Double-decker weekend at Pickles

8617470006_7ceb1b8358_mMax Grizzly and the Burning Hills, back to back .

Despite the short-lived holiday, Pickles was a busy place this weekend, with some great musical groups spreading cheer. The deli hosted live music both Thursday and Friday nights, all while entertaining a surprisingly steady flow of patrons. Friday evening began with the Kate Rogers Band and ended with a portion of Moncton-based Burning Hills. Then, to the delight of those in attendance, was Sackville’s own Max Grizzly and the Entertainment. For these guys, it was no weekend off in Sackville’s transformed downtown feeding trough that has become one of Sackville’s premier music venues this year.  First to strut their stuff was the Kate Rogers Band, who opened the show on Thursday night. Right off the bat, KRB got the crowd into their highly energetic and soulful sound. Kate Rogers, who has had some success across the pond, was performing songs from her latest album, Repeat Repeat. And her success is no shocker when you hear the band perform. Rogers and her musicians stunned the crowd with their ability to create a whirlwind of emotion with their music. Songs like “Good Fortune”, “Messages”, and the title track off her latest album, “Repeat, Repeat”, were perfectly balanced mixes of downtempo and upbeat. Once Rogers cleared the stage, it opened up for Moncton’s folk powerhouse, The Burning Hills. At first glance, one would think that they were being sold short (if you can be as pompous of thinking that at a ‘pay what you can’ show) because only four out of the five band members were present. However, this feeling was short-lived. On hand were Ashley McNally playing guitar and belting it out, accompanied by back-up singer Amy Stone. Behind these two lovely ladies were The Burning Hills’ rhythm section, with Daniel Logan rocking the bass and Pascal Raiche-Nogue keeping time on the backline. However, even with back-up guitarist Ryan Hillier missing, The Burning Hills did not disappoint. Along with the speech slurring goodness of Mont Blonc beer, available at Pickles, Friday night also featured the musical stylings of homegrown group Max Grizzly and the Entertainment. A fitting name, overall, because  that was exactly what they were. Sure, they may not have always known which chord to play next, and some of their vocals may have been pretty inaudible over the din of the other instruments, but they put on a show nonetheless, moving and jiving, shedding and head banging — as a night-cap, they even did a bit of twist-and-shouting. Max Grizzly and the Entertainment are surely something to look out for, if they stick around. This double-decker night doesn’t mark the end of Pickles’ concert lineup, however — if you’re looking for good food, good times, and slightly overpriced beer (O Duckys where art thou) then head down to the town’s only green deli on April 4 for some more music.

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