Port Cities are making a musical boom in the Maritimes – the band, not Sydney or Halifax.
The trio’s meteoric rise to popularity has spread to Antigonish, where they will be playing a show at the East Coast Credit Union Social Enterprise Centre, Feb. 16.
The news of their success and the coming show may ring bittersweet to some local fans who haven’t already bought tickets. That’s because those tickets all sold out in three days.
“It was a fast seller,” Michelle Cameron, special events coordinator for the CACL, said. “Can’t ask for much better than that – I didn’t even have to print a poster.”
Cameron said news of the concert spread by word of mouth, and the social media buzz among fans that ensued, when word of the show appeared on the Port Cities Facebook page.
“They announced it on their page two days before we promoted the show, word was out, and at that point, everyone was excited,” Cameron said.
Cameron said she has trouble pinning down a good way to describe the musical style of Port Cities.
“People want to connect them to a Maritime-sound, but I don’t only hear that,” Cameron said.
“They have Maritime roots, for sure, but I’m finding them more pop-influenced at the moment,” Cameron said, referring specifically to the trio’s newest hit, Montreal.
Cameron added, “I hear a lot of styles, like he jazz-influences in Breagh [MacKinnon]’s voice.”
“It’s like a fusion of a few things that really creates their own unique style. There’s nothing that sounds like that right now,” Cameron said, referring, in part, to the two and three-part harmonies that characterize a lot of the trio’s songs and showcase what each of them bring to their overall sound.
Cameron noted she’s excited to see Port Cities play in Antigonish because of how much she hears them on the radio, “no matter what station I’m on.”
“I guess I’m always pretty nervous about booking choices and the local reaction – you never know what it’ll be like until it happens,” Cameron said.
So, naturally, when the show sold out within three days of people finding out about it, it came as a great relief.
“It certainly takes a lot of pressure off.”
Cameron said considers herself lucky to have scored a gig with Port Cities.
The original idea, she noted, occurred to her back in mid-summer, when she contacted their manager.
“We thought about potentially doing a show sometime in the fall, but we weren’t ready,” she said. “We needed experience doing shows with a few bigger acts.”
After hosting the 80s dance party and a show featuring the talent of J.P. Cormier and Dave Gunning in December, Cameron went back to the manager of Port Cities, looking to book a show – and the rest was history.
On the map
Cameron how getting big acts like Port Cities to play at the CACL is “putting Antigonish on the map as a venue for music.”
Cameron said it’s always good to get good musicians playing in venues that go beyond those that are found in Halifax or Sydney.
Furthermore, she noted, “it’s obvious that Antigonish is looking for this type of entertainment.”
“We’re hitting a mark with age groups that are not as compatible with going to the pub, but they’re still looking for a way to get out and do things.”