Four spots in five minutes (13 photos)Monday, October 02, 2006 by: SlackhopperI felt as thought I was in a sultry, smoke-filled German cabaret in the 1920s.
Only it is 2006 and I was in Sault Ste. Marie enjoying the contemporary jazz vocal stylings of Amanda Mabro and the Cabaret Band during their third appearance at Loplops Gallery-Lounge.
The room was packed with jazz fans transfixed by the sexy, powerful voice of Mabro as she seemed to channel Julie London, Holly Cole and Lotte Lenya through her tiny frame.
Backed by only piano and drums, the music was tight, the sound was full and the audience hollered its appreciation for both her originals and the old standards she invited them to sing along with.
Some even danced.
Watching them prompted me to contemplate the variety of entertainment that was taking place within a five-minute walk in the downtown area.
So I took a walk.
Three minutes later, I was at the Downbeat Lounge and another packed room, experiencing the hip hop/techno/funk music of Person 26 and DJ Saige.
Although the music was completely different, the result was almost identical.
Their fans hollered as they danced to the irresistible thumping rhythms and grooves the DJs were spinning.
Bumping into Greig Nori and Bill Priddle of Treble Charger was an unexpected pleasure as we discussed drive-in theaters, Canadian independent music and the past, present and future of the Sault Ste. Marie live entertainment scene.
I reluctantly made my exit to further my mission.
Strolling one minute west, I found myself at Foggy Notions as local metal/punk band Soldiers of Misfortune jolted me into a state of alertness that no triple espresso ever could.
The small but appreciative audience stood, fists raised and heads thrashing while I waited patiently in the sidelines for Soldiers to play their smokin' version of Hot For Teacher.
They did and I left happy to continue my adventure.
One minute away was the last stop, Top Hat Billiards, where the music was provided via jukebox, the Jagermeister is on tap and every pool table was spoken for.
There was no dancing and very little hollering.
Just pockets of people enjoying each other's company, some quiet conversation and the thrill of a little friendly competition.
I went home pleased with the variety I had experienced and the knowledge that no matter what mood I'm in, there is something that will tickle my fancy for an evening out and about.