Remy Shand @ Quebec Summer Fest
As hundreds of blinking red diodes from Quebec Summer Fest access buttons lit up the field, Manitoba’s favorite soul man (soul boy?) ambled on stage and took his place behind his double racks of various keyboards and synths for an evening of youthful energy and experienced musical wisdom. From the repetitive warm-up groove of "Me and You" (a new turn reminiscent of Isaac Hayes and Teddy Pendergrass) to the album-launching single "The Way I Feel" (complete with a peppy Rhumba coda), Shand and his three-manand-two-woman band got the set off to a strong start. And the groove kept right on rolling through slower swooners like "Rocksteady" and "The Colour of Day," gravelly gospel calls to action (i.e., dance) like "Liberate" and his (first) radio hit "Send a Message."
If there were a fault with the show it was that one-man band Shand often outperformed his supporters. As the greatly album-derived set came from a record that was played and produced by Shand, his bass, guitar and drum players never fully fell into his intended grooves. And when he switched from keys to strings, he schooled his own mates with slick solos and Frampton-esque vocooder breaks (without the vocoder!). Even so, this one man did more with old school soul and R&B than most full bands do today.