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Live Review: Gelax | Piers Oolvai | seawater + rose | standpartners @ ANAF - 05/18/2019 (Guelph, ON)

L-R: Piers Oolvai, seawater + rose, standpartners, Gelax


Official Concert Poster | Designed by Nicholas Cooper

This happened... this really actually happened! I made this musical event materialize, and it was both a personal and overall success! This will be more of a short reflection than a traditional concert review, as I only have beyond great words on everything involved this night. The First Expedition... oh boi!

If you told me that I would have the confidence, support, courage, drive and perseverance to book and host a concert AND perform on stage to a crowd by myself with works of my own crafting before this year, I would have thought you were insane. Well, it seems that publicly embracing my queer sexuality was the turning switch that really empowered me. It gave me strength to tackle and accomplish so many grand designs, and the headspace to just stop pondering about what people might/will negatively think of me. From hearing from family and friends leading up to, during and after the show, I do not know why I ever doubted my abilities and thought otherwise of those who really mattered. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Everything that I have done and people I have meet, both short to long-term, have helped make this inaugural live concert curation of The Sentinel's Marvellous Kaleidoscope. CFRU 93.3 FM, from which the SMK's radio program counterpart was born and housed to this day, is paramount. I took my skills as a radio host and transplanted them into being a live concert host (see photo proof below)! It's kind of the same thing, talking into a microphone, except that I was talking in front of actual living human_people in front of me. CFRU has helped me connect to the Guelph music community and the city at large. Unfortunate to say, I have never felt that connection with my hometown of Mississauga (but maybe that can change in the future). The radio station helped me connect with local and out-of-town bands, festivals and a remarkable group of caring friends, many of whom helped me out at the concert. I can not thank CFRU enough for what they have taught and given me over the past couple of years, when I was at my most lost of purpose.

Wow! Some heart strings pulled there... Let's get back on track! Through CFRU, I was able to attend and volunteer at my first festivals, Kazoo! Fest, Hillside Festival and the Guelph Film Festival. They certainly helped me certainly know what it takes to run and promote local media events, both audio and visual. Big shout out to Kazoo!, as they allowed me to borrow their PA system for this SMK concert curation.

Aside from running a concert in the moment, there is actually booking a venue and a musical lineup, and organizing it all and being a good receptive communicator. I have always been an organized individual... once I knew what the phuck I was doing, and I never knew how to do these things, until I met Jesse Alarcon (left). A master DIY concert booker and supporter of the local independent music community, Jesse has been there to mentor and help me through these processes, and also did sound tech for the evening. He is a precious jewel, a superior support, a wonderful friend, a darling boyo! Thank you for taking me under your wings (ie. dreadlocks in this case hehe) during this process XOXO

The ANAF Club 344 in downtown Guelph is a legion building that the general public is able to rent out at a reasonable price. My first-ever event booking mistake was to book during the long weekend. HOWEVER, despite the risk of having 0 attendees, we had a paid turn out of 15 attendees, which I have been informed is ACTUALLY pretty good. That is a relief to hear (but I will be more mindful of holidays next time)! In addition, ANAF does not possess proper music sound equipment. A challenge that I was able to solve with borrowing Kazoo!'s PA system, having Jesse do sound for me, personally renting equipment from Long & McQuade (with a gift card from Christmas), plus collaborating with the artists themselves to see what equipment they can bring in and share. It all worked perfectly in the end.

The Sentinel's Marvellous Kaleidoscope has and will always be an eclectic entity. Just like in its logo, its lens will morph and change t