Over the weekend, I was invited to attend a blues and funk concert being held at the classic Miramichi Vogue Theater, I was thrilled to gain access to such an event. As I pulled up to the old vogue theater, The brightly lit neon sign read Roxy And The Underground Soul Sound and opening up for them was Jacob Strang And The High Class Hussies.
The crowd surrounded the entrance and the line up was out the door. I made my way into the building and was handed a ticket. I made my way past the usher and walked into the dimly lit theater that was filled with a talkative and excited crowd of people and a stage that was filled with instruments.
The Orange glow of the stage lit up the curtain that draped the background, as the lights dim, a silence fell through the crowd when a crashing boom of the drums echoed through the hall, the band started in unity as the electric sound of funk and soul filled the room in a hazy glow.
The lead singer Jacob Strang, ran onto the stage sporting a black fedora and grabbed the microphone. He captured a unique energy as he danced across the stage to the beating of the drums and hip swaying sound of the rhythm guitar as his vocals let out a whiskey soaked howl.
The Crowd went wild as the song came to an end and he introduced himself and his band members. The lead guitarist began to play a familiar riff as the crowd screamed with excitement, the drums soon followed as the bass let out a solid lead as Jacob Strang let out a raspy scream and immediately you recognized the song. “Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppelin. It was a surprising treat that sounded perfect.
The band went on to play a few more of their original songs then ended with a duet with the lead singer of the other spotlight band Roxy And The Underground Soul Sound. The room was lit up with energy as the band thanked everyone for coming and made their way back stage.
There was a brief intermission before the featured act of Roxy and the Underground soul sound. The crowd shared their excitement, others stepped outside for a quick smoke or to order another drink.
After the intermission, people returned to their seats and waited in anticipation as the headline act was coming in stage.
This is the first band that I experienced live that includes a brass section. The saxophone player blows kisses of sweet sorrow as the trombone player pairs nicely with the excitable lead guitar player as his fingers dance across the frets. You can barely contain your feet from tapping to the steady groove of the drums. I can only describe the sound of the band as a mellow vibe that hits your soul.
The lead singer, Roxy, has a voice that I can only describe as anger soaked with sadness with a reverb of soul and seduction but don’t let that fool you as she smiles and dances weightlessly across the stage as she moves with the rhythm of the guitars.
As the night went along, one song stood out that I can only describe as perfection. Entitled “Fought The Battle”, Roxy explained that she wrote the song to help her overcome a dark period in her life. “Fought The Battle” The song of sadness, a raw emotion is captured by Roxy as she softly sings a lullaby followed by crashing waves of instrumental pieces as she belts out painful lyrics that echoes throughout the vogue theater. As the song comes to an end, she falls to her knees as she vocally holds a trembling note of sorrow, The crowd is silent and in awe of the performance in front of them. Perfection.
Encore! the crowd screamed as Roxy and the underground soul sound exited the stage. When the lead singer Roxy and her band the underground soul sound came back onto the stage, she invited Jacob Strang to accompany her on stage as they shared a duet entitled “Etta” A brilliant song that time traveled you back to a simpler time as it captured a unique chemistry between the two singers. It was an excellent ending to a perfect night.
As the crowd dispersed and the lights came on and the show was over. I made it back to my car and simply sat there in silence for a few moments to reflect on the night.
I wish everyone in Miramichi could have witness that concert and if those bands do return, I encourage all my readers to attend and enjoy a soulful night of music.
The vogue theater itself was an amazing, memorable experience. The atmosphere. The catering. The classic popcorn stand and the vintage vibe of the building itself, sets the bar quite high for other venues. It truly was an excellent night of entertainment and good music.
The Modern Typewriter