Saturday at Pressed was a lovely night of beautiful local music thanks to Waxing Moon, Just Mouse, and Goodnight Boy. Although none of the acts featured full bands, their music was as powerful and emotionally charged.
Starting the night was the very talented duo Goodnight Boy. The couple, one on guitar and one on ukulele, share vocal responsibilities. Alex Black and Connor Mercury have incredibly complimentary voices. Waxing Moon gets you with their cuteness and love songs (which were fantastic) whereas Goodnight Boy get you with their powerful vocals painting emotional stories. Songs like “Soldier”and “100 Days” really show the band’s balance of telling a tale and sharing vulnerabilities. Another great aspect of their show is that the ukulele is not an afterthought but often a central instrument in their songs. Goodnight Boy played mostly originals, but took the time to play a wonderful Damien Rice cover, “Delicate,” from his 2002 album O. On many songs, Connor’s vocals are secondary to Alex’s, but on the chorus of the Rice cover, Connor shows us just how talented of a vocalist he is — particularly when the song hit a crescendo near the end.
Squeezed between the two couples was soloist Just Mouse. His voice reminded me of Ben Caplan’s, with his strong baritone that can change on a dime. Ben Caplan happens to have one of my favourite voices in the country, so I was quite excited by this. Just Mouse and his acoustic guitar spanned folk, blues & country – all highlighted by his commanding voice. He did not want to waste any time, “I won’t talk too much because I want to fit in as many tunes as I can.” I don’t think anyone was complaining. His entire set had me captivated, but none more than his take on Mozart’s “Wer ein Liebchen hat Gefunden.” One man, one guitar, and all of sudden we were all transported to an 18th century opera house for an amazing piece from Die Entführung aus dem Serail. It was awe inspiring, and the video above can only do it partial justice. He capped off his performance with a modified version of the classic song “Old Man River.”
Headlining the night was the cute and loving couple of Adam Marshall and Meredith Rebecca, better known as Waxing Moon. They opened their set with “Stare”, which set the stage perfectly for the entire set. Expressive and emotional lyrics going back and forth one line after the other added a lot to their dynamic stage chemistry. Meredith spent most of the first few songs just staring at Adam as they sang. She then said to the crowd, “Sorry I’m ignoring you guys but it’s easier to sing in front of other humans if I just stare at him.” I think we all collectively melted at that point. (Editor’s Note: The editor just melted, reading this quote.) Their songs are not overly complicated, but they are very catchy and make you feel so warm and fuzzy on the inside. You can’t help but cheer them on and hope to share the same feelings. A great example of that is the song “My Lady”, where Adam professes his love to his very special lady as they gaze into each others’ eyes with lines like,
“I’m the luckiest guy that I know,
You fill up my skin and tickle my bones,
Home is, yeah, where your heart is,
It rests on your lips and it wakes with a kiss.”
The icing on the cake was the song “Dashboard”, which they wrote about their first road trip. It really demonstrated the simple beauty of words written and put into song for someone special.
“Like the skies I hope that this never ends,
My love my partner and my best friend…
With you I’m always home.”