Peter Elkas Rocked The Dakota Tavern with March Residency

Peter Elkas @ The Dakota Tavern, 03-29-11
[Note: Apologies to Gavin Maguire who missed this, as he was on stage when the shots were purchased.]

Date of show: March 29, 2011
Shot of choice: vodka and whiskey

Peter Elkas’ smooth vocals can captivate an audience on its own, but combined with his skilful guitar work, Elkas is sure to impress. Joined by the Elkas band, made up of Doug Friesen (bass, trombone), Jeff Heisholt (keys, vocals), and Gavin Maguire (drums), Elkas put on a set that had the audience’s full attention. Elkas got on stage alone and kicked off the set with old favourite “Party of One,” but then powered through a set heavily driven by his recent release, Repeat Offender. For a few songs, when Friesen switched to trombone, Jeremy Little came to help out on bass, along with David French on sax, creating such a full, powerful sound.

After playing “Cruel Thing to Do,” Elkas mentioned that he initially thought the song sounded like Keith Richards but then, once recorded, thought it sounded more like Huey Lewis. Perhaps this was a hint, as Elkas ended off the set with “Heart of Rock and Roll” by Huey Lewis and the News, one of the best covers I’ve ever heard. As the band drew out the instrumentation, Elkas thanked everyone and left the stage, saying, “I’ve always wanted to do this.” Officially calling it a night with “Turn Out the Lights,” Elkas had fans waiting to get autographs at the stage.

Having played 5 Tuesdays in March, Elkas expressed how bittersweet it was to end his residency at The Dakota Tavern. It was no doubt a great month with some great guests, including an appearance from Joel Plaskett that packed the venue earlier in the month. Repeat Offender is certainly a gem that will be worth revisiting for years and Peter Elkas’ live show proves that Elkas seems to only get better with time.

Party of One
Sweet Nancy
Wall of Fire
Cruel Thing to Do
Repeat Offender
Blue of You
Tiny Valentine
Cool Thing to Do
Everybody Works
Heart of Rock and Roll (cover)

Turn Out the Lights

Peter Elkas brought along some great guests to help him celebrate his last Repeat Offender night at The Dakota Tavern. Right before Elkas were The Pinecones, who have a bit of a classic feel. Guitar-driven and upbeat, there were moments where comparisons to a Beatles-esque sound can be made. There was a particularly happy energy with frontman Paul Linklater, who was all smiles during the set. With harmonies from Linklater and co-frontman Brent Randall that really add texture to their classic sound, The Pinecones made for a great addition to the night.

Rebekah Higgs kicked off the night with her striking vocals and remarkable use of echo and loops. Her East coast charm really shines on stage, as her banter alluded to her move from Halifax to Toronto. Higgs played some tunes from her 2007 debut album, as while as songs from her Little Voice EP. She ended off her set with “Drunk Love,” which is a sort of purposeful sloppy song and ended off her set with a bang. With an album on the way, Rebekah Higgs is certainly a name to remember and keep on your radar.

Closing out the night were short sets from Trish Robb, who had the a few members of the audience dancing at 1am, and Esteban Puchalski, whose folk rock/Americana sound was a great way to end off a great night of music at The Dakota Tavern.

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Categories: Live Music


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