If you were lucky enough to be one of the 50 souls who RSVP’d to Fireside’s newest installation for the culture, “Sans Fuccs,” you would have been fortunate enough to walk away with a memory of a lifetime. Held at a secret address that wasn’t released until the day of, adding much anticipation and mystique for what was in store for those who got the call.
Jae Sterling and Cartel Madras shut it down in a way I wasn’t sure could be done. At a house in West Hillhurst. I should add that this wasn’t just any house, a modern infill that was something out of your favourite rapper’s music video. Ricky Powell photography on the walls, along with some paintings of icons from yesterday and today, the ambience of the venue had us feeling right at home.
Approaching the house not sure if you are in the right place or not, the Fireside banner drapes down from an upstairs window. An added caveat to the evening that was, the woman working the door was the niece of legendary WWF superstar “The Iron Sheik”. That sort of energy right as you walk in the door lets you know you are in the right place.
As the crowd filled in to the home, drinks were flowing and new alliances were forming. If you’ve ever attended a FireSide event before, you understand that although you’ve never met, everyone in attendance is there for good music and in turn you leave with a room full of new friends.
The energy was ecstatic in anticipation; the time came for one of the City’s most talented MCs to make his solo return to the stage. The Vagabond himself, Jae sterling was set to show us what he is all about.
Fresh off of the release of his EP Vagabond and on the brink of fatherhood, Sterling’s energy as he was strutting around the venue getting ready for his set was radiant. A man sure of himself and his lyrical skills, it was apparent he was primed to seize the moment. As he filed through the crowd to make it to the stage, cheers began to rise. The second he breaks into his first song, the strong scent of some strange plant takes over and Sans Fuccs is underway.
Sterling’s set was nothing short of an earthquake of sound, impacting the crowd with his sleek lyrical output and stage control. In addition, Sterling showed versatility with the impact of not only his unparalleled rap skills, but his underrated ability to sing, which adds to the lure and enigma that is the Vagabond, Jae Sterling.
When it comes to the field of Canadian Hip-Hop, Jae is right there when it comes to how he can command a crowd. Although the show was already intimate, Sterling made sure this would be something to your friends about for days, weeks, and months to come.
By the time Jae Sterling’s set had come to an end, The West Hillhurst venue quickly turned into more of a sauna with a scent of some spilled liquor mixed with that strange plant from before. As he walked off, the crowd followed and got the much needed fresh air. Awaiting the headliners, Cartel Madras. It was time to turn it up a notch to get ready for the energy this rap duo has been known to bring.
The announcement came that Cartel Madra’s set would take place on the basement stage. The room resembled a dance studio with one couch in the corner and a mirror spanning around three walls. The crowd gathered packed together as tight as possible. The chants started for the headliners as they plowed their way through the waiting fans.
Their set starts and the crowd is electric. Although some may have never heard their music before, Cartel Madras did a perfect job of making their short but powerful catalogue connect with the audience. Getting the crowd involved every chance they got. Their set was met with some sound issues, but that didn’t stop them from giving the crowd a show worthy of shaky cell phone concert footage that needs context.
Surely only going upwards, Cartel Madras are a breath of fresh air when it comes to being completely unique and original. A sound that is head-bop worthy from start to finish met with impeccable lyricism. This was one of those events that if you missed out, you could never grasp what was put forth that night.
BY JORDAN STRICKER
106 years of history packed in to the walls of an Inglewood staple: The Lantern Church. The
second you walk into the venue you feel a slight shiver at the nostalgia that pierces those walls.
Just minutes away, we would be blown away by the soulful musical force that is David Morin.
This was the first Fireside event in the sanctuary. To say that it added to the intensity of the
music being played would be an immense understatement. No one more suitable to establish the musical pedigree we at Fireside are looking to showcase than Morin.
This is how Fireside began, with artists daring to show their true colours in an intimate venue with a small audience. We tell the story of an artist engaging the Calgary music community; staying with us for the weekend, playing a show, and recording/ filming a Fireside Session. These stories captured on video are useful assets for artists to grow their audience and build sustainable careers.