The Nuance Festival was at the Black Swan on The Danforth and this year and the talent did not disappoint us at all. At this years show, Counterpoint opened up the seminal event!
To illustrate CounterPoint’s musical prowess in detail, takes up way too much time and I’ve been on the old soap box so many times that I’m getting dizzy … but to me it’s more then worth it! They are pure progressive rock god’s! At last years showcase, they kept me at the edge of my seat all night and this night they added even more dept and colour to their musical masterpieces.
They have now added another layer of sound to their arsenal with a Toronto guitarist called Neil Harvey.I’ve only seen them live twice, and I am eager to see what happens when all their magical alchemy comes together. If you love this genre, then just go out and see them live to fully understand what I mean.
First tune they did was Track 9. The intro to this one, in comparison to last year, was very refreshing in many ways! Some new portions were quite inventive. Chris Noto pulls these bass harmonics right out of thin air it seems. Without notice, Led Zeppelin has made an entry into their sound?! During Chris’s solo, Rick and Neil do some fine and very tight harmonizing together. Neil will finish this one with a solo that rounds it off nicely! Neil just adds a nice intrinsic feel to the band.
The next one up is Morphine. For some reason, the boys didn’t put this video up on there site so I can show ya. Once again, they pull this one off flawlessly. Rick changes up some keyboard parts that tend to make the song flow in subtle ways. Joe is the backbone on this one, he keeps it all together. Chris is … well Chris. He gravitates in and out of the limelight like only he can.
Ritual is next on their set list. The beginning is something right out of a RUSH, Farewell to Kings or Hemisphere’s album. All that is missing on this one are some wind chimes and wood boxes played by Joe the drummer! I am really looking forward to watching this guy do a drum solo, on his own kit someday. At this point, Chris is using a wah, wah pedal and performs with it to perfection. There tends to be this 70’ish sound rising in the background with some Nirvana thrown in for good luck, admirably done boys.
Now the original Ritual rears it’s mighty head! This Ritual of old has all the early ear markings of the embryonic sound and feel to it. Rick’s keyboard has that primitive Hammond B3 ambiance and aura to it. Rick has introduced some subtle suspended touches to it, skillfully done sir. His sound is building up gradually throughout the piece. You’ve got to see these guys live to bring into context what I am talking about.
Then to finish off the night, the audience asks them for one more! CounterPoint then decides, reluctantly I think, to just jam.
So that is what I experienced that night. Next Nuance, I hope to see ya there!
Keep on Jammin’