Wake Owl and Jordan Klassen at Media Club, September 20
There were a lot of great shows going on in the city Thursday night so it was nice to see The Media Club bustling with an eclectic and vibrant crowd. As young faces trickled in, Jordan Klassen took the stage with great gusto.
Jordan is one of the 20 finalists currently in the PEAK Performance Project and a regular voice heard on The Peak. Originally from Abottsford, Jordan has travelled to Calgary and back again building a loyal following of eager music lovers. Jordan opened with “Call and Answer” and as his bellowing call rang across the Media Club, the crowd certainly came to answer. His music brings old world luster with an incredibly youthful excitement. His band and backup singing ladies gave the performance a warm and whimsical feel.
Jordan held nothing back and I feel like he would have given the exact same vigour performing for a blank wall. He reminded me of that goofball friend you have in high school that everyone wants to be close to. He was pulling faces on stage, exuding multitudes of energy into the crowd and sharing every playful minute of it with his band that was just as animated. At one point Jordan thanked the crowd “for being such good listeners”, another endearing moment for this big man-child.
The crowd was primed and ready when Wake Owl took the stage and stayed tuned in the entire time. Wake Owl is lead by California-born Colyn Cameron who effortlessly enthralled the crowd with confidence. Opening with my favourite “Wild Country”, the band rocked harder than I expected from their fairly mellow EP of the same name. With the help of producer Dave Meszaros, the EP was conceptualized and recorded in Vancouver by Colyn and, as a debut album, is an absolute gem. I’ve been playing it on repeat since I got it from Bandcamp and there’s no end in sight.
Wake Owl’s sound is hypnotizing and easy, with immense heart and lyrics that rope you in. The band (Aiden Briscall on violin, Josh Contant on drums and Marcus Abramzik on bass) as a whole was polished and powerful, a streamlined machine. Aiden absolutely shredded every song – something I didn’t know a violinist could do, so I’ll excuse his terrible hat and armpit-less shirt. Having such a rock solid start on their first EP, I was excited to hear some new material too. The band’s new songs showed simplified maturity and Colyn’s voice really shone on their grassroots tracks. They’re a little bit folk, a little bit country and a lot talented. I can’t wait to see what they do next and I’ll definitely be back when they inevitably take over a bigger venue.