REVIEW: 2006-12-13 – Holiday Jam at The Phoenix

Last night was the 3rd Annual Holiday Jam for Sick Kids Hospital, and as in previous years, the performers did not disappoint!

Buck 65 kicked off the evening with some of his trademark spoken-word/rapping followed by his interpretation of “‘Twas The Night Before Christmas”. Many in the crowd were unsure about Buck 65, but warmed to him as his short set progressed.

Matt Mays took the stage second and played a classic “Matt Mays Hliday Jam Set” that put some in the crowd to sleep… but as he admitted, that’s what always happens.

Without any introduction, Kathleen Edwards and her band of friends took the stage and set up their gear. I’ve seen Kathleen before and only recognized Colin (her husband/guitarist). After her first song, she said, “Holiday Jam is like a letter to Playgirl for me as I get to invite up whoever I want to play.” Colin Cripps, Luc Doucette, Jim Bryson and Justin Rutledge made up her all-star team. The played a few KE songs, and Justin sang a song. I was hoping that Jim would take a turn on the guitar & mic, but it was not to be. (Kathleen also introduced the crowd to the “F” word…)
After Kathleen, Sam Roberts’ band mates took the stage and set-up their gear. Sam was no where to be seen. Eventually he came out and the band ripped through a few tracks before inviting tour mates Jason Collett and band on stage for a cover of The Band’s “Christmas Must Be Tonight” – which they nailed. Sam said that they have been playing it for more than a month now… way before the Christmas season arrived.

In keeping with Holiday Jam tradition, Matt Mays joined a solo sam Roberts for a tune. Apparently the “rivalry” between the two bands has reached a fevered pitch – dead fish in the van, crickets, and Matt accusing Sam of putting shit on the microphone.
After the awesomeness that is SRB subsided, the always amazing Sarah Harmer took the stage. She opened with a Christmas tune, followed by a few of her songs. Doing her best Phil Collins impersonation, Sarah started a song singing with her guitar before deflty moving to the drums, where she contined to sing, while pounding out a driving beat.

As soon as Sarah Harmer and her playing partners left the stage, the fans who had remained orderly and near the side/back of the room decided to rush the stage and crowd out all of the fans who arrived early enough to get seats. I could go on a rant abot this, but I won’t; you get the point. Thankfully chants of “Hip, Hip, Hip” were reserved until after all of the other artists had completed their sets.

The Hip took the stage to a loud ovation and broke into “A Night Like This” which really threw the hardcore Hipfans for a loop… however the biggest shock for me was “C’Mon Everybody”

Here’s their setlist:

A Night Like This – Bob Dylan
In View – The Hip
C’Mon Everybody – Eddie Cochrane
Makes No Difference – The Band
Bobcaygeon – The Hip
Pretend – The Hip
Queen – David Bowie
Family Band – The Hip
Fireworks – The Hip

Summerside Of Life – Gordon Lightfoot (All of the evening’s performers came out for this one.)

This show was recorded – audio and video – in its entirety and will be torrented through The Hip Tracker.