By: Alex Quevillon
She may have played her hit song ‘Second Go’ early in her set on Thursday night, but for Canadian artist LIGHTS, it was her third go at Algonquin as she played to a near-sold out audience at the Algonquin Commons Theatre.
The singer-songwriter had previously played shows at the Observatory and was the first artist of the school year to hit the stage at the theatre.
“The theatre obviously has better sound and there’s a better vantage point for everybody,” said LIGHTS in an interview prior to her show. “The pub’s a bit tight and you can always miss something, but there was always that shoulder-to-shoulder energy you would get at the pub. It’s different.”
Fans of LIGHTS lined up several hours before she even hit the stage.
“It would be sort of disheartening to see tumbleweeds out there so it’s awesome,” she said. “It says a lot about the music lovers here and the passion for going to shows. As a musician, I can’t ask for anything more than that.”
For Students Association Events Programmer Bill Kitchen, it was a welcome sight to see students so interested in a performance at the college.
“We’re always excited whenever our students respond positively to any event,” said Kitchen. “I think we’ve had a great response with LIGHTS, she’s obviously a very talented artist. She’s an incredible singer and a great performer and we’re really proud to bring her here for our students.”
Toronto-based band Sam Cash & The Romatic Dogs, who are currently touring with LIGHTS, opened with a 45-minute set.
“We had a great time,” said lead singer Sam Cash. “I think that our genre is a bit different than LIGHTS but it was a good cross-over and people seemed to be having a good time.”
“She’s been really great having us on the road and it’s been a blast.”
As much as her career has grown, LIGHTS continues to come back, and Kitchen believes that building a bigger venue might help not only her, but other artists who have a similar type of career path.
“It’s more reflective of her career arch than her talent,” said Kitchen. “The Observatory is a great building ground and it’s built a lot of great artists over the years. What’s exciting for us now is that we have the opportunity to do both, help build an artist and then when they get a higher profile, we don’t have to watch them go play the Bronson Centre or Centrepointe Theatre, we’re able to keep them here for our students to enjoy them.”
As far as future shows at Algonquin, they’re certainly not out of the question.
“I’m sure we will come back,” said LIGHTS. “It can’t be the last time. Having been here a couple times, I hope it becomes a trend even as students come and go.”
“Algonquin just keeps asking me back and it’s awesome. It’s more than I can say about a lot of places. I’d come back if they asked again for sure.”