April 1st, 2016 was no joke. Three incredible local bands descended upon Sugar Nightclub to play one rocking show to a sold out crowd. Given Sugar’s size, it’s hard not to feel a sense of pride that we have locals talented enough to fill the same room that has seen the likes of Phantogram, Band of Skulls, The 1975 and more.

First up were relative newcomers Stinging Belle. Fronted by Allie Bowman on vocals, backed by Jon Williams on drums and Jordan Ambrosi acting as the glue by way of guitar, this powerful trio delivered a show-stealing set. Bearing the semblance of heavy hitters such as Royal Blood, these guys commanded attention and set the tone for the rest of the night.

Malahat hit the stage next, with a signature throwback classic rock sound and a stage presence to back it up. Lead singer Tristan Savage pranced around the stage, once again commanding the audience’s full attention. Guitarist Ben Smith noodled, soloed and stomped around like no other. Sugar was primed for the headliners of the night.

Band of Rascals have been on my radar for quite some time, and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to finally catch a set. Though the bar was set high, they kept up the intensity and buzz generated by their two openers (both excellent choices!) and took it to the next level. No easy feat, given the performances that just took place.

Their fuzzy blues rock sound was exactly what the crowd was waiting for. Balancing hard with soft, vocalist Sam Trainor serenaded the crowd mid-set with only an acoustic guitar. This was followed by some riffing madness and more cowbell, complete with plenty of action and plenty of head banging.

Congrats to all bands involved in making dreams a reality, and for one truly special sold out show. It was an April 1st none of us will forget.

Stinging Belle - photo by Lindsey Blane

Stinging Belle – photo by Lindsey Blane

Stinging Belle - photo by Lindsey Blane

Stinging Belle – photo by Lindsey Blane

Stinging Belle - photo by Lindsey Blane

Stinging Belle – photo by Lindsey Blane

Stinging Belle - photo by Lindsey Blane

Stinging Belle – photo by Lindsey Blane

Malahat - photo by Lindsey Blane

Malahat – photo by Lindsey Blane

Malahat - photo by Lindsey Blane

Malahat – photo by Lindsey Blane

Malahat - photo by Lindsey Blane

Malahat – photo by Lindsey Blane

Malahat - photo by Lindsey Blane

Malahat – photo by Lindsey Blane

Band Of Rascals - photo by Lindsey Blane

Band Of Rascals – photo by Lindsey Blane

Band Of Rascals - photo by Lindsey Blane

Band Of Rascals – photo by Lindsey Blane

Band Of Rascals - photo by Lindsey Blane

Band Of Rascals – photo by Lindsey Blane

Band Of Rascals - photo by Lindsey Blane

Band Of Rascals – photo by Lindsey Blane

Band Of Rascals - photo by Lindsey Blane

Band Of Rascals – photo by Lindsey Blane