The 5th Annual Earth Hour Kingston Unplugged concert held at Markey Square was a huge success once again. This year’s entertainment was brought to us by Slaves Of Spanky, The Swamp Ward Orchestra and a special appearance by Sarah Harmer with Spencer Evans.
The night started off with drumming beats by Daniel Chalmers, Dylan Carquez, Justin Andre and Joshua Marquez who were placed in the middle of the Market square. It didn’t take the guys long before they attracted the belly dancing duo that delighted the small audience who now have collected and partially surrounded the guys. The guys played in the middle of Market Square for about twenty minutes before they gave their spot over to the jugglers. The Jugglers showed us a few neat little tricks throughout their short time in the square. They had a varied mixture of juggling skills with props such as knives/swords, bowling pins and small glowing balls. One of the jugglers were on a unicycle covering pretty much the entire market as he was going around and around in a large circle getting the pins or balls tossed up to him.
The drummers made their way down to the amphitheatre and played until it was time to get things going. There were a few speech engagements as Kingston’s Mayor Mark Gerretsen, Spencer Evans, A Professor from the St.Lawrence College Energy Systems Engineering Technology, and Earth Hour Kingston Unplugged Concert Creator Tricia Knowles.
Kicking off the amphitheatre portion of the night was the fire show with backing music provided by The Swamp Ward Orchestra; the fire show was a hit and miss for me this year. The guy working the two chains with fire orbs at the end was my preferred fire act this year. The juggler’s seemed to have a little difficult time this year as they were going thru their routine.
Taking to the stage first and to my most delighted surprise was Sarah Harmer and Spencer Evans. I have always been a fan of Sarah since I first listened to her live a few years ago so it was a excellent bonus on the to watch her perform two songs. Sarah played the acoustic guitar and sang while Spencer joined her on Clarinet. The first song which they played was “Around This Corner” which also happened to be one of my favourite songs, there was also a nice little quick jab added to the song which I’m pretty sure everyone in the audience picked up as well. Her second and final song was “Escarpment Blues”, as Sarah finished the song the entire Market was yelling for more and for a second it looked as though it was going to happen but it just didn’t work out, probably due to the tight timeline which the event was being held on.
Quickly Slaves Of Spanky took to the stage, I couldn’t even remember the last time I saw these guys perform. Grampa was a stand in performer for the show tonight, which was pretty difficult to tell and probably nobody would have ever guessed if they didn’t make the announcement. The rest of the Slaves Of Spanky lineup tonight included Marf on Drums, Mrs. Nutz on Bass and Suganutz on Guitar. It took a song before they were able to convince the audience to crowd the front of the stage. With Capt’ Footbags rarely stepping onto the stage he kept the front couple of rows entertained and at some points the audience turned the show onto him. I was surprised to see the amount of smaller children at the front of the stage for pretty much the entire set, and showing Capt’ Footbags how to bust a move. Although language in their lyrics never cause Slaves Of Spanky a problem but being that the audience were of varied in age they had to cut short of a few select lyrics and even cutting out a verse on one particular song. I assumed that they were only going to be able to play a couple of songs for a set, so I was surprised by the length of set that they got to perform. They even busted out a new song just for the kids by rapping about trucks/snowmobiles and plows, which went over well with the front row of the audience. Capt Footbags nearing the end of Earth Hour took notice that the band of Montreal didn’t seem to turn off their outside lights and he made a point across about it. Shortly after the lights around Market Square began to turn on it was almost as a signal to the fact that their set was ending soon. At the end of their set Capt Footbags’ was all of a sudden surrounded by people looking to get autographs which by the look on his face kind of caught him by surprise.
By the end of the night there were still a few people left in the stands so marked another successful Earth Hour Kingston Unplugged.