Spring is here, COVID numbers are down, and gigs are starting to come back! We've got 4 shows under our belt so far in 2022. I booked, coordinated and played all 4 shows with slightly different lineups of the band.
Friday February 20th at Heartwood Concert Hall, Owen Sound (GELK show #1 of 2022)
From left to right: We had in-house sound-tech Mitch Yirkew do a last minute sub-in on drums and he KILLED it! Absolute pro behind the drum kit. Eric Walker made his GELK debut on guitar that night and wowed the audience with his tasteful playing and stellar note-for-note guitar solos! That's me Tim McCready in the Black Flag - My War t-shirt. I was on my usual keys and guitar that night. Day-1 O.G. GELK bass-player Craig Mailman held down the low-end that night.
Thursday March 17th at Gladstone House, Toronto (GELK show #2 of 2022)
From left to right: Longtime GELK veteran Stephen Orr was on guitar. I played guitar and keys. Esti Friedman played bass, Kyle Skillman on drums, and Zane Banyan was sign-up host and backup vox.
GELK started our monthly Melody Bar residency at the Gladstone back in January 2016, which we maintained for over 4 years until the pandemic hit. Our Saturday March 14th 2020 cancelled gig at the Gladstone was the official beginning of the pandemic for us; suddenly ALL our shows were cancelled. After 2 long years of waiting, it felt great to be back at the Gladstone and play the Melody Bar Grand Reopening launch party. We played 35 songs that night to an enthusiastic and supportive crowd.
Saturday March 19th at Axis Gallery and Grill, Toronto (GELK Show #3 of 2022)
From left to right: Tim McCready (me) on guitar and keys, Craig Mailman on bass, Kyle Skillman on drums, Fraser McLean on guitar.
I booked this private birthday party 2 days in advance! Money was on the table, we were all available and practiced up; so we made it happen. Vova the birthday boy and his friends all had the best time singing their hearts out! Of course, the band had a great time playing with them too. We LOVE to gig!
Sunday March 20th at the Rivoli, Toronto (GELK show #4 of 2022)
From left to right: Mike Bell on bass playing his first GELK show since Dec 2019, Fraser McLean on guitar playing his 2nd GELK show in 2 days. Back to back 3-hour sets, Saturday and Sunday. BOOM! BOOM! Aurora Bangarth on drums and of course Tim McCready (me) on guitar and keys because I book and play every GELK show now!
Sunday night was a 60th birthday party for our new friend Robert Shipman. Robert contacted me back in late December 2021 but we weren't sure if COVID mandates and restrictions would allow for us to gather together so we penciled it into the calendar. We all lucked out! Robert was able to book the famous back room at the Rivoli and we all made it a night to remember together playing a 3-hour set of live band karaoke.
We just played 3 shows in 4 days?! THAT feels good for me. In many ways last weeks shows reminded me of the "good old days" of 2017 and 2018 when everyone in the band did their best to get along and work together because they all wanted to be here. Even with the shifting and rotating cast of musicians I play with from show-to-show, there's something about the momentum we collectively gain together as a band when GELK plays 3-hour gigs 3 to 5 days a week.
Can't wait for more of this in 2022!