Craig Owens returns to Toronto for a small solo show after performing on Vans Warped Tour as Chiodos’ front man the past summer in front of an audience of thousands.
在暑假舉行的Vans Warped Tour以Chiodos主音身份在過千觀眾前表演的Craig Owens,於9月回到多倫多作小型的個人演唱。
Between a few full-band projects (Chiodos, Cinematic Sunrise and supergroup Isles & Glaciers), the multi-talented musician (singer/screamer, songwriter, producer… is there anything the man cannot do?) goes on a short East Coast tour as he releases brand new EP “With Love” . Joining Craig Owens is female-fronted band Automatic Loveletter, who is playing unplugged on this tour. Opening the show was Ontario bands Final Thought and Lifestory: Monologue.
It’s been awhile since Automatic Loveletter played in Toronto (the first and last time was Warped Tour 08), so it was definitely nice to finally see the band again. With a cup of Starbucks coffee and a bottle of water at her feet, lead singer Juliet Simms settled down on a stool with her acoustic guitar and readied to play. Almost all of Automatic Loveletter’s music is about romantic relationships, granted – it is an overrated subject, yet Juliet’s passionately heartbreaking vocals separate the songs from the stereotype. It seemed like the band has disappeared from earth (or Canada, at least) the past year without any news on the band’s much needed debut album. However, the wait is almost over! Juliet performed a few new creations in addition to favorites such as “Paker” and “Make Up Smeared Eyes” off their EP and revealed that she has been recording the full-length.
After some technical difficulties and much anticipation, Craig Owens started off the set was a soft Chiodos’ song “Intensity In Ten Cities”. In addition to his solo material, the set list included various songs from Chiodos, Cinematic Sunrise and a couple of covers (such as Backstreet Boys’ I Need You Tonight). What made the night special was the intimacy between Craig and the audience. The crowd was relatively small, which was hard to grasp after seeing Craig with Chiodos two months ago tearing the Main Stage on Warped Tour completed with crowd surfers and mosh pits. But it is true – Craig Owens LOVES small shows. Throughout the concert, it was evident that Craig is a very genuine and charismatic individual. He made a lot of random small talks and amusing stories. The fans loved it. Towards the end of the show, Craig told everybody to sit down on the floor. It was surprising at first – after all, you don’t do that at every show you go to, the place is usually so cramped up to begin with. The audience sat down comfortably and Craig took a seat at the edge of the stage and began to sing CinSun’s “You Told Me You Loved Me” sans mic. Without the amplification of microphone, the audience was in silence trying not to ruin the soft and beautiful lyrics. He played a few more songs in that fashion and the show ended with Bright Eyes cover. It was a pleasant cycle – Craig loves to play music, his fans are happy to see him play, Craig loves making fans happy, fans feel appreciated. A win-win situation and made the night memorable and beautiful.
身任幾個樂隊的成員(包括Chiodos, Cinematic Sunrise, Isles & Glaciers), 全能的音樂人 (歌手, 作曲作詞人和監製…顯現沒有什麼是難得到他的) Craig Owens展開一個短期的東岸演唱會,同時間亦推出個人EP “With Love”.另外的樂隊是有個女主音的Automatic Loveletter, 表演更是unplugged的。為這晚開場的嘉賓有來至安大略省的Final Thought和Lifestory: Monologue.
距離上一次Automatic Loveletter在多倫多演出己有一段日子(他們第一次和最後的表演都是在08年的Warped Tour), 所以很高興能夠再欣賞他們的演出。主音Juliet Simms放了一杯Starbucks咖啡和一枝水在她腳旁, 便準備表演。差不多所有Automatic Loveletter音樂取材都是自於愛情, 雖然那是一個通俗的主題, 但是Juliet激昂而心碎的表演令樂隊的歌曲和大部分的情歌劃下界線。由於過去一年沒有Automatic Loveletter的第一隻大碟的消息, 感覺上他們好像消失了 (至少在加拿大)。可以, 漫長的等待快要完結了。那天晚上除了EP上的主打曲 “Parker”和 “Make Up Smeared Eyes”之外, Juliet更表演了新的歌曲和告訴大家她己在灌錄新碟。
處理過一些技術上的問題之後和眾人的期望下, Craig Owens用一首較柔和的Chiodos曲 “Intensity In Ten Cities”展開了他的表現。除了他個人的歌曲, 該晚的表演包括了Chiodos, Cinematic Sunrise和幾首翻唱歌(好像Backstreet Boys的I Need You Tonight)。那天晚上最特別不過於Craig Owens和觀眾的親切感。那天晚上的聽眾數目比較小, 很難相信是兩個月前見到Chiodos在Warped Tour主要表演台進行激烈演出的Craig。可能是難接受 – 不過Craig Owens最喜愛的是小型表演。於整個演出中, 很明顯的看到Craig是一個很真誠而很有魅力的。他不斷分享自己的趣事和其他頊碎的事情, 而觀眾也十分投入。差不多到表演尾部的時候, Craig叫大家在地上坐下。一開始的時候眾人都很驚訝, 畢竟這不會在其他演唱會發生的, 而且大多數地方都滿了人的, 根本不會有足夠地方給人坐下。當每個人的坐得舒舒服服之後, Craig在台邊坐下, 沒有用麥克風, 就唱了Cinematic Sunrise的 “You Told Me You Loved Me”。由於沒有麥克風的擴音效果, 群眾都很寧靜, 盡量避免毀壞了那溫柔和完美的歌詞。在這個方式下, Craig唱了幾首歌, 演完Bright Eyes的歌就完結了。一個很美好的循環: Craig喜愛玩音樂, 他的粉絲喜歡見他表演, Craig喜歡令到粉絲開心, 粉絲覺得被感激。這是一個雙贏的局面, 令到那晚十分難忘。
Text and photos by Jessie Lau