Next Wave: Bondar, The Yips and Bonnie Doon @ SAW


All photos by David Forcier

Bondar, The Yips, and Bonnie Doon kicked off the outdoor concert season with a rocking free show Thursday night at SAW Gallery all part of the Ontario Scene Festival.

Bonnie Doon kicked things off as the darkness of night had fully descended upon the front courtyard of SAW. They took the stage and warned that they had not sound checked. They opened with the heavily distorted and noisy “Pizza Shark”  as neon balloons were thrown into the crowd. Once finished they said “that was a good soundcheck,” and continued with their set. The thing you notice right away at a Bonnie Doon show is that no one can deliver pterodactyl-like  screams like Lesley Marshall can. The local four-piece played an excellent set overall, but what really stuck out for me was the song “Ghost Story” which I had never heard before. The song features Marshall talking more than singing as she tells story. Calmly telling a story over chaotic music while the smoke machine filled the tents with smoke, it right away made me think of Lou Reed and Velvet Underground. I loved it!

bonnie doon, ottawa, punk, dave forcier
Bonnie Doon kicking things off at the SAW Courtyard (Photo: David Forcier)

The Yips were in the middle of  the Doon and Bondar sandwich and they put on one hell of a show as always. Opening with “Sadie” and transitioning into “Orbit” as the smoke machine began to spew. The smoke machine  was complimented by cigarette and created quite the dancy haze, it was a total Yips party. Was it the lighting through the haze and $3 beers that created ghostly looking shadows dancing on the inside of the tent, or were the ouija rockers channelling spirits before their set? We will never know. One thing we do know is The Yips were in top form after their mini East-Coast tour. They closed out with unrecorded track “GoGoGoya” and the crowd favourite “Pointe Dume.”

The Yips, Dave Forcier, SAW, Ottawa,
The Yips at the SAW Courtyard (Photo: David Forcier)

Bondar, formerly Roberta Bondar, closed out the night. I have seen Bondar play many times, but this was the first time seeing them with a guitarist, not called Alex Maltby, and the addition of keys. They rocked some of their great older stuff like “STD” early on their set, but the songs almost sounded like new tracks with the new members. Very cool to see songs you like getting a rebirth. Through out the set there was mostly black and white visuals behind the band with the occasional explosion of colours. They were really cool and provided by Brandon Ng. The clips ranged from ferocious wolves to scenes from the terminator. Bass player Gary Franks, being the showman that he is, moved off the stage into the crowd at one point to allow the fans up front to strum his bass,  Lesley Marshall and Alana Why couldn’t resist the offering. Bondar clearly had no care for the 11 p.m. curfew, starting their last song, “Palm Bay” at 11:10. As their guitars dangled in front of their amps for added distortion at the end of their set, Bondar started the count down to Ottawa Explosion. See you all there in six weeks!

Bondar, ottawa, dave forcier, bruised tongue
Bondar finishing off the night at the SAW Courtyard (Photo: David Forcier)

Next Wave was presented as part of the opening of the exhibition Michael DeForge: All Dogs Are Dogs, on view at SAW Gallery from April 30 to June 21. Find the whole photo gallery by David Forcier here.

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