Ramblings of a Redhead Music Snob

Life & Music in New York, My City

Expecting You – A Night of The Great Lake Swimmers

Posted by xneverwherex on June 14, 2015

Great Lake Swimmers
The Weather Station
The Chapel

Toronto’s Great Lake Swimmers were in town for their sixth studio album A Forest Of Arms. The band’s melancholic folk sound was perfect for The Chapel. The 5-piece band sounded as tight as ever and it was a perfect venue for the band. The acoustics were made for bands like them with their variety of instruments and just filled up the venue.

The band started their set with their first song off the new album “Something Like A Storm” which is just beautiful. Its a perfect way to start the set out as its so catchy and you find yourself stomping your foot in time with the music. The set comprised a good chunk off their new album, which is quite the listen. I cannot get enough of it so hearing it live made it even more awesome. As with prior albums/songs – they all have these beautiful song titles and its so fitting of their style.

It was also interesting to hear that the band now has an electronic sound. You could easily hear it but it was hard to know where it was coming from. And while my friend was convinced there couldnt be any electronics, the sound doesn’t lie. The drummer, Joshua van Tassel, was adding the electronics which were perfect. Of course, the stand outs were hearing Miranda Mulholland on violin especially on songs like “One More Charge at the Red Cape” along with the upright bass of Bret Higgins. She really tore it up on stage and rocked out on the violin which one doesn’t see all too often. Most the cheering came for Erik Arnesen on the banjo and electric guitar who was just brilliant.

But, the real stand out is Tony Dekker, lead singer and acoustic guitar. His voice is just so pure and heart-felt. The harmonies between him and Miranda are just beautiful. You can just feel the ache of their songs. It was also great to hear “Talking In Your Sleep” performed as a band off of Tony’s solo album.

Of course, it was great to hear their earlier popular song “Your Rocky Spine“. It has to be one of the most gorgeous folk songs ever written and just evokes so much feeling. And my favorite song off their new album “Expecting You” which is even more beautiful live. Its nearly heartbreaking. It also happens to sound even more beautiful with all their instruments coming together — the violin strings just sound too perfect.

The only real complaint of the show had nothing to do with the band, but with the crowd. For a band that is not that ‘noisy’, the crowd sure could have learned how to shut up. It never ceases to amaze me how many people go to songs, (especially folkier bands), and have the audacity to talk through the whole show almost as loud as the band. Regardless, the show was still awesome.

The band ended their show with an encore performed in the center of the audience to an acoustic version of “Still“. With no mics and just the crowd to add vocals it was pretty special as it became one big sing-along. And it couldnt have been a more fitting way to end the show.

Plus, just found out the band is playing on my birthday in NYC at the Bowery Ballroom. NYC crowds can be interesting, but I have to say this is beyond tempting.

The Weather Station opened the set. Apparently the band was all in Toronto, so it was just the singer of the band Tamara Lindeman. She had a Joni Mitchell-esque style to her sound and as a singer-songwriter was really great. She has amazing vocals and has these really beautiful emotional songs. Her songs have a sadness to them and were so melancholy. She was a fitting opener for GLS. And to make it all the more impressive she was playing on a jazz guitar.


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