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Originally published by The Gateway on Tuesday, October 8, 2002. All rights reserved.

McNarland mellow, Mason boys rock

Thanks to Eva P. for sending this article in.

Tuesday, October 8, 2002.

By Leah Collins of The Gateway, the University of Alberta student newspaper

Red's was transformed into happy hour at the neighborhood pub by Wide Mouth
Mason this past Saturday. As last call approached, the Saskatoon threesome
had cultivated a sea of empty Corona bottles, smiling bobbing heads, and
even a topless drunken cougar dancing on stage, thanks to their signature
elasticized energy and wow-worthy extended musical improv.

The hootenanny got off to a lazy start with bill-sharer, Holly McNarland.
Moseying on stage in a just-rolled-out-of-bed daze wrapped in a cozy,
fragglish-looking pink scarf, McNarland picked up her guitar and reawakened
the audience with her yawning howl of a voice. Perhaps all tuckered out
from her storied excursion to West Ed's shooting range, a wearing McNarland
wrenched her lulling new easy rock melodies out of her petite frame in an
exhaustive vocal attack backed by the steady instrumental assault of her
three piece band, including former Matthew Good Band guitarist David Genn.

Having taken time to get married and start her family, it's been five years
since McNarland's last album, Stuff, and three since she's been spotted on
stage. Her long absence further contributed to a sore lack of audience
recognition save a smattering of die-hard girlie fans screeching every
lyric.

Failing to capture the obviously Wide Mouth Mason-driven crowd, who
shamefully overlooked her wonderful two-song encore by gabbing through it,
McNarland was nevertheless invigorated, beaming at her devoted group of
fans.

After McNarland's laid-back performance, the packed venue hollered for the Mason men while a recording of pelting rainfall hearkened the band's entrance. The thunder of the audience was broken with an explosion of sunshiny energy that could make the most curmudgeonly security fellow bob to the funky-blues beat. Seemingly propelled by invisible bungee cords, the band was parting it up as much as the thrilled audience, bassist Ear Pereira bounding with the crowd and sing/guitarist Shaun Verreault writhingly boogie-ing with him, their dynamic deliciously infectious.

Well-reputed for their two-hour live extravaganzas, Wide Mouth Mason
delivered on Saturday, playing an infatiguable set of comprehensive
catalogue hits from "Why" to "Change". But their improvisational skill,
excessively showcased on most numbers, is more entertaining than any radio
single. Spontaneous samples of blues, rap, and even a thankfully short
AC/DC impression, made for a completely unique evening to the fans' delight.

The shindiggery going strong into the encore, McNarland and Genn were
invited to the stage. But no part is without its crashers, and the final
number was upstaged by a shirtless silicone-augmented fan who proceeded to
smother a hysterical McNarland, nuzzle with security, and chit-chat with a
humorously puzzled Verreault. Laughing and enjoying themselves as much as
the crowd, the performed exited with the Saturday night.


Copyright © The Gateway

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