This Ain’t Hollywood 345 James Street North
What a way to be introduced to Cowlick‘s live show! The Hamilton rockers hosted a party at This Ain’t Hollywood to launch the release of their new EP, Night Vision, as well as debut their music video for “Money Money.”
Now, this isn’t just your average music video. Cowlick did something I’ve never seen before, and had a 3D video made to accompany the song. Rather than making the album available on CD, the band created 3D glasses which include a download code for the album. Then, once you have your snazzy 3D glasses, you can watch the video online to get the full effect. If you have yet to grab your glasses (you can buy them at Dr. Disc), you can watch it in 2D as well. But really, why not pick up a stylish new accessory?
I should add that Cowlick gave me the exclusive on this event, letting me be the first to break the news about the party, which I was happy to do!
Adding to the trippy, 3D theme of the show, Realtime Activities were on hand to light up the stage with their projections. The team describes themselves as “Light Artists, Guerilla Projectionists, VJ Crew, Photon Liberators,” and they added a fantastic dynamic to the show. The colours and images they projected onto the screen onstage made for an amazing visual spectacle and the vibe worked so well with both bands’ music.
I liked that there were just 2 bands on the bill for this show. That’s all you needed with this lineup! New Hands took the stage first and the dreamy ambience that Realtime Activities created suited the band perfectly, particularly with a song like “Swimming,” which I had to capture. It looked particularly dreamlike. The psychedelic hands on the screen were also nice touch. Evan even rocked the 3D glasses for part of their set – a good look!
Hearing that song live once again made me even more excited to hear its recorded version. Every song of theirs is so intricate; these guys blow me away with their musicality. I’ve said it before, but it’s so exciting to know them now, at this stage. I can’t get over how good they are. Have I mentioned how excited I am for New Hands’ first album?!
They also debuted a brand new song, “Dreamer,” which was new to Hamilton audiences. They played the new tune recently at the ROM (beside dinosaurs and everything!) which was an exciting honour for them. That would have been an awesome show to see. The guys said it was one of the coolest things they’ve done so far as a band.
After their set I had to round up the boys for a group photo. Somehow we managed to be very well coordinated with our outfits, which worked well while sporting our 3D glasses.
By the time Cowlick stepped onstage, the venue was packed. This was a true Hamilton show, with so many friends and fellow musicians in the audience. First, frontman Dylan Hudecki took the stage to introduce their video for “Money Money” and we all put on our 3D glasses to watch the video’s premiere. It was awesome getting to see the 3D effects up on a big screen. Then, bassist Ned Nolan and Dylan’s brother and drummer Jackson Hudecki got settled and the band launched into their set.
The easiest way to describe Cowlick’s music is just straight up rock’n’roll (they’re filed under the genre “Awesome” and that’s good enough for me) but they really impress me with how diverse their sound is. There’s the swingin’ 60’s Rolling Stones vibe of “I Wanna Be Your Man,” perhaps my favourite track off the new EP, to the surfy-sounding “Instant Turbo Blues,” to the steady beat of “Money Money.” They also have a psychedelic element to their music, which made them a great match with Realtime Activities.
Cowlick played a lengthy set of old and new tunes. I’ve listened to their last album Wires quite a bit, so it was great to hear some of those tunes too. I took some footage of their jam “Can Neu Do It” off that album – I love the way the song steadily builds and Dylan’s guitar riff is so catchy. Even without vocals, that song is a standout track of me. Making the song even better, Realtime Activities complimented it so well with their crazy colours and projections. It was really something to see!
Realtime Activities continued to provide a fitting setting for the stage. It made me laugh when footage an old episode of Soul Train matched up with Cowlick’s performance of “Hey Car.” It looked like the dancers were bopping along to the tune exactly to the rhythm. Gold.
Special guest and fellow hometown musician Lee Reed surprised the audience by jumping up onstage to tackle “White Russians” off Wires. The song showcases the band’s diverse sound again, being a darker track that puts the rapper front and center. Lee, as usual, didn’t hold back in his delivery, bringing his incredible intensity to the stage.
Cowlick were an absolute blast! They’ve been called “one of Hamilton’s best kept secrets” and now I feel like I’ve been let in on that little secret, although at this rate, they shouldn’t be a secret much longer. Of course, I had to rally up the fellas for another 3D group photo.
I’ve spoken many times about the amazing music community Hamilton has, and this show stands out for me as really capturing that. There was so much Hamilton love and pride in the room. And I couldn’t have asked for a better first Cowlick show!