It was a windy night in Ottawa, but people were still lining up outside The 27 Club to get a chance to see the 2018 Juno Breakthrough Group of the year, The Beaches. With their debut full length album, Late Show, they took Ottawa by storm making a lasting impression for their first national headlining tour.
Taylor Knox opened the night with a commanding performance. He is no new figure to the Canadian music scene. He started his solo career in 2015 dropping his debut EP, Lines. Now, Knox has once again made his mark with his debut album Love. The Aurora, Ontario native made his way on stage and hit every show ‘requirement.’ The guitar riffs were tight and he pulled in some lower key moments to round out his time on stage. He asked the crowd if they would be cool with a ‘cool jam’ and oh they were. Finding the perfect balance between chill and pumped, the crowd, whether they were familiar with Knox or not, fed back the energy he was exuding with every chord and lyric. You could tell that he had really captured the crowd’s attention.
Then it was time, The Beaches brought the Late Show—well, the nice and cool 9:30pm show—but you get what I’m trying to say here. The anticipation throughout the room was palpable as drummer, Eliza Enman-McDaniel, took the stage with a beat that could shake you to your core, setting the tone of the set. A full house went wild as the rest of the band joined. Their sound was on point, and their overall look and vibe—flawless.
Lead vocalist and bassist Jordan Miller has an undeniable, incomparable stage presence, and Friday night was no different. Her vocals were captivating. She sold the emotions and playfulness behind every song with unfaltering ease. Guitarist Kylie Miller slayed with her crowd pumping guitar solos and Leandra Earl had one hell of a performance jamming out a perfect mix of keys and guitar with just a sprinkle of the tambourine. Their set was unreal and overall it was everything you could hope for in a loud, and amped-up rock show.
The quartet made a special shout out for May 4th (May the fourth be with you) and threw back to playing at Zaphods years before to a crowd less than half the size of Friday night. The show hit new levels when they started playing “Money.” The energy in the room skyrocketed with jumping bodies in sweat drenched t-shirts and fans belting their hearts out. They closed the night, pre-encore, poetically with “Late Show,” prompting a shower of Smarties thrown from fans to the stage. They came back and killed the encore keeping the crowd hooked for another two high energy, euphoric songs, leaving everyone in the room in a trance wanting more.
Basically, they are one wicked group of women that deliver one hell of a show. They are a must see, bringing new life to rock n’ roll, and owning the title, GRL BAND.