The Olympic Symphonium and Michael Feuerstack show at the Trailside Cafe and Inn located in Mt. Stewart, PEI wasn’t on the agenda for the Mixtape team this weekend. While on vacation on PEI, I found out the two artists Mixtape had recently done Q&A’s with leading up to the Halifax Urban Folk Festival were playing a small venue thirty minutes away from the cottage I was staying at. All photos were taken with an iPhone until that battery died and I turned into “that guy”, the one taking concert photos with an iPad.
The first band to take the floor was Fredericton’s The Olympic Symphonium. Crammed in the corner the four members took turns on lead vocals while swapping acoustic guitars, electric guitars, lap steel, upright bass from song to song. Unsurprisingly, the band used the show to road-test a number of new songs from their new album set to be released this spring.
“We’re going to tour in the spring so we don’t die on the highway,” Nick Cobham said of the bands decision to switch things up after three consecutive winter releases.
There were a few mistakes with the new songs, but the cheery bunch made jokes to defuse any potential awkwardness. At one point mostly-upright-bass player Kyle Cunjak held up a lyric sheet. The running joke throughout the night was to start talking about the delicious fishcakes they ate earlier in the day anytime they messed up.
One of the new tracks saw Dennis Goodwin on lead vocals for the first time. “They were going to kick me out of the band if I didn’t start singing,” he joked before the song started.
Headliner Michael Feuerstack finished off the night, joined on stage by members of the Olympic Symphonium as his backing band. Standing with guitar in hand, he apologized to the audience for the hole in his jeans saying “it’s not my usual style.”
The song “Flowers in the City” was one of the standout moments of the night. The track from his latest album Tambourine Death Bed showed off Feuerstack’s ability to write a song with captivating lyrics and instrumentation that seems simple and quiet yet has the ability to completely draw the listener in.
The combination of the music, the beautiful setting in rural PEI, local craft beer and an intimate setting made this a special show for those in attendance.
Photos: Jonathan Briggins