Review: David Barrett
Photos: Mike Bouchard
Man we are spoiled. Every time I see the Sadies I think that and last night at the NAC Studio drove home the point. Considering how often they've played Ottawa, I'm sure it's easy to lose sight of this fact (Bluesfest, Winterlude, Tulipfest, many bars throughout town come to mind). However there's something about seeing a band in the close confines of the smaller stages at the NAC that reveals a different side to a band; their essence shines through and there's no hiding behind a big sound (by that I mean a sound that's adjusted for a larger audience and a larger room), an elevated stage and a wall of booze-sodden music enthusiasts. On Saturday the Sadies took the stage with confidence and ingenuity and blew those in attendance away.
Being so close to the music underscores the drive behind the Sadies' raging crescendos (that normally lead to packed dance floors, a swath of mass rhythmic swells and high fives) and genuine appreciation for the gentler honkytonk barroom tunes. An eagerly appreciative audience lapped up the music from the start, and the enthusiasm never waned through to the end of the "9 song encore". While I wish that appreciation for their songwriting, incredible chops and talent would (justifiably!) grow, part of me hopes to be able to see them again often in such a close, intimate setting.
Maybe I'm just acting spoiled though.