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L.A. Beat

Whitehorse and Terra Lightfoot bring light to a stormy night

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The power of music is not only that it heals, but that it also allows you to escape your troubles for a while. So a fantastic Geomatic Attic show, Oct. 17  at the Southminster United Church featuring quirky Ontario psychedelic rock/ alt country/ blues/pop duo Whitehorse who were backed by a crack band and surprise special guest Terra Lightfoot, was just the medicine needed on an apocalyptic Tuesday night fraught with gale force winds and wildfires, not to mention the passing of Canadian musical icon Gord Downie.

Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland of Whitehorse playing Southminster United Church for the Geomatic Attic, Tuesday, Oct. 17. Photo by Richard Amery
So a good sized crowd of several hundred, whooped, hollered and sang alon  and forgot about the troubles of the world for a while.
Probably the best opening act of the year, alt country musician Terra Lightfoot was a pleasant surprise which pretty much made my year as I didn’t know she was opening until the day of the show.

 She brandished a battered Gibson SG throughout an array of crunchy alternative country and rock music as her band kept step with her through a fast paced set of songs from all of her albums, focusing on her latest CD “New Mistakes.”

 She traded the SG for a very cool custom built  acoustic guitar, observing she is always willing to support women doing cool things and noting a female luthier friend of hers built that guitar on which she showed substantial fingerpicking licks on a solo acoustic version “You Get High.” Her band rejoined her after that.

 Throughout her set she and in an immediately appealing hugely soulful voice along the lines of Rita Chiarelli and Bonnie Raitt which made her set a tough act to follow.
 As the wind howled outside the church, Whitehorse proved they were more than up to the task, as they played mesmerizing music covering all of their albums and a cornucopia of genres in front of a hypnotizing light show.

Terra Lightfoot tries out a new acoustic guitar while opening for Whitehorse, Oct 17. Photo by Richard Amery
 Usually Whitehorse’s Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland play all of the instruments and incorporate looping in their set.

For this set, with their crack band of keyboardist Gregory MacDonald, who also plays with Sloan, guitarist Ryan Gavel on guitar and drummer John Obercian in tow, they could relax and spread their wings, though they still switched instruments pretty much every song with Doucet trading one beautiful Gretsch Falcon for another and McClelland alternating between bass, electric guitar and acoustic guitar.Terra Lightfoot winds up her opening set, Oct. 17. Photo by Richard Amery

 They also took turns singing lead vocals and harmonies adding eerie effects by singing through telephone receivers attached to their microphone stands.
They sent the band away mid set for a spine tingling set showcasing their gorgeous vocal harmonies and acoustic guitar.
They had the front row singing along with some of their better known songs.

 Near the end of the set, one fan experienced a medical emergency and fell in his seat during their menacing version of Chuck Berry’s “Nadine” so they stopped the show while another fan called 911 and helped him walk to to ambulance.

:Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland of Whitehorse playing Southminster United Church for the Geomatic Attic, Tuesday, Oct. 17. Photo by Richard Amery
 Once they knew he was taken care of and was going to be all right, they continued their song and wound things up with a few more up tempo alt country/ psychedelic rock numbers including the popular “King Down Your Door” from their latest CD “Panther in the  Dollhouse.

 A couple of the show highlights were from the new CD including “Manitoba Death Star,” which Doucet introduced by talking about growing up in Winnipeg and his mother setting up a facility for homeless people.
 Of course they were called back for an encore, which including a spooky version of Neil Young’s “Ohio.”

— By Richard Amery, L.a. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 25 October 2017 11:51 )  
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