The lights of Adelaide Hall dim and a blanket of red illuminates four men on a stage. Three of them grasp guitars, and a drummer wearing a bandanna waits for a cue from his band members. When they hit the opening chord, all eyes focus on them and don’t waver.
The Groovy Brothers, along with other local bands like The Lost Angelos and Love Wagon, took the stage last Thursday night for RUTV and SpiritLive Radio’s annual Band Night. Accompanying them were contestants of the cover contest, invited to perform their renditions of popular songs.
In its third year, the event is intended to showcase Ryerson talent. Not only does the night entail good music and a well-equipped bar, it also acts as a networking platform for local musicians.
“You can find some good local talent here,” said Jared Foot, drummer of The Groovy Brothers. “It’s good to team up with bands and like-minded people in similar industries. It’s a networking hub.”
The band also includes Alexander Javan on bass, Caeleb Campbell, rhythm and lead guitarist, and Dillon Hall, lead guitarist and lead singer.
RUTV’s Band Night helps promote Ryerson musicians by broadcasting student-produced content. Trey Robinson, president and executive producer of RUTV, finds it important to give students a platform for their music.
“This is talent that we have to foster as Ryerson students, as RUTV, the campus network. Our motto is ‘your network, your story,’ so we give everybody a chance to share their story,” said Robinson.
According to Robinson, the idea for the band night was motivated by the inability of student musicians to express themselves. Between the night’s production, design, and performances, he feels every contributor has a fair chance to share their story with the world.
Jenna Peddle, a first-year creative industries student, waits patiently by the bar for her turn on stage. Peddle and her partner, Mitchell Cairns-Spicer, submitted an acoustic rendition of Selena Gomez’s “Same Old Love” with a touch of the blues. Later that night, they win the cover contest, earning prizes from sponsors. It’s their first time taking home a prize at a Ryerson event.
Peddle, who has ample experience at singing competitions, believes the band night is a good showcase of Ryerson talent. “It’s good to support local artists. There’s a lot of diversity in a place like Toronto,” she said.
RUTV, according to Robinson, helps people stay connected. Reviving the previously inoperative network took contributors a year, and it stays alive by uniting people through programs like band nights.
“We want to be able to connect with our peers, and make sure people are connecting with each other through the content we create and they create. Breaking down those barriers, basically,” said Robinson.
RUTV doesn’t just showcase anyone, however. Robinson makes sure the bands featured have extraordinary talent that connects to their listeners.
Ryerson’s talent isn’t being put to waste. Javan’s future goal for The Groovy Brothers? It’s to keep jamming forever.
Photos by Hung Le