Review by Alex Kruse, Photo by Charlie Mattina
On Saturday, May 23rd, The Great Lake Swimmers arrived in Thunder Bay and treated the crowd at Crocks’ to an amazing show. Since their last visit to TBay, they’ve added drummer Joshua Van Tassel and dropped a new album called Forest of Arms. The show featured a healthy mix of old favourites and new tunes.
Lead singer and guitarist Tony Dekker has been vocal about his commitment to environmental causes and this campaign extends to their live show. Dekker is familiar with Thunder Bay and the vast, natural beauty that surrounds us and used the moments between songs to speak about our pristine landscapes and how we must commit to protecting them. He also constantly engaged with fans through the show, making it more like a conversation than a concert. Fiddler Miranda Mulholland was also a standout and provided an electrifying performance. Her bright red hair catches your attention, but it’s her impeccable skill and stage presence that retains it.
The highlight of the show was the unique encore, which brought the band on level with their fans. Literally. They came back out after finishing their formal set, but made their home on the floor and played an acoustic version of “Still,” with the audience serving as their chorus. It was a unique and powerful and experience — I’ve never seen a band end their show in such an intimate way.