The MusicNerd Files Edition #5

As we look back upon 2011, music fans in Metro certainly had their fair share of music acts pass through town. No matter what your musical tastes, it seemed as though there was a little something for everybody.

Casino New Brunswick hosted the likes of Loverboy, Jackson Browne, Great Big Sea and Trooper while the Moncton Coliseum hosted performances by Avril Lavigne, Heart and rap superstar Nelly. And of course who can forget U2 and Arcade Fire rocking Magnetic Hill at the end of July?

As we look forward to 2012, it promises to be an equally exciting year for Metro Moncton residents. Here are some show highlights taking place in January:

* Catherine MacLellan performs at the Moncton Press Club on Friday, Jan. 6 starting at 8 p.m. Advance tickets are $20 each and are available at Frank’s Music, 245 Carson Drive, Moncton.

The daughter of famed songwriter Gene MacLellan, Prince Edward Island resident Catherine MacLellean is having little in the way of difficulty living up to her family name. On her newest record, Silhouette, MacLellan has embraced her heritage with open arms, delivering a stunning version of her father’s hit Snowbird as a duet with Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy. MacLellan’s mix of folk and roots music is easy on the ears, helping make Silhouette one of 2011’s best releases. Check next Friday’s Metro for a full-length feature on MacLellan.

* Wintersleep perform at Moncton’s Tide & Boar Gastropub on Friday, Jan. 20 and Saturday, Jan. 21. Tickets are available at the Tide & Boar (700 Main Street, Moncton) and are $20 plus service charges.

It seems as though the buzz and acclaim surrounding Montreal-via-Halifax band Wintersleep grows from one record to the next. Some in the city might remember the group routinely holding down a mid-week slot at Moncton’s Paramount Lounge but as the word spread about the band’s climatic rock shows, so did their fan base. With four studio efforts to their credit, the band has reportedly completed their fifth album for a still to be determined release date. Fans catching one (or both) of the group’s shows at The Tide & Boar will be treated to some of the group’s best-loved songs and with any luck, maybe hear one or two of the band’s new songs.

* Arkells are scheduled to play Moncton’s Manhattan Bar & Grill (125 Westmorland Street) on Tuesday, Jan. 31. Tickets are $15 in advance, available at Cut Throat Pizza on Main Street and online at

In the almost three years between studio albums, Hamilton rock band Arkells have done a lot of growing up. For a band that struck radio gold with hits like Ballad of Hugo Chavez, the group has embraced a decidedly more poppy sound for their sophomore record, Michigan Left. With their newest record, Arkells continue their penchant for writing catchy pop songs, all of which will be on display when they take the stage at the Manhattan on Jan. 31.

Article published in December 30, 2011 edition of the Times & Transcript