'Write, Matt. Just write'. The words danced in my brain as I sipped from
a plastic cup of Jack Daniels in the Meaford Hall green room as Pete
Elkas and Dave Marsh scarfed down some Lasagna beside me.
We rolled into Meaford somewhat tired on the start of an exhilarating
adventure. Marsh and Pennell were catching up from very little sleep
and a semi-long plane ride from Halifax to Toronto. I received a text
that said 'We are pulling up to pillar number 6' as Joel and the road
manager Steve pulled up in the Dodge Sprinter. The reality and the
dream of this project truly intermixed when I set foot into the roomy
and relaxed interior of the Sprinter. The oncoming sleet and rain
told us that March was not going to be friendly and it hasn't so
On to Meaford.
The band checked their sound for a long time as certain kinks
needed to be ironed out within a band that had not played together
in quite some time.
But faster than an alabaster ghetto-blaster, the boys had it sounding
tight and heavy. I felt somewhat like a kid in a candy store - and
as a journalist, they tell you never to say this sort of thing - but
in all honesty, I love Joel's music. I love his band. Joel is a pure
guitar throttler, crowd commander and entertainer extraordinaire.
Marsh is a drumcat theologian with a degree in thunderous
stick slams. Pennell is a gunning bassist with a belt in spanking
sound systems with low end channeling.
Meaford was into it. The small border town of Collingwood and
the ski region of Ontario was out of their seats 3/4 of the way
into the set and never sat down again. I filmed from behind them
and took in their nervous energy and held it close.
I guess what makes me excited and child-like when I listen to Joel
is the fact that he is a man who firmly believes in music - and he
believes in his own music when he's playing it. Anyone will buy
anything from a salesperson who truly embeds themselves into
the product. Joel gets it. He just does. His band gets it. They
welcome you in and they rock your soul for all time.