Show Date: September 28, 2016
Where: Handlebar, 158 Augusta Ave, Toronto
Acts: BROTHER AMOS, FORCES, STELLA ELLA OLA, STEF McCARROL
The inaugural "ILLEAGLE Presents..." show was a great opening for the series. First up, Stef McCarrol did a set of tunes from her yet to be recorded debut. Cool, sometimes angular, chord changes with sweet melodies that tied the songs together perfectly. She was backed on this night by her ex-Golden Dogs' bandmates Dave Azzolini and Jess Grassia. Look for her album to surface sometime in 2017.
Next up were, friends of the studio, Stella Ella Ola who opened the night with their english new wave inspired pop-rock. Anne Douris and Nixon Boyd melded together awesome guitar-monies with catchy high energy melodies and fiercely owned the stage for their set. With each band member getting lead vocal duties at least once, it made for a multi-faceted musical experience.
Next up, the hosts for the ILLEAGLE Presents series, F O R C E S performed. New project from ex-Golden Dogs members, retooled and rejuvenated with a project full of deep groove R&B, disco and even a bit of Beyonce-inspired beats. Three part lady harmonies, super poppy synth hooks, blazing guitar solos, all led by Jess Grassia doing all the front woman lead vocal duties.
Last band of the evening, Brother Amos. This is a new project put together by Amos Clark in tandem with Carlin, and Mike and Rob Drake from Zeus and Dave Azzolini. A first gig for this project and what a first gig! Chalk full of 60's/70's inspired R&B a la Al Green mixed with greezzzy soul licks, and even a sax and trumpet. He'll be recording the bed tracks for his debut album in January of 2017.
Starting the tradition, all bands got together and ran a far too lengthy cover set with songs that ranged from David Bowie's "Joe The Lion" sung by the one and only Jose Contreras of By Divine Right, to Gabriels' "Sledgehammer" complete with horn section and sung by Brother Amos. The night ended, fittingly, with a cover of "You Shook Me All Night Long" which a included a spot-on guitar solo from Mike O'Brien.