Steve Strongman, Guy Belanger & Monkeyjunk #Ottawa

When I heard that Monkeyjunk, Steve Strongman and Guy Belanger were going to play a show at the Museum of History I was ecstatic.  I have been a Monkeyjunk fan since 2008 and had yet to see them this year. I have also been watching for upcoming shows by Guy Belanger and Steve Strongman and to have them all together in the Museum theater was exceptional.

Going in, I had no preconceptions about what to expect (this was the third show the three had done together), so when I saw the stage setup, I was intrigued. Two sets of drums, to sets of guitars, extra microphones.  The logical mind says this was setup to make the change over easier. The creative mind thinks maybe we’re in for a special treat.

The show started off with 25 minutes of just Steve Strongman at which point he was joined by Guy Belanger for the remainder of the set.  And a great set it was.  Guy’s haunting and animated harmonica playing complemented Steve’s guitar and singing nicely.  That alone, was worth the price of admission.

Next up was Monkeyjunk for their headlining set. And a great set it was.  I love the fact that Tony got to take the spotlight more often with some blistering and extended guitar solos and Matt even had a chance to show his drumming talents in a great solo.  By the end of the set the crowd was on their feet dancing away to the band jamming on stage. And then, far too quickly, it was over.

Or was it?  Of course not, it was time for a 20 minute encore, only this time with a twist.  Steve Mariner came out first and started riffing on the harmonica.  He was then joined by Steve Strongman playing his harmonica, at which point you knew it was going to be a very special encore.  Naturally, Guy Belanger joined them and then Tony, Matt and the rest of Steve Strongman’s band.  Both Steve’s then switched to their guitars so we had 4 guitars, 2 drummers and one fantastic harmonica player. I was completely blown away, as was the audience who stayed on their feet for the entire encore.  By far, the best Monkeyjunk show I have seen.  Bravo to everyone who put this amazing show together.

Next up for me is Randy Bachman on October 22 and Fleetwood Mac on October 26, although I may catch other shows before then (there are lots to choose from right now).

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