Ottawa Explosion Day 3: Fresh Snow, The Yips and Del Bel at St. Alban’s Church


One of Ottawa’s oldest churches, St. Alban’s, played host to the eery and them ambient Friday night June 21.

Titled HOLY SMOKES!, the show was put on in partnership with the Arboretum Arts Festival & Wavelength Toronto.

The dimly lit church was the perfect venue for Fresh Snow‘s experimental noise rock.  With a psychedelic video screen overhead where the band was projected upon, Fresh Snow whipped the crowd in a trance.  This night was full of trance inducing music, you know the kind that has you flying in the clouds, not some EDM stuff.  Dressed all in white, with two members wearing red balaclavas, and the band not speaking a single word, they blasted through an incredible set. They took organized chaos to the next level, with some moments of sheer beauty when the violin and keys would team up over the boisterous jamming of the others. They reminded me a little of Explosions in the Sky.

Ottawa’s The Yips brought their dark and dancey rock to the party Friday night. Their set was jam packed with things to write about, from standing on the amps to a moshing bass player, and that is the mild stuff. During their awesome song, ”PGLM,” two members of the New Swears decided to pick up local photographer, Ming Wu, and crowd surfed him (I may have helped). If that was not enough, as they launched into a new song, ”Blood,” the lead singer stabbed plush kittens and spread the bloody felines all over the bass player and the drummer before taking a bite.  With the blood all around her mouth the band launched into the gloomy ”Vicinage.” Great songs and a great performance by one of Ottawa’s finest.

I arrived at the church just in time to catch Del Bel from Toronto.  This dark atmospheric rock band has a singer, a trumpet player,  violinist for a few songs,  guitarist, drummer and a bass player who also plays keys. They were the perfect band to set the stage for Fresh Snow.  Half their set was new songs and they were excellent.  As for their older songs, I really liked the live performance of ”Beltone.”

After all the bands were done, DJ Matty McGovern (Shameless/Visions) and DJ Pat Johnson (Night Moves, Silkken Laumann) took over for a Punk Rock Dance Party.

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