On Friday, December 13, Elliott Brood will hit the stage at the Rockwater.
Hailing from Ontario, the band is a popular performance in Golden, which nearly always sells out when they come to town. Mark Sasso, lead vocalist and one of the founding members of the band, believes that it’s due to their authentic music and performances.
“If you’re looking for honest music and a good time, it’s what we do,” said Sasso. “Playing mountain towns is great, just watching people lose themselves in the moment. I can’t remember how many times we’ve come to Golden.”
Elliott Brood was initially founded by Sasso and guitarist Casey Laforet in Windsor, Ontario, when both were in high school. Soon after, they took their band to Toronto in 2002, where they quickly took off.
Since then, Elliott Brood has performed with some of Canada’s biggest acts, most recently opening for Blue Rodeo and The Dead South on tour this summer.
“It’s fun to tour with our friends,” said Sasso. “As a musician, it’s a little harder to get into it with someone else’s audience, but we love bringing artistry and our songs to different places.”
Musically, Elliott Brood is hard to pin down. Described as “death country”, “frontier rock” and “revival music”, the band likes to produce music with energy that can get a crowd moving.
While their music floats across many genres, the one constant is that they don’t produce their music to please the masses. They produce music to make good music.
“As a band, we have a kind of philosophy that the song is the most important member of the band,” said Sasso. “The songs are paramount – they have to be good. Whatever the song needs, we put into it.”
Live performances are key to the band as well. They like to bring a certain energy to a performance and have what Sasso describes as a conversation with the audience. Engaging the audience allows them to give a live show that involves the audience, which furthers the audience’s ability to immerse themselves in the music.
The key to a great live performance, according to Sasso, is to let it come naturally and to work with the audience. He knows he’s given it his best shot when he hasn’t really thought about anything other than the music while onstage.
“It’s an unmentioned, unspoken kind of dialogue, it’s the energy that goes back and forth between the band and the audience that can dictate the emotions of the show,” explained Sasso. “If it’s the perfect show, you’re just fully in the moment and you don’t even realize that you’re playing your instruments. It’s like somebody else is inside your body doing the work, it’s pretty surreal.”
While Elliott Brood has long been a favourite of Golden, Golden is a favourite of Elliott Brood. The energy at the shows they’ve performed here, along with other small mountain towns, makes the performances here electric and memorable.
Unlike performances back home in Ontario, or when they open for another band, Sasso says that performing in B.C. often puts them in front of audiences that are open to letting loose and authentically having a good time.
“We go where the people want us, and Golden is one of those places,” said Sasso. “People are a lot freer, they dance more. It’s like an instant dance party out there when we hit the stage. People lose their mind.”
The band is happy to get out in front of their own audiences again, and to return to their own tour of small towns. Over their career, they’ve been nominated for five Junos, winning one in 2013. Tickets are available online.