A musical hybrid

Hollerado, Born Ruffians and The Zolas played Ale House on Wednesday night

Hollerado, Born Ruffians and The Zolas shared the stage Wednesday evening at Ale House.
Hollerado, Born Ruffians and The Zolas shared the stage Wednesday evening at Ale House.
Hollerado, Born Ruffians and The Zolas shared the stage Wednesday evening at Ale House.
Hollerado, Born Ruffians and The Zolas shared the stage Wednesday evening at Ale House.
Hollerado, Born Ruffians and The Zolas shared the stage Wednesday evening at Ale House.
Hollerado, Born Ruffians and The Zolas shared the stage Wednesday evening at Ale House.

“That was amazing,” the couple beside me murmured, right after The Zolas left the stage.

Wednesday night’s show at The Ale House took the audience by surprise. While the majority of concertgoers undoubtedly showed up for the headliners, Born Ruffians and Hollerado, the opener didn’t remain in the shadows.

The Zolas kicked off the night with “In Heaven,” the first track on their most recent album Ancient Mars. The band played eight songs, all but two which were off their 2012 release.

I managed to scope out a prime spot near the stage.

The lead vocalist, Zachary Gray, enchanted the audience with his soulful lyrics and slick dance moves.

The hip-looking crowd reciprocated the energy despite “not knowing any of [The Zolas’] songs,” as Gray wittily pointed out.

The crowd head-bobbed, foot-tapped and grooved to the melodies — especially when the band played the catchy tune, “Observatory.”

As the venue filled up with echoey and somewhat ominous melodies, the crowd stood quiet.

“Ancient Mars,” I discovered, was even better live.

It was evident to see Gray’s deep attachment to the song’s history. The music paused while Gray asked for some silence to passionately belt out the chorus.

The Zolas closed off their set with the thought provoking “Escape Artist.” With lyrics like “I’m feeling hard and hollow like papier-mâché,” the band’s music surely resonated with the crowd.

After the show, an enthusiastic onlooker shouted out, “You guys are actually pretty good.”

Minutes later, the much-anticipated Born Ruffians took to the stage.

The venue was adorned with large BR letters, like the ones on their album cover Birthmarks. Audience members screeched as the group opened with “Kurt Vonnegut.”

Front man Luke Lalonde acted how one would imagine a musician-model would. The edgy artist seemed heavily engrossed in the music while the longhaired bassist Mitch Derosier pumped up the crowd.

The Ruffians played a mix of the new and old. They churned out well-known hits, like “What to Say,” “I Need a Life,” and “Hummingbird.”

The band has accumulated a loyal fanbase in Kingston.

For every track they played, the packed venue danced and sang along. The crowd was in high spirits throughout their set list and chanted for more after they finished with “Needle,” another track off Birthmarks.

The show took a memorable turn when Hollerado began to play.

Contrasting with the more alternative, and at times electronic, music styles of the previous two bands, Hollerado transformed the night into a rock show.

The Ontario-based group opened with “Don’t Think” off their latest album, White Paint, which was released earlier this year.

Unlike the first two, the lead singer, Menno Versteeg, piped in with fun anecdotes in between songs.

The band has songs about and dedicated to their “homophobic mayor, Rob Ford,” an elderly woman one band member who “accidently did meth with” in Fresno and those people who help you out when you’re too high.

Accompanied with the firing off of confetti, numerous crowd surfers and a girl getting escorted off stage, their set was nothing short of entertaining.

The group isn’t new to Kingston as ties between the city and the band are tight.

Last summer, a couple got engaged during their show.

And it was a memorable moment for the band. Versteeg, of course, dedicated a song to them.

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