. : : January 25th, 2013 : : .
Emilie Mover‘s performance in January of 2013 was another in a series of concerts I’d EQ’d, tracked, started the info file for, and just didn’t finish…
… with one notable exception: It has a much better story.
Set to open for Brooklyn’s Wakey!Wakey!, the Drake Underground was decently occupied with fans. Probably the most fans of any Wakey!Wakey! performance to date, which was exceptional because it was a freezing cold Canadian night, with a steady, solid stream of snowfall.
Things were slow to get started, and when Emilie finally took the stage, it was clear it was an unusual pairing.
Wakey!Wakey! is a power-pop piano performer, and Emilie Mover is a folk-jazz singer. Her softly strummed guitar stands in stark contrast to the former’s orchestral, oft somewhat avaunt-guarde compositions. She even sprinkles her sets with old folk classics like Cole Porter‘s Don’t Fence Me In. Humourously, she finished the tune with the clever line, “They don’t write them like they used to…Except for me. I still write them like they used to.”
It could have been a recipe for a room full of chatter, clinking beer glasses, and a glow of cell phone screens, but Emilie’s warm voice and disarming charm held the audience in rapt silence throughout almost the entire set. No, seriously — you could hear a pin drop for most of it. As with many of my Drake Underground recordings, the sound is absolutely fantastic, so it would be easy to confuse this tape with a professional soundboard recording if it wasn’t for the slightest hiss from a volume increase in post-production, the occasional static that is par for the course with my gear, and a tiny bit of chatter that starts up around Out of Shape.
But I digress: back to the story of the evening. Wakey!Wakey! was travelling from a previous evening’s show in Montreal, and unbeknownst to us, there was a multi-car pileup on the provincial highway that had traffic stuck in an absolute standstill for kilometres. Michael Grubbs, who uses the aforementioned stage name, was stuck in that traffic about an hour outside of town. The promoters delayed and delayed as much as possible, while eager fans looked at their watches and checked their cell phones. Eventually, the night was called prematurely, and we were all invited to stay and drink or go home. If I remember correctly, Grubbs tweeted that his car didn’t move but an inch until after 2am — some five hours after his set time.
So that’s the interesting story of how, upon the cruellest weather of the season, Emilie Mover managed to fill the Drake Underground for a sold out show of people who have likely never heard her music. And despite the unfortunate circumstances, I doubt many people left terribly disappointed — we were all treated to a beautiful performance, and our tickets would still be honoured for the make-up date about a month later (posted elsewhere on this blog already).
Emilie would go on to win a Juno later that spring, and has contributed songs to a handful of popular television series, including Grey’s Anatomy and Pretty Little Liars.
- Mountain Song
- Don’t Fence Me In
- Chove Chuva
- Out of Shape
- Every Song
- Only Him or Me
- True Love
- Mean Man