by Melanie Macpherson (article and photos)
2024 is set to be a huge year for the Saskatchewan music scene. With so many talented artists, amazing events and kick-ass venues, we at NSMZ expect to stay very busy trying to keep up with everything going on in the province. I can't think of a better way to kick off a New Year in Saskatoon than at The Capitol with The Radiant and The Brothers G.
The Capitol Music Club was packed with a mixture of music lovers and revelers, all prepared to have good time and send 2023 on its way. Most of the night, the room was backlit by projectors playing a mesmerizingly random series of VHS footage; digitized, diced and spliced by Little Jack Films. With a projector aimed at the back of the stage and one to either side, the footage provided a constantly changing, unpredictable deluge of the unexplainable and the mundane. The videos continued throughout the first two performances creating an artistic light show unlike any other.
The Brothers G warmed up the New Years Eve crowd
The first band to get the party rolling was The Brothers G. The boys from Hafford have really been honing their performance skills this past year and they looked and sounded great. This set leaned more heavily into the Southern Rock side of their sound, and kept the energy high and the melodies tight. With a combination of old favourites like "8th Street" and "Aces High" alongside new releases like "White Lightning", the set provided a tantalizing preview of their soon to be released new album. Its abundantly clear that this album is going to be one to watch this year. The Brothers G is made up of Jordan Gall (Drums), Jason Gall (Guitar and Vocals), and Elias Brevik (Bass)
Darryl Saves Lives delivered a fun and funky set to a rowdy room of revelers
Taking the middle slot was Edmonton's Darryl Saves Lives (DSL). Not knowing this band before this show, I went in blind and was not disappointed. If The Offspring and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones had a baby it might sound something like DSL. High energy with equal parts punk, funk, and fun, these new guys quickly had the crowd drawn in and on board. Darryl Saves Lives is Cole Gereghty (guitar, voice), Nick Lai (guitar, voice), David Le (drums), and Neal Smedegaard (bass).
The room was awash in a sea of colours and sound, The Radiant delivered a truly unique and memorable experience
As midnight approached, The Radiant took the stage and the projectors switched to a swirling rainbow of colours that played off walls and band members alike. The projections during the final performance of the night were created by visual artist Jordan Baraniecki for the show. The Radiant is one of the best Saskatoon has to offer and they just keep getting better. Mikhaila Anderson is a force of nature as a vocalist and as a front woman, and it can be hard to peel your eyes away long enough to check out all the other incredibly talented members of the band. With the ever funky Evan Knauss on Bass, Paul Hillacre shredding on guitar, Saxy Mike Reece heating things up on sax and keys, and the always chill Jordan Ahmed slaying on drums this band has more than its fair share of brilliance.
The New Year came in with pyro and confetti
The Radiant rocked the The Cap until midnight, when the room rang out with the requisite countdown. And when the crowd reached 1 and the clock reached 12, the stage erupted with 2 shooting pillars of sparkling fireworks and a pair of confetti canons. The crowd erupted in cheers, hugs, handshakes and a good amount of smooching. The crowd finally settled, the sparkles faded and the last piece of confetti floated to the floor. And at that moment, The Radiant broke into their next song and the crowd was again lost in the excitement of the music and in the anticipation of a new year.
The rest of the set was punctuated by gratuitous outbreaks of fireworks and confetti (shout out to Justin Paul on the pyro button), for what was by far the most visually outstanding performance The Radiant has ever put on. Old fans and new ones alike, ate up every minute of it and weren't satisfied even after a second encore performance. But like the year we said good-bye to, everything comes to an end. And after all of the hugs and congratulations that a monumental night such as this requires, we all went our separate ways and I headed home hopeful for a new year, and excited for what it might bring.