Tag Archives: Festival

MAGIC! Live at the Red River Exhibition

By Samuel Stevens

The final concert of Winnipeg’s annual Red River Exhibition took place on a beautiful Summer’s evening with the music being provided by none other than the Canadian Reggae fusion band, MAGIC!. MAGIC!, hailing out of Toronto, Ontario, was joined by the rising Canadian talent of Mathew V, who resides out of Vancouver, British Columbia.

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Mathew V. Photo by Samuel Stevens Photography.

Mathew V began the evening off with an impressive set of approximately 40 minutes at the Red River Ex to warm up the crowd for MAGIC! The set, which featured many originals off his recently released 10 track debut album, The Fifth, with such songs as the emotionally driven, “Let Me Go”, and his current single, “Tell Me Smooth”. He also performed a cover of Britney Spears’ 1998 hit single, “…Baby One More Time” and a cover of Mariah Carey’s 1995 hit song, “Always Be My Baby”. This was Mathew V’s first time in Winnipeg and it sure seemed like it left many in the audience leaving as brand new fans of his and hopefully Winnipeg is graced with the presence of Mathew V once again in the near future, possibly on a tour for The Fifth.

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Nasri, vocalist of MAGIC! Photo by Samuel Stevens Photography.

The next act up to the stage was MAGIC! who are known for their signature sound fusing the two genres of Pop and Reggae together. Also known as Reggae fusion. Although the band has been together for approximately 7 years, this was the first ever performance by the band in Winnipeg. It was mentioned by vocalist, Nasri, after the show while meeting with fans, that this was the band’s first concert in approximately 6 months and features a whole new set than what they’ve played in the past.

The band delivered an impressive 15 song set, opening up with their massively popular 2013 hit song, “Rude” off their debut album, Don’t Kill the Magic. Then making their way into their second album, Primary Colours’ lead single, “Lay You Down Easy”. The band’s performance also included a drum solo by drummer, Alex Tanas in the middle of the set. Shortly after MAGIC! performed a Reggae rendition of Drake’s 2016 hit, “Hotline Bling”. The band closed off their strong performance with an even stronger end, starting off with the live debut performance of their brand new single, “Kiss Me”, which will be featured on their forthcoming album. Proceeded by the title track off of the bands album, Don’t Kill the Magic and ending the set off beautifully with a cover of The Beatles’ 1969 song “Come Together”. Which is the opening track off The Beatles’ now famously known album, Abbey Road.

Previously mentioned above, the band released a new brand single, “Kiss Me” earlier this month on June 8th and the song’s live debut happened in Winnipeg. With new singles, means a new album is on it’s way very soon. During the bands performance vocalist, Nasri, announced that the band will be back in Winnipeg again this fall on their first ever Canadian headline tour. At the moment not many details are known about this upcoming tour, so make sure to look out for these tour dates in the coming weeks. An announcement for the band’s third full length album, which should be out late this summer or in the fall, should be coming sometime soon as well.

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Mark Pellizzer, guitarist of MAGIC! Photo by Samuel Stevens Photography.
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Ben Spivak, bassist of MAGIC! Photo by Samuel Stevens Photography.

Many more photos captured at the event can be viewed right here.

Winnipeg Jazz Fest @ The Cube

By Samuel Stevens

Over the last several years Winnipeg Jazz Festival  has hosted free concerts in Old Market Square at The Cube. Consisting mostly of Winnipeg talent, the festival does also have touring acts from around the globe partake in the free festivities. This years Jazz Fest runs from June 14th to June 24th. Over the 11 day festival, 10 days feature free live music at The Cube.

June 16th, Popland:

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June 17th, Hip Hop & Soul:

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A collection of the photo galleries can be viewed here.

Crash Test Dummies – Jeux du Canada Games 2017 Reunion Show

By Samuel Stevens

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“Please welcome to the stage, something I thought I’d never say, Winnipeg’s own Crash Test Dummies!” yelled host Ace Burpee.

For the first time in seven years, Crash Test Dummies reunited with their original line up and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra for one night only at The Forks Stage to close out the Manitoba Night line up of the 50th Jeux du Canada Games 2017 Festival.

I can’t describe the feeling that night at The Forks of the thousands in attendance when they hit the stage. They opened up the set with, ‘God Shuffled His Feet’, the first track on their sophomore album that shares the same name. There was something eerie about a crowd erupting in such loud cheer and applause for a band that has been on hiatus for several years.

Hearing Brad Roberts deep voice over top a majority of the WSO was something beyond special to have experienced. The two blended in a way I can’t find the words to describe. It was one of those things that is best experienced by being there in the moment.

Mid way through the set Crash Test Dummies performed their hit, ‘The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead’. Best known from the Dumb and Dumber soundtrack released in 1994, which primarily features Ellen Reid on lead vocals. This song stood out of the whole set as I grew up always hearing this song as soon as the VHS of Dumb and Dumber would hit the credits and I’d leave it on, just to hear the song. After hearing this song countless times throughout growing up, it was super special to hear live and in person.

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I don’t recall when during the set but Brad Roberts said, “It’s a great deal to have a reunion in front of a hometown crowd with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra behind them”.

Throughout the night the band, which consisted of Brad Roberts, Dan Roberts, Ellen Reid, Benjamin Darvill, Mitch Dorge, and Stuart Cameron, performed  hits such as, ‘Superman’s Song’, ‘Swimming In The Ocean’, ‘Androgynous’, ‘Keep a Lid on Things’, ‘Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm’, and finally ‘Afternoons & Coffeespoons’ as the sole song performed during encore.

What seemed like immediately after the Crash Test Dummies finished their set, the night was then capped off with a big fireworks display by the festival directly behind the stage, to the right of the Canadian Museum of Human Rights. A beautiful send off to end such a beautiful band reunion.