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The Rural Alberta Advantage takes over The Capital

It was a Monday night in Fredericton.

At St. Thomas University, Elizabeth May was speaking on “Rescuing Democracy from Politics.” At Tilley Hall, the Oscar-winning Foxcatcher was being shown, and downtown at The Capital, The Rural Alberta Advantage were playing their first of two concerts that took place in the city.

The Toronto indie band set off on their short East Coast tour in Quebec City and though they were originally only supposed to come to Fredericton on March 26, the show sold out quickly and the band added another date, which took place on March 23.

Along with The Rural Alberta Advantage came Kalle Mattson, a singer/songwriter from Ontario who opened up the show. While The RAA were performing in support of their 2014 record, Mended With Gold, Mattson was promoting Someday, The Moon Will Be Gold, which was nominated for the 2014 Polaris Music Prize.

The crowd that turned out for the Monday night show was not so big that there was no room to move, and though we showed up late my friends and I were able to snake our way through singing fans and people ordering beers to comfortably find a spot near the front of the stage. You don’t have to be at the front of a small venue like The Capital to realize that it doesn’t matter if a band is supposed to be mellow or “indie;” the place gets loud.

Made up of three members, The Rural Alberta Advantage featured some amazing drumming from Paul Banwatt who was decked out in a July Talk t-shirt and played as if he was in a punk band. Amy Cole, who provides backing vocals and keyboard on albums, added her own percussion sounds to many of the band’s live songs and played the role of hype-woman by trying to get the audience to clap along. It was often she who engaged with the crowd, at one point thanking everyone for being “so polite it’s lovely.”

Paired with the distinct vocals of lead singer Nils Edenloff, the band went through songs like “Our Love,” “Terrified,” and “Vulcan, AB.” The group let their music do most of the talking, as the set was a fast-paced one that was over well before midnight.

As we left The Capital, my friends and I commiserated about the things we had to do in the coming week. It was only Monday night, but we all agreed it was about as good as a Monday could get.

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