This newly-formed Montreal band were playing live for the very first time, but were clearly no strangers to the stage. Even before Scotty Potter started the show, the place was already filling up and keeping the staff very busy.
I had never seen Mr. Potter before but was impressed almost right away. He was a one man act sporting an acoustic guitar and a harmonica. His folk rock tunes were Dylan-esque, though his voice is very clear and pleasant. He seemed very comfortable on stage and in front of the audience. His guitar playing was fluid and his harmonica playing outstanding. Towards the end of his set he warned the audience that Future Flight was up next and they were going to, “Funk the shit out of ya.” Despite the anticipation for the main act, the audience coaxed an encore out of him. He delivered by playing a track called “Do You Remember?” and, like the rest of his set, was done superbly. I think he was a great choice as an opener and complimented Future Flight very well.
After a short intermission, we got to see what this new endeavour, Future Flight, would shape up to be. The band formed in early 2014 when Andrew Joncas (musical director and member of the band :::alter egos:::) and Nadia Bashalani (of Nadia Bashalani Trio) teamed up, shortly thereafter enlisting the talents of Dónal Gill (of the band Badniks) and Rémy Saminadin. It was immediately clear that we were in for a treat. Bursting with soul and groove at the seams, Future Flight took off with an incredible sound. And, after a few minutes of awesome instrumentals by Joncas on guitar, Saminadin on drums, and Gill on bass, the fantastic and confident vocals of Nadia Bashalani kicked in.
What ensued was an excellent set of mostly originals tracks, the others being rearranged originals from their other projects. I think many people in the crowd were familiar with the other projects and were correct in guessing that this team up was going to be something special.
Fans of funk, R&B, soul and groove will love this group. They flow through these genres with precision and ease. There are so many noteworthy tracks, but I have not the space to go through them all. A few that stood out for me were “I Don’t Owe You Anything”, “Save me”, “I Give Up”, and “Keep On Trying“.
Despite limited stage area, they had a significant presence and made the most of it. Towards the end of their set, Nadia was killing it on the dance floor while the boys were busy wailing on their instruments for another epic instrumental session. The energy was high; the audience loved it and wouldn’t let them go without an encore. They obliged, of course, giving us a big finish. Nadia thanked everyone for coming out to their “cherry poppin’ show“, though you would never have guessed that this was their debut live performance.
These four musicians work exceedingly well together and they were very fun to see live. I hope to see them again soon, and suspect I will.
Written by Joey Beaudin
Photography by Angie Radczenko