Live

BACONFEST: Concert Series

Baconfest!! have you heard of it? In a small town named Lucan Ontario there is a fest with such a name.. not only is it a name but there is bacon! bacon everything. Now.. I don’t want misguide you anymore than I already have with the title of this blog post .. buuuuut by the time I rolled into Lucan for Baconfest, vendors had mostly packed up and the town was starting to open the street back up, so while I’d love to give you details on all the bacon goodies.. I sadly cannot other than I had a hotdog with back bacon on it and it was delicious.
A) I wanted to make you aware of the small town Lucan Ontario and B) I wanted you to know that they have an event called Baconfest that is all about bacon because bacon is delicious! Oh and I also need to mention this event is also about bikes.. Motorbikes.. yes.. this is a biker event but it’s also for families and teenagers and kids and anyone who enjoys bacon. Main street of Lucan gets shut down, vendors line the streets and so do the bikers with their bikes and let me tell you, there are a TON of people.. I read on their website they now get like 25,000 people or something like that and every year it’s growing, baconfest has only been around for 4 years so far.

So.. what is this post actually about? well if you read my posts, especially lately, you would have noticed a trend, and that trend has been MUSIC, BANDS, LIVE MUSIC, CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY.. so as you may have guessed… along with Baconfest there are bands! From what I’m told, baconfest in the past few years has had bands but they have all been cover bands or tribute bands and while that is fun and all.. sometimes they don’t bring in huge crowds.. this year however, baconfest stepped it up and brought in some class acts from the country genre! who played? well here we go:

THE RIVER JUNCTION BAND ( due to the lengthy drive to Lucan, I missed this band)
BUCK TWENTY
EAST ADELAIDE
ERIC ETHRIDGE

That right there is a pretty good line up for a small town.. it’s a pretty good line up period!

BUCK TWENTY

Buck Twenty was the second band on and these guys are phenomenal, catchy tunes, great stage presence, always smiling and interacting with one another, so full of energy and they are the nicest dudes too. With the sun setting and casting a nice golden light onto the stage, Buck Twenty comes out and takes a hold of the crowd. I have to say, a lot of people in this crowd knew B20 because I saw a bunch of people rocking their shirts. Buck Twenty does an amazing job at using the entire stage during their performance.. especially the sides where there are usually some sort of box they can stand up on and get up nice and high over the crowd and single themselves out which is awesome for photographs, which you will see in the set . These guys are doing very well and will continue to do so. I urge you to check out their music on social media, and check out their website.. if you see they are playing a show near you, go check them out.

EAST ADELAIDE

East Adelaide are an up and coming group based out of Toronto Ontario and they are fantastic, you definitely need to give them a listen if you haven’t heard them before.. their song “ You Don’t Get To Love Me “ is a fantastic one, very catchy and very powerful. Love seeing these guys perform, this was only my second time seeing them and photographing them, but i’m hooked. First time was in London Ontario at London Concert Theater on the “Winter’s a beach Tour “ with The Reklaws and I found them even better outdoors during the summer!

This guy right here!! Eric Ethridge, wow.. has this guy ever come so far.. From Sarnia Ontario, got his start playing JACKS in London Ontario, to a record deal with Ole’s Red Dot Label then making the move to Nashville! If you’ve ever met Eric, he’s one of the nicest people, humble and always tries to take the time to meet his fans. Even though Eric has blown up and moved to Nashville, he still finds the time to get back to Ontario often and still plays “ the little shows” because that’s where his long time fans are. Been almost a year since I’ve seen Eric perform and I was pretty excited to see what has changed and all I can tell you is that it’s better and better every damn time. Eric’s confidence on stage makes for a great show, he seems so relaxed up there and you can tell he’s doing what he loves. As soon as he hit the stage the crowd went nuts, people were running for the stage, packing in so tight, smiles all around, especially on Eric’s face when he saw the response. From “ California “ to “ If You Met Me First” Eric covered all his hits with the crowd backing him Lyrically, it was a night to remember. Eric even took the time to hunt down a bridal party he saw earlier and brought the bride to be up on stage to sing to her. Not only did Eric bring someone up on stage, but Eric took it upon himself to get off the stage and submerge himself down into the crowd while singing which made everyones night. Now, with being the short guy I am.. I quickly lost Eric in the mass and couldn’t get any shots of this but I knew he was down there making fans happy!

Tillsonburg ON Turtle Fest

Turtle Fest…. figured there would be turtles but sadly… didn’t see one, however there were turtle themed things, lots of vendors, a vintage car show, rock climbing, busking, and much more but what was I there for? …. the bands of course!

