Earth Hour 2011

Earth hour Kingston Unplugged


Starting of the musical festivities for the night was the Drummers Guild performing in Market Square. There was a wide collaboration of many different types of drums which were being used to create a unique and intriguing sound.  The Drummers Guild is made up of local Kingston musicians including members for the recently defunct band Agpak Mum. Their method of playing and sound seemed to be fuelled by what each other was playing. Unfortunately for me, by the time which I finally arrived to Market Square I was only able to watch about five minutes of their showcase. Once they were finished playing the Drummers Guild picked up their instruments then proceeded to play and walk towards and down to the left side of the stage in time for the night to proceed. After a couple of brief speeches which included Kingston’s Mayor Mark Gerretsen. Steve Sottile from Utilities Kingston was brought out on stage to explain to the audience that Despite confirmation of their ability to supply power on Friday,
Outpost Alternatives, who have generously supplied power for past Earth
Hour events, called the organizers early in the evening on Saturday to
say that the person with the portable power supply system had run into
an unexpected personal issue; he would not be able to deliver the power
supply truck to the event. While power use was minimized by the
organizing committee (lowered lighting and decreased amplification)
some power from the grid had to be used to ensure that the crowd could
hear the band and the speakers. The organizing committee has purchased
enough wind and solar power through a green power retailer to offset
the emissions from all power consumed during the event. The crowd was
notified of the unfortunate situation. Organizers pledge to return to a
fully off-grid concert next year. Steve also explained a few certain measures were being taken in order to draw a minimum amount of power. Only two free standing LED lights were being used, Greg also announced for people to come closer to the stage this way they could use less amperage and decibel levels.

The Twisted fire circus received a well mannered applause after each performer finished their performance. My favourite performer of the Twisted Fire Circus was the fire hula hoop. I believe there were five different balls of fire on the hula hoop. I still couldn’t believe the performer was not getting burned throughout her performance especially when she  spinning the hoop around and around. To finish off the fire show the performer who was first out on the stage came back out and used two chains with a ball chamber on each end. There was a couple of times when you could see a bit of relief on his face that he didn’t just catch himself on fire. As the flames went out on the chains all of the performers received a wide standing applause from the audience. The caution tape was quickly taken down and The Gertrudes began to play.

It didn’t take very long at all before the front of the stage was filled from everybody who was sitting in the stands. It was nice to hear The Gertrudes again since I haven’t watched them perform since Skeleton Park Festival.  The Gertudes came out playing “Warm Wind” which was a little contradictory for what the weather was like this evening. After each song was finished Annie made sure to tell people about her energy saving tips and how to get in touch with local government and utilities to find out more. About half way through their set people were already getting ready to start off Annie’s intro into her mini speeches.  One of their more hard hitting songs and a definite dance hit with the audience was their song “Derby Girl” which they have written for the local Kingston Roller Derby Girls. By this time in their set they acquired a wide range of ages dancing in front of the stage. Josh Lyon had his hands full during a couple of songs as he was required to wear a accordion for a couple of small sections in a song he also had to play the keyboards which were placed in front of him as well and sing back up vocals as well. The harmonies between Amanda and Annie were outstanding as usual. There were a couple of times where they received a wide ovation from the audience after such great sounding harmonies. One of my favourite songs which I have heard The Gertrudes play every time I have watched them play is their song Ronnie. The basis of the song is simplistic at its best which makes it so pleasing for me but what I really enjoy the most in the song is how much audience participation they receive during the song. It usually only takes the second verse before the audience starts to get involved with the song and tonight was no different, the audience soaked up the song.  The Gertrudes finished with their song called Catfish as they finished the song and made their way off the of the stage the audience were calling out more one more song and encores galore, which they obliged and Greg asked for all of the lights to be turned off so the last song could be a true off the grid performance. They were quickly given a candle to hold and played the song Hard Water.  This was a fitting song to end another successful Earth Hour Kingston Unplugged Concert.