The early arrivals were mostly there to celebrate Listening To Rocks' guitarist Roger Morrison and his wife Sara's wedding anniversary. Patrick Dennis led off with his one man show of acoustic guitar jams, flecked with dedications to the happy couple and anecdotes about life and love. As soon as he finished his set, Listening To Rocks started up out back. Morrison, bassist Jon Kanis and drummer Brad Smith breezed through an abbreviated set of their pop rock, punctuated at the end by a duet cover from Roger and Sara. Back to the main stage where Swim Party had been busy setting up their gear and distinctive stage lighting. Guitarist/ lead vocalist Eric Tramblay, bassist (and rocking-est bartender working at Counterpoint) Alex Devereaux, drummer Petro Halkowycz and keyboardist (and photographer extraordinaire) Natalie Kardos greeted the growing crowd with a set of their indie post-rock goodness. Once they put the finishing touches on their solid set, it was back to the Atari lounge for part two of Listening To Rocks, featuring another duet from the husband and wife.
I wandered back up front to check out Rafter's sound check before the end of LTR's performance and was greeted by Rafter Roberts and Nathan Hubbard warming it up in front of an empty floor. I had the opportunity to see my first Rafter show at the Tin Can (where they performed as a three piece) about a month ago and was immediately hooked. Rafter is truly a unique individual- ginger mop that puts CoCo to shame, liberal use of a talk box, searing guitar work and stage antics for days. His most recent show was a CD release party for 'Quiet Storm' and this evening's set pulled heavily from both that and last year's exceptional 'Animal Feelings'. After dedicating his performance to the Morrisons, he and Nathan blazed through an hour or so of high-energy experimental pop-rock that you cannot help but dance to. The early start to the evening resulted in the music ending at around 11pm, which is always welcome for a Monday night.