Laurentians love to say that we go to school in the middle of nowhere. We’re just about as far north as you can get before reaching our friendly Canadian neighbors. We’re surrounded by farmland, the Amish, empty space, and trees. Even while boasting that we have the entirety of the Adirondacks in our vicinity, it’s said tongue-in-cheek that it’s a stone’s throw away following an hour long drive to Mt. Arab.
Laurentians often choose to overlook the foreign lights and sounds emitting from the now still and white surface of the St. Lawrence River, but baby there’s something going on up there. This past weekend, we were lucky enough to witness some of it first hand— it was fast, loud, soulful, and blew the rosy-cheeked crowd right out of their britches; that’s The Damn Truth.
The Damn Truth has never played for an American audience, but it was with the utmost sincerity that they reported the Java Barn had given them a hell of a first impression. The Montreal band has been playing across Canada for years, accruing more and more faces to their fanbase, to the point that they now flaunt millions of streams on Spotify and Youtube. Their bassist, PY, remarked that Java was a more intimate crowd than they were used to playing. The comparisons he drew were from the thousands they played for at the Osheaga festival and various other professional venues across Canada.
This tour across the United States will take them downstate through Geneva and Manhattan, before traveling eastward to Connecticut and then straight down to Tennessee, Georgia, and Texas. They’ll then move on, playing across the country to New Mexico and leaving then for the West Coast for plenty of gigs in California and Oregon. While the tour won’t return back east until mid-May, we’re already getting antsy waiting for their return to Java.
Yesterday we were revisited by the mind-blowing musicians of Aqueous, who stripped down their traditional set to a fast-paced, rock’em sock’em trio, adopting the notorious name Boss Tweed and the Carpet Baggers. It’s hard to say exactly how this show ended up panning out, as I’m writing this a few days in advance, but if they lived up to their reputation (and they did, right?), it will have been another messy, sweaty Java, with all of you hoodlums spilling right out the front door.
This next semester yields a rare, juicy winter crop for the North Country. We have plenty of Java favorites returning including Kat Wright, Madaila, Roots of Creation, Mr. Charlie, Start Making Sense, and more. We’ll see some new bands stop by before they are too big to return, such as Acid Dad, Las Rosas, the Nude Party, and more…
Long story short, SLU really spoils you guys with the caliber of acts that do their thing on our home-stage. To bring this column to a close, I advise all of you to be well to others, stay hydrated, and check out Mitzi and the Muffins.