Kelsi Mayne, Nice Horse and The Abrams took to the stage for this years Turtle Fest and everyone of these bands just killed it! As many of you know I’ve had the amazing opportunity to work one on one with the lovely Kelsi Mayne and have photographed her and her band many times in the last year live. Not only is Kelsi a sweet heart but her band are genuine people, funny, and appreciative of where they are and what they have accomplished so far. This show was another success, playing all the hits, getting the crowd going, they sounded great, looked good and even played a new tune that no one has heard before “ S.O.S “ .. now that this blog is a few days old.. others have heard it.. if you were at the Sound Of Music Festival in Burlington On. this past weekend and saw Kelsi perform, you now know that song too.

Nice Horse, damn! this all female, energetic, amazing stage presence band is incredible… this was only the 2nd time I’ve seen them & shot them, first time being at JunoFest during the Juno’s week in London at Bull & Barrel and both times i’m just blown away by their performance. Nice Horse have these amazing vocal harmonies that vibrate through your entire body making you really feel their songs. Running around on stage interacting with one another, leaning on one another, guitars and basses up in the air, their drummer, Krista comes up to the front and sings, she has a stomp pedal to make sure the heart beat of the band is always pumping.. even a single snare drum on a stand off to the right of the stage so she can stand there and beat the hell out of it….. their whole performance is an incredible one to watch.

The Abrams, a name I’ve heard many times but never experienced live until now and let me tell you.. I was floored. They carry so much energy with them, also amazing vocal harmonies.. songs that are happy, are sad.. slow and fast it’s a great mix. From the Abrams I saw a fiddler jumping all over, a singer and guitarist kneeling down, almost praising a fiddle solo, a guitarist busting out crazy solos while throwing a guitar around.. it was an awesome experience seeing these guys play with such a tight sound and so much energy.

Over all, Turtle Fest was a positive experience, I think the bands had a great time, I know I had a fantastic time and from the smiles on the faces of the crowd, the people down in front dancing and all the kids running around, dancing and laughing.. I think they all had a fun time too!

THE ABRAMS

NICE HORSE

KELSI MAYNE

JUNO AWARDS 2019

Never in a million years would I have ever thought that photography would take me to the Juno’s… but first I want to say, it didn’t really take me to the Juno awards themselves.. but very close and I am very thankful for the opportunity I was given. Leading up to the Juno Award night there is JUNO FEST, which is 100 different bands playing in 15 different venue’s across the city (London Ontario). Just outside of Budweiser Gardens in the South Parking Lot there was a giant heated tent that housed THE SIDE STAGE, which is where some bigger acts played and the Official Juno’s After Party was held. With the wrist band I was awarded, I had access to the Side Stage and all 15 venues in London, could cut the lines and get in early in order to photograph the bands playing in each venue. This wristband also allowed me to have access to the JUNO CUP, a hockey game between the Artists, and Professional Hockey players.

With out going through all the details and dragging this blog post out into a massive thing no one will ever read…. Side Stage was incredible. It was the first show I shot during the Juno’s and it started out with the incredible WASHBOARD UNION who I had not seen yet and really wanted to so it was amazing that I was able to see them (seen them twice during the Juno’s but we’ll get to that), but also photograph them! These guys are incredible, such a friendly bunch, their vocal harmonies are dead on and sound so good, their songs are lively and keep your feet tappin’. Up next was Jess Moskaluke who I had also never seen and also wanted to.. I was on a roll! she was fantastic sounded just like she does on the radio and knocked out all her hits. Last but definitely not least THE REKLAWS!!! I’ve photographed The Reklaws … 4 or 5 times now and they never ever get old.. seriously.. love them to death, their songs are contagious, Jenna is hilarious on stage and so fun, Stu with his smiles and for some reason always seems to look my way and give me a point his finger or his guitar and I love it!

Back to The Washboard Union. After they won their Juno for Breakthrough group of the year.. and I mean right after, they were performing again at The Bull and Barrel and let me tell you, that show was insane. The high Washboard was on from winning that Juno, the buzz from the crowd excited to see them and so very happy for them winning a Juno.. the place was so packed, I was lucky I got there over an hour early so I could be right up front because If I had shown up even 20 mins later than I did.. I was at the back of the building. Washboard Union was so happy to win and even happier to share their win with their fans in Bull and Barrel that night it was one hell of a party.. they have a rule where they do not drink if they are performing, but just once, that rule was broken to celebrate their Juno. Shots were brought out and Chris from the band says “ boys the medicine is here” … many thank you’s were said, so much appreciation from the band to the fans, to each other.. it was a moment i’ll never forget.

This post is getting very long so I’m just going to list the other bands I had the pleasure of photographing and I want them all to know I’m so thankful for their music, their image shares and the opportunities I’ve had to photograph:

AARON ALLEN
JULIA HAGGARTY
NICE HORSE
LOUD LUXURY
RYAN SHEPERD

There would be more on this list, such as The Trews, Genevieve Fisher and a few more but when I arrived to the venue’s at their set times they were so packed I literally couldn’t even get in the doorway.


