River City Magic and The Caspians rock the Grotto

The local bands rocked the bar while bathed in a green St. Patty’s Day glow

From left River City Magic lead singer JP Lancaster, keyboardist Maggie Ollek and guest harmonica player PJ Richards. (Marlys Klossner/The Omega)

From left River City Magic lead singer JP Lancaster, keyboardist Maggie Ollek and guest harmonica player PJ Richards. (Marlys Klossner/The Omega)

River City Magic was first to take the stage. Guest harmonica player PJ Richards added a unique touch, performing with the band for most of their set. As their songs built momentum, so did the size of the crowd. The guitar and keyboard complimented each other well and the drum and bass created infectious beats. They finished their set on a high-energy note.

“A piece of really good advice I received was it’s not how weird you make it, but how you make it weird,” JP Lancaster, lead singer and guitarist said.

Music genres today are mingling together more and more, and that’s the case with River City Magic, but their songs have a solid indie rock base with forays into genres like country, pop and blues depending on the song.

“At this point in our lives if we could do a tour of Canada as a vacation that would be great, but that would be more of a compromise. If we were where we’re at now five years ago, I think we could make an honest run of it, but the older you get you’re less inclined to take those kinds of risks, especially since we’ve all got jobs,” Lancaster said.

River City Magic is currently finishing up a follow-up EP to their record Road To Nowhere which promises a more polished sound, since it will be recorded in studio instead of a concert-like setting as was the case with Road To Nowhere.

In between the main acts, the Kamloops Pipe Band stopped by to perform some songs with bagpipes, drums and a highland dance number. This performance brought the St. Patrick’s Day spirit and the carrying sound of the bagpipes drew more people into the bar.

From left The Caspians’ guitarist Jared Doherty, drummer Anthony Splane, frequent guest keyboardist Jared Wilman, lead singer Keegan Robertson and bass player Jiles Almond. (Marlys Klossner/The Omega)

From left The Caspians’ guitarist Jared Doherty, drummer Anthony Splane, frequent guest keyboardist Jared Wilman, lead singer Keegan Robertson and bass player Jiles Almond. (Marlys Klossner/The Omega)

“There are three things I want you to do. One, drink, two, get loud and three, get laid,” lead singer Keegan Robertson said as The Caspians took the stage. Robertson wore a dress shirt, tie and pants with wayfarer sunglasses and socks, feeling like a slightly more clothed Tom Cruise in Risky Business. This set the tone for their set as Robertson openly wooed the crowd, spouting pick-up lines between songs.

Though The Caspians will be disbanding, they still plan on finishing and releasing an EP that they have in the works.

The Blue Grotto was a perfect venue for the event, with excellent acoustics and green lighting for the occasion.

While the Kamloops Pipe Band performed, one particularly enthusiastic patron air drummed along. Throughout the two main acts, fans were singing along. The Caspians performed several covers, and people in the audience occasionally hollered requests.

Every act gave energetic, engaging performances, doing St. Patrick proud.

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