Day 5
at the Gaelic College of Arts & Crafts,
Festival Club, St. Ann's, Cape Breton (12 October 2011)

I've been really surprised at the size of the audiences at Festival Club this year, as they've been much bigger on the weeknights than they have in the past. Tonight was no different, and I'm willing to bet that none of the people regretted staying out that late on a weeknight.

There are a couple of acts that really blew me away tonight. The first one was Bruce Molsky. Unlike his performance at the club a couple of nights ago, he was a one-man band tonight, which made his set more impressive to me. He sang a couple of songs while accompanying himself on banjo for one and on fiddle for another. Then, he played a set of tunes and was joined by super talent, Nic Gareiss, who kept some fantastic rhythms with his dancing, along to Molsky's music.

The second act that wowed the crowd was the April Verch Band. They're a three-piece band that plays music of the Ottawa Valley.

Verch brought the house down in her short set. She began by dancing and playing some tunes. Then, she sang a song she wrote, and her bandmates sang in perfect harmony with her.

The last part of her set was my favorite, though, she invited Gareiss back to the stage and they took turns doing some crazy steps and then joined together at the end. They were perfectly tuned in to each other and their steps could not have been more in sync. To top this off, Verch played a tune and danced simultaneously to finish her set.

She received the biggest standing ovation I've ever seen and the loudest applause I've heard at the festival this year. Her band is definitely an act worth seeing.

review by
Kaitlin Hahn

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