The Trews

Amp Entertainment & After Dark Presents

The Trews

Mike Powell and The Black River

Fri, October 5, 2018

Doors: 6:00 pm / Show: 6:30 pm

Exhibition Hall

Watertown, NY

$17

Off Sale

This event is all ages

6:00PM Doors | $17 adv

Friday, October 5th
94 Rock & After Dark Presents

The Trews
with special guests
The Black River

at Exhibition Hall
Watertown, New York

The Trews
The Trews
Sometimes the most exceptional and rewarding things are things you don't see coming but are open enough to embrace. Take The Trews' highly acclaimed acoustic tours, for instance.

Though the Toronto-based foursome made its name dishing intense, hooky, melodic rock and roll that won fans and critics worldwide – not to mention heaps of awards and countless radio hits pulled from a clutch of live and studio albums and EPs – The Trews discovered, serendipitously, that turning down the volume actually dialed up the heft.

Rewind to early 2009 and Toronto's legendary Glenn Gould Studio where our guys acoustically cut a collection of fan favourites, rarities and three new songs before a live audience that, not to put too fine a point on it, kind of lost its mind.

By the time The Trews issued the Friends & Total Strangers CD without fixes or overdubs and alongside an accompanying DVD, the supporting tour dates were already hotly anticipated from coast to coast. This, after all, was a different but no less commanding Trews: looser, more relaxed, heavy on the vocal harmonies and with all the familiar songs but sketched in charcoal instead of ink.

"We had no idea the acoustic shows would be so popular," confirms songwriter/guitarist and producer John-Angus MacDonald. "It was something we just did because it came to us like second nature. We had written songs that way – sitting around together and strumming guitars with everybody singing. We hadn't planned to tour but the reaction was a lot bigger than expected.

"I think the idea of everybody singing became the real hook of the thing. It wasn't just electric music played quietly; some songs sounded totally different by the time we had re-arranged them in that format."

Indeed, songs that had been wallflowers in The Trews' electric set suddenly bloomed, notably a pair of tracks from 2005's celebrated Den of Thieves. "The band really liked 'The Traveling Kind' but it always seemed to be the song where people at our electric shows would go grab a beer," MacDonald laughs.

"I think that was because the vocals were just too buried whereas acoustically we are able to showcase the harmonies, really bringing the tune to life. Same with 'Montebello Park.' I guess the more vocal-driven tunes suffer a bit played at lightning speed and thunderous volume."

These days, the acoustic shows bookend a career still laser-focused on rock but - more than a decade in and with most of the boxes on the wish-list checked off - can comfortably accommodate new ventures and fresh ideas. And the shows bring added benefits: more diverse audiences and a chance to play festivals and theatre venues in markets often underserved by marquee artists.

"We grew up in Antigonish Nova Scotia; not exactly a mecca of touring bands," MacDonald says. "When something finally came through town, we were just floored. We went out and loved every minute of it.

"And I do think these shows have grown the fan base at both ends – people who know us as a rock band and people who don't. We notice people a bit outside the age group of our usual fans turning up because we're playing more intimate settings where people aren't necessarily into having beer spilled on them or being crushed up against the stage," he howls. "I think in that setting the music has a little more reach to it, and goes down a little easier."

Bumstead Productions
Toronto, Ontario,
Mike Powell and The Black River
Mike Powell and The Black River
Mike Powell left the Town of Champion in 2001 and went on to Syracuse University where, in four years, he became the most decorated college lacrosse player in the history of the sport.

After college, despite being the number one draft pick in both professional lacrosse leagues, Mike declined the offers to play professionally and instead packed up his guitar and hit the road to play music in coffee shops and folk houses all over the American west. He is an open-chested free spirit and an absolute prolific writer with over 200 songs already in his arsenal.

His words are honest and his performances are captivating, intimate, and interactive. His powerful silky voice is oozing with blue eyed soul. He somehow blends folk with soul and country to create a sound that is as unique as his personality.
Venue Information:
Exhibition Hall
615 W.T. Field Dr.
Watertown, NY, 13601