. : : August 19th, 2010 : : .
Those expecting the final Arietta show to be the technical showcase the powerhouse band has built a strong and fiercely loyal following on was probably let down by the event. But those who showed up to Sneeky Dee’s to party it up and say goodbye to friends and a fantastic local band in style could not have possibly left even remotely dissatisfied.
In a shocking turn of events, Arietta announced via their MySpace and Facebook pages (their .ca page remains unchanged since Spring) that they would finally be hanging up their collective metaphorical hats and calling it a day. Coming upon the heels of a musically if not necessarily financially successful east coast tour and a phenomenal and innovative live-off-the-floor music video, it seemed to come at a time when momentum was finally on the band’s side. But each member seems to be taking the dissolution in stride, and there is no animosity visible amongst the best friends and band mates. Having been lucky enough to speak with most of the band prior to the show, a common denominator was that everyone sort of saw this coming sooner than later. And while this particular line-up may have amicably run its course, everyone is excited by the challenge of performing all new music with other members of the music community. That is, after a welcome and long-deserved break.
For this final performance, the band was uncharacteristically loose — perhaps due to having only practiced twice since the announcement of their dissolution, more likely due to the abundance of alcohol consumed before and during the set — but never very flawed. The vocals slurred more often than soared, and the band’s unique energy seemed contained by the small stage and, perhaps, a dash of self-consciousness, but unnecessarily so. The crowd belted lyrics along passionately, clapped loudly, and the floor quite literally shook beneath their constant bouncing and shuffling. Throughout the night, it became increasingly difficult to tell where the stage ended and where the crowd began: the band played close to the edge of the stage, and the audience pressed forward against them, offering hugs, high fives and rounds of alcohol through the evening. By the final song, several members of the shoulder-to-shoulder attendees had encroached the stage and were dancing and singing along, including former Arietta drummer/original member Andrew Kekewich (now of The Wooden Sky).
It was simultaneously heart-warming and heart-breaking to see the mutual love between this little band from Scarborough and the room full of family, friends and fans who were touched by the band’s seven years of intensely dedicated efforts, and knowing this was the very last time it would be experienced. Solace is taken in knowing the band accomplished more than any member hoped or expected. Having had the opportunity to play in several provinces across the country, performing with and for several of their favourite bands and influences, and releasing four solid and unique albums (three EPs and an LP) are just some of the remarkable achievements the members of Arietta can boastfully notch into their headboards.
And just because the band turned out to not be a life-long career doesn’t mean they won’t have life-long staying power. The heart and soul each member poured into every single performance will live faithfully on in the memories of the people whose lives were changed by those little songs well after the final chord rang out.
02. (?) Song
04. Into The Deep
07. They Sure Don’t Make ‘Em Like They Used To
11. A Prolonged Sense of Longing
15. It’s An Uphill Battle, and it’s All Downhill From Here
16. Home. Friday. Midnight.
19. That Song [Big Wreck]
21. Old Habits Die Young
Thanks to Arietta in all its configurations, past and present.