a little toward the end.
And rounding out the night was Steph Macpherson, whose band included Edel on guitar and Savannah from Redbird providing backup vocals. Her set had a good mix of older songs – the emotional “Letters” was a highlight -- and new. The new ones sounded really good, especially the last two; the first I didn't catch the name of, but was quite good, and the final song of the night, Steph's entry in the Shore104 Song Search Competition, was “Summer Salute” which is a fantastic song, very upbeat and insanely catchy ; definitely my favourite of the night and a great song to end the show – and start the summer – with.
(In fact I decided then and there that it would be my “summer jam” of this year).