Photograph by Jill Willcott

February 22, 2011 – After that Grammy win, it’s a pity this year’s Polaris Prize will likely go to Arcade Fire by default, but there have already been several amazing Canadian albums released this year and Hey Rosetta! has joined them with Seeds. The East Coast band’s third album manages to elevate them beyond simply being just a rock band with a string section to something more. With fellow Newfoundlanders Gramercy Riffs in tow, the band played a sold out show at London, Ontario’s Call the Office.

Gramercy Riffs gave a brief but entertaining set, providing some heartbreak rock to whet the crowd’s appetite for the main event. Vocalist Mara Pellerin made an amusing comment about how the bar was like a maze, then sheepishly stealing a crowd member’s “a-maze-ing” joke. True enough, Call the Office does have a questionable sightline, highlighted by the column located in the center of the crowd.

Hey Rosetta!’s set largely consisted of material from the recently released Seeds and previous Polaris shortlist nominee Into Your Lungs. The band opened with ‘Welcome’, showing off their spiffy lighting system. Even at the center of twin spotlights, frontman Tim Baker was self-deprecating throughout the night, speaking of redemption when attempting a song that was screwed up the last time the band played London. The set’s highlight was the three song sequence of ‘I’ve Been Awake for a Long, Long, Time’, ‘Seeds’, and ‘Red Heart’. The band worked a few covers into the setlist, incorporating the Beatles’ ‘Within You Without You’ into one of their songs, while the encore included a version of Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Time After Time’ with Gramercy Riffs’ Mara Pellerin guesting on vocals. Despite the cold, it was worth coming out to see that people from the Rock are in fact, capable of rock.

Hey Rosetta! – Welcome
Gramercy Riffs – Call Me

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— , March 4, 2011    1 Comment