For the first time in the band’s history, Frank Deresti and the Lake Effect were invited to take part in the annual Northern Lights Festival Boreal this past weekend in Sudbury’s Bell Park. The Sault five-piece was scheduled for two full-band performances at the popular Canvass Cabaret stage Friday and Saturday evenings.
But as the band was prepping for their first set at the annual music weekend, audio disaster struck.
“We were just about ready to play and we heard the loudest sound that was too loud for our acoustic band to make. The generator had quit,” Deresti told SooToday.
Festival representatives told him they were going to have to cancel the band’s set. Without even second-guessing the situation, Deresti replied, “I think our set’s just going to move forward a little bit.”
Deresti and bandmates Josh Norling, Jay Case, Chris Johns and Jay Stiles grabbed their instruments and moved down from the stage to the lawn as the audience gathered around.
“We played a full 50-minute unplugged set for a really great crowd. I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I was really glad we got to do that because I feel we really connected with people.”
And it paid off. For the band’s next performance slot on Saturday evening, those who enjoyed the unplugged set returned, bringing all their friends along.
“It was actually very serendipitous. It was the best thing that could have happened to us – we got to play a stripped down, unplugged set the first night.”
“That’s something that we’ve worked on – adaptability in general. We’ve rehearsed unplugged a lot just to get the dynamic and hearing each other, so it was really a no-brainer for us.”
Fans of Frank Deresti and the Lake Effect will be happy to know that a brand new single is in the works and set for release in the very near future, and Deresti has been busy with side projects with both Case and Stiles.
“It’s been a really creative period and there’s all kinds of new music coming out really soon from our group.”
While it has been more than a year since Frank Deresti and the Lake Effect has performed as a whole in Sault Ste. Marie, the band will take the stage at the Bondar Pavilion as part of the summer concert series Thursday evening starting at 7 p.m. This is a free show.
The 47th annual Northern Lights Festival Boreal – now in its second year as a four-day event – featured nightly headliners Lisa LeBlanc, Alvvays, Bill and Joel Plaskett, and The Arkells whose Thursday evening show was the first festival sell-out performance in 15 years. Other performances scheduled throughout the weekend included those from Iskwe, Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet, Richard Inman, Cecile Doo Kingue, Afrikana Soul Sister, Lee Harvey Osmond, Sheesham and Lotus and Son, Doctor Nativo, Canailles and numerous others.