THE WASHBOARD UNION - SIDE STAGE

JESS MOSKALUKE - SIDE STAGE

Jess Moskaluke performing at the 2019 JUNO’s - Side Stage in London, On.
© Kevin Vyse | Stage Pass Media

THE REKLAWS - SIDE STAGE

The Reklaws performing on the Side Stage at the 2019 Juno’s - London Ontario.
© Kevin Vyse | Stage Pass Media

NICE HORSE - BULL & BARREL

NICE HORSE performing during the 2019 JUNO FEST at Bull & Barrel - London Ontario
© Kevin Vyse | Stage Pass Media

JULIA HAGGARTY - BULL & BARREL

JULIA HAGGARTY performing during the 2019 JUNO FEST - Bull & Barrel in London Ontario.
© Kevin Vyse | Stage Pass Media

AARON ALLEN - BULL & BARREL

AARON ALLEN performing at the 2019 JUNO FEST in London Ontario.
© Kevin Vyse | Stage Pass Media

LOUD LUXURY - SIDE STAGE

LOUD LUXURY performing on the Side Stage during the 2019 JUNO’s - London Ontario.
© Kevin Vyse | Stage Pass Media

RYAN SHEPHERD - SIDE STAGE

RYAN SHEPHERD performing during the 2019 JUNO’s on the Side stage - London Ontario.
© Kevin Vyse | Stage Pass Media

THE WASHBOARD UNION - BULL & BARREL

THE WASHBOARD UNION performing during the 2019 Juno fan fest in London ontario just after they won their Juno Award for Breakthrough Group Of The Year! Huge Congrats going out to these fellas.
© Kevin Vyse | Stage Pass Media

A HUGE thank you goes out to Rock It Promotions for hooking me up with the wristband and all their helpers at each venue guiding me through, also thank you to the Juno’s for making this such an amazing event. Thank you to the City of London for being so awesome and opening up all these venues for such an incredible and memorable experience. Thank you to Live Nation, Start.ca, Budweiser Gardens, Budweiser, Apple Music, TD Bank, Music Canada, SOCAN, VIA Rail, 3M, CBC Music, SiriusXM, Jackson Triggs, Long & McQuade … with out all of these sponsors things like this can’t happen.. and when things like this don’t happen, opportunities can’t happen.. this was an opportunity I never thought i’d have or get to be apart of… the Thankfulness is HUGE!

Cheers.
Kevin Vyse.

APRIL WINE - COWAPOLOOZA 2018

With South Side Park in Woodstock Ontario packed with hundreds of people under the stars on a warm summer night, April Wine hit the stage for the second time in the Cowapolooza history. 
It's incredible to see a legendary piece of Canadian music history put on such an incredible show after all these years. April Wine sounded amazing playing all their hits, the crowd going nuts, dancing and singing the night away. Best part about this show was the mix of people.. old and young and everyone seemed to know the lyrics to most of the songs. April Wine ended their set with the amazing, and my personal fav song, ROLLER, shortly after they exited the stage, the crowd, without hesitation started chanting "encore" to which April Wine replied with coming back out and Blasting out their hit "Oowatanite" ... and Oowatanite it was! 
 

OUR LADY PEACE & MATTHEW GOOD

  Off to the stage with 4 other photographers, hearing the buzz of everyone in the building chatting, music playing in the background, house lights half on.. that anticipation building, going over camera settings in my mind, wondering what the lighting will be like. In that moment, the lights go out, complete darkness except for a few small, dim stage lights, the crowd roars, whistling, cheering, clapping and screaming while the band walks out on to the stage .. nothing but Silhouettes. 

  Our Lady Peace was a staple in my upbringing, yet, it's taken me 36 years to finally see them live. When photographing bands you only get a taste of the performance as most cases you can only photograph the first 3 songs of each band. Regardless, even the first 3 songs are usually a great time, there's always one good song that everyone knows.. for OLP, for me anyways that song was 'Superman's Dead' and it was done to perfection. OLP fired it up right out of the gate with high energy, some pretty unique lighting, which was a bit challenging as there were some strobe effects going on that made timing a bit tough, but it was incredible and I am complete thankful for the opportunity which was provided to me by Live Nation. 

  Matthew Good was another one of those 90's staples for me who I've always enjoyed listening to. I've only seen Matt one other time and it was maybe 2 years ago at Rock The Park in London ON and it was good... but last night's performance topped it 100%. Same deal, we only get to shoot the first 3 songs, but the first 3 were incredible and standing that close shooting made it even that much better. 
  After being escorted back into the photographer room, it sounded like the crowd was really enjoying the show as you could hear the screaming and clapping echo through the back halls of Budweiser Gardens. Overall, what a fantastic night. I'd like to thank Live Nation again for the opportunity to photograph this show and Budweiser Gardens for being so accommodating for the night. 

until the next time
-Shutter Click!  

OLP (Our Lady Peace)
London ON, Canada
Budweiser Gardens