It began as any stress-filled night of a student in finals week, in an exam room. As I anxiously scratched out my final exam of the semester, I anticipated what my night would bring. Deciding relatively last minute that my final night in Ottawa before heading home for the holidays should be spent bringing in the break with gusto, the annual Amos the Transparent Holiday Show seemed like my perfect solution. Although somewhat unfamiliar with the groups, I was excited to head out with friends and kick off the season with a bang!
Mere moments before arriving at Zaphod Beeblebrox, I ran into a friend who was quick to amp me up on Amos the Transparent. An Ottawa native, he was familiar with their sound and show’s energy and assured me I was in for a time.
When I did finally arrive, Mountain Eyes was ramping up. He was sporting a carefully selected mountain-themed sweater, which made it easy to confirm exactly which artist he was. Mountain Eyes brought his unique vibes through his original tracks. I snapped a couple pictures, grabbed a beer and got myself ready for what was now set to be a good night of music. After a quick turn around, The Stringers took to the stage. The crowd started to fill the floor and it was nice to see a mixed crowd all there for the same reason, good music and holiday cheer. The Stringers brought energy to the crowd with their own original tracks from their album, which features an alternative indie rock sound. They also treated us to what they explained to be their first song, which was an unexpected, yet well received, Amy Winehouse cover.
When it finally came time for Amos the Transparent, they took the stage with more energy than I could have expected. Bringing out a number of their original tracks, each musician plays to their own talent and strengths, putting power behind each song. Recently, the band has been covering influential songs of each of their personal music journeys, which has been dubbed the Undercover Sessions on YouTube. These songs included anything from Radiohead to the Beatles. They kicked off the evening with Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m on Fire” and also brought to the stage Radiohead’s “Fake Plastic Trees” and Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon.”
Needless to say, as a Haligonian, my new life in the Ottawa music scene is still very much in its “toddler years.” The world is new and exciting, and I have the chance to experience anything and everything Ottawa has to offer for the first time. This Holiday Show put on by Amos the Transparent was no different, as once again I went in, blind to their music, aside from the few YouTube videos and rave reviews from friends, and I left far from disappointed.
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