7 Songs You Gotta Check Out Before Band City Fest


Nick Murray

If you didn't already know, Moose Jaw is set to host an outdoor summer music festival in Crescent Park. Band City Fest will take place on Saturday August the 25th; it's being organized, run and co-ordinated by a festival vet, John Dale from Johnny 2 Fingers & the Deformities and headlined by the mage of Mortlach herself, Megan Nash as well as a band from Red Deer called The Pits. Playing at the event are a slew of bands and musicians from Moose Jaw, as well as plenty from around the province and even a national touring act.

Here is a brief primer to the music that you'll hear if you decide to attend on that summer Saturday. Let this act as a Band City playlist, of sorts, or 7 Songs You Gotta Hear if you're going to Band City Fest.

If you want to help out, volunteer or become a vendor contact John Dale at bandcityfest@gmail.com

Megan Nash - "Wait"

Megan Nash has come along way since being that young country sweetheart that sang the Roughriders theme for Max TV and sold records at CDPlus in the Town 'N' Country Mall. She's pumped out three solo albums since then and even spent an inordinate amount of time dressed as a stuffed animal. She's toured Europe, recorded music videos and played all the biggest music festivals Saskatchewan has to offer. Now she's headlining one. Megan Nash is bona fide. There were plenty of great music videos I could have used here to highlight her sound. She made two professionally produced ones from her 2017 album Seeker: "Lavender & Leather" and "Bad Poetry". She also did a great lyric video for "Salted Salamanders", a song that was super popular on Spotify. But I chose my own personal favourite track from the album, which also happens to have a neat little lyric video for it. Here is "Wait."

The Pits - "For Now Feel Better"

Red Deer's finest indie-rock electro dance party five piece is co-headlining Band City Fest. It's just another stop on their provocatively titled Hot Summer Package Tour with St. Groove (who also happens to be playing the at the festival). It's a fun sound that will almost certainly get people on their feet; reminiscent of Said the Whale or Mother Mother. 

What better than "For Now Feel Better" a video more provocative than their tour title. Check out some adorable little Teddy Bears having sex on prom night.

Johnny 2 Fingers & the Deformities - "Built for Rock 'N' Roll"

Johnny 2 Fingers is great. There isn't a person in the city who has done more to make Moose Jaw an exciting place for talented musicians to thrive. He is the brains behind Band City Fest. He helped organize and run those Summerfest's all those year's ago and he promotes and plans lots of other live music events around the city. I've long thought he should run for mayor. But first, just let the man play his blisteringly wicked rock and roll music for the kiddies. Johnny 2 Fingerzzz is for the children!! 

Johnny has a lot of music videos to choose from. He's even got one with me in it. But more recently he has put out some videos that include current bandmates Travis Geib and "Cannonball" Kelly Gower, those guys are ok too, I guess. However you slice it, these guys were built to Rock 'N' Roll.

The League of One - Wax Museum

Oh man, these guys are fun. The League of One is a group of working class rockers who quite literally wears their working class status on their sleeves...well, they would, but they don't actually have sleeves, so it's kind of impossible. I don't think the League of One is meant to be taken seriously; as their are three of them (not one) and they wear matching band t-shirts on stage and they write songs about ants taking over the world. But allow me to feature the latest video from the band's most recent album, Dispatch. "Wax Museum" was filmed at the now retired Artful Dodger Café.

Lunar Lander Dance Commander - "We Won't Go"

LLDC has been playing together for a long time now; hell, I remember them playing Bobby's Place when the Juno's were here, some members may have changed and the band name might be different but they're still packing that same dance-y pop rock sound and unabashedly wearing space pants in public. They officially released their debut EP Liquid Smooth in 2017 and have been playing live consistently since then. Here, from that album, is the Halloween inspired video showcasing enigmatic frontwoman Steph Wilkinson's fantastic stage presence. 

Sunny Day Encore - "Mondays"

Moose Jaw's coolest new band takes it's influence from 90s greats like Sonic Youth. And you can hear it in their music; it's loud and clear (the influence, not the music). The reverb drenched guitars and meandering Quaalude-laced vocals pervade their sound. I once equated their debut record "Rememberable" to "My Bloody Valentine with an Ambien-enduced Julian Casablancas on the mic". And they've even put out some new material since then, all with that same, groovy, patented sound.

SDE is pretty new and their name is near the bottom of the poster, so it's likely you'll have to catch them in the afternoon. But they'll certainly be the highlight of that time slot.

The video for "Mondays" was shot around Moose Jaw. You'll recognize some places. 

Braindead Romeo - "Up & Atom"

This 4 piece rock band from Regina has been putting in their time playing local gigs and competing in the Queen City Rocks competition. They released a brand new record, "War is What We're Good For" only a month ago and they followed it up by recording a comic book themed music video for the track "Up & Atom". It's standard night club rock music, loud, energetic and tight, similar to what the League of One plays, only Braindead Romeo isn't penning novelty songs.