The brisk February evening called for some warmth, which was brought on by Haley Heyndrickx at the Bronson Centre. Straight out of Portland, Oregon, Hailey was humble and sweet, a little shy, but incredibly memorable. She moved the crowd with her vocals, sounding much older than she actually is. She was humbled by the support and love received from the Ottawa crowd as they cheered after each mellow and moving song.
Haley did not fail to woo the audience, moving them with her incredible vocals, crescendo to decrescendo, melodic and mellow, to parts that seemed more spoken word than song. Her solo set just further pushed forth how talented she was. Guitar strings breaking, and melodies everflowing from her instrument, there wasn’t a stop to the calming and yet melancholic sounds emanating from both her and her guitar.
Next up was Andy Shauf, who while playing beautifully nostalgic pieces throughout his set, also had the crowd jeering about Burger King while he was trying to sort out difficulties with a new patch cord. He held a calming presence about him and managed to sway everyone to the sounds of his music, Mostly a variety of magentas, cyans, and light greens, Andy’s vocals resonated through the theatre like no other and captured people’s attention. The life he poured into them was unforgettable.
Shauf managed to play intricate pieces with his band, soft clarinets coming in and out slowly and with subtlety. He manages to incorporate them elegantly into his music without having them become overbearing. The rest of the band also brought in just the right balance of drumming, warm and light, and the guitars, which were there to tie it all together.
The crowd adored the pair and screamed words of encouragement during brief pauses for banter. The whole set was incredibly moving.
After The Bronson Centre show, I hopped on a bus down to the Dominion Tavern in the Byward Market, where the late show kicked off with DOXX. DOXX chugged right into “Old Man” and tore it open. Raw energy emanated from the band as they brought a chaos of noise to unity. Sof’s screams in combination with the guitar riffs and timely drumming are a spectacle on it’s own, but throw in Jeff’s powerful and in your face basslines, and you get something electric.
They play the crowd, as if they know them like the back of their hand, sharing the role of screaming with some members. Moshing was a staple and the crowd didn’t hold back when it came to it, screaming or mouthing the lyrics right back at the band.
After DOXX, Liquid Assets took to the stage thrashing. With Felix’s gritty vocals cutting through the somewhat upbeat – proggy sounding guitar, the abrupt and ever-present bass, and the crashing of the cold drumming, the four are a force to be reckoned with.
Their stage presence is so strong that it grabbed your attention and in turn, got you jerking your body to the sounds and movements. They too interacted with the crowd and even pulled Mike, of local band Torpor, to scream a song for them. By the way, he absolutely killed it. Members of the audience were in awe and later brought up how this act was absolute insanity. Liquid Assets grabbed you by the collar and threw you into the heart and soul of what they do.
Headlining were Royal Mountain Records‘ own Bad Waitress. The four-piece released relentless ferocity through not only their music but their movements as well. The vocals proved powerful and everything surrounding them made for intense performance. They’re not a smiley punk band – Bad Waitress did not fuck around. Their basslines powerful enough to shake the room, lyrics spit out at top speed, bouncy guitar riffs, and cold hard drumming all made the band exactly what it is.
The crowd was wooed by them and it only seemed to grow as they performed. They absolutely packed the Dom to the brim Friday night and created an atmosphere that wasn’t to be forgotten.