Geoff Berner/Barmitzvah Brothers/Ruth Minnikin
January 28 at Gus’ Pub
Saturday night at Gus’ Pub, the performances combined for an evening of energy, creativity, innocence, irony, warmth and an utter lack of pretense. Minnikin led the evening, accompanied by her brother Gabe, with a cozy, intimate set. The stage was quickly surrounded by a group of people sitting cross-legged on the floor. Gabe’s voice was like audio velvet, and offset Ruth as she sang in her slightly meandering way. The next act was Guelph’s highly touted Barmitzvah Brothers, consisting of neither brothers, nor anyone who’d ever had a bar mitzvah. This band is talented and mostly young: singer Jenny Mitchell is 21, while drummer John Merritt and keyboardist Geordie Gordon are 19. The fourth member, Tristan O’Malley, is the anomaly at 35, but he complemented the band, grounding the songs with more sophisticated guitar playing. Headliner Berner could best be described as part cabaret, part agro-folk, all storyteller. It was a fun night. Kudos to the staff, who took the curtains down so those waiting in line could at least watch the show.
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