Any show in the Big Secret Theatre is probably going to be a good one. It’s a beautifully intimate theatre with its own character and charm. This was enhanced by Locomotive Ghost’s impressive seasonal decorations and, by chance, the event happening on the coldest day of the year.
Loop pedal virtuoso Hello Moth kicked off the show with a strange and theatrical set. Hello Moth is a lot to ask of an audience. He mixes Games of Thrones-worthy lyrics with a small orchestra’s worth of loops and an extremely flamboyant, theatre-nerd stage presence. It was kind of like watching Snakes on the Plane in theatres, half the people were smiling and half were utterly confused. Regardless of taste, it was all pulled off with perfect precision.
Locomotive Ghost came out with a staggered introduction and quickly broke pace with songs from all their previous seasonal releases. The band brands themselves as “folk rock for nerds and lovers” and it is a very accurate synopsis.
Locomotive Ghost has recognizable, adult-contemporary anthems that are accessible enough to everyone, while also offering advanced, meticulously crafted bridges and breakdowns that would challenge even an advanced musician. This is part of the band’s charm, they know they are good but they never shove it down your throat.
With a relatively new line-up it was impressive to see how well the band has gelled together. There truly isn’t a weak link in the group. Lead guitarist Paul Orton verged dangerously close to overplaying, but instantly made up for it in the following song by playing with a great deal of soul mixed with perfect tones.
The “Winter Release” event was a great experience and a more than fitting end to an ambitious and well-crafted series of four seasonal themed releases. Locomotive Ghost have truly hit their stride and belong on any festival stage across Canada.