On the Toronto leg of their Don’t Forget Your Sweater tour were Jon Janes, aka The Mountains and the Trees as well as Zachary Lucky. They played with Provincial Parks, a band which features members of The Wilderness of Manitoba and has recently been inactive.
The tour name was extremely fitting for the night in question- not only was it absolutely freezing outside in Toronto, but Lucky wore a wool hat on stage while Janes never took off his coat.
Lucky (who lives in Saskatoon) was the first to take the stage and he played a likable set of acoustic music. He at first seemed a little bit nervous but generally got into the groove of things after a few songs. He seemed very grateful and used the word “sweet” a lot.
He didn’t name most of his songs so I can’t name which ones were his best. Although a tender moment did occur when he played “Hard to Love,” a country-ish song that his grandfather wrote.
Next to take the stage was The Mountains and the Trees. For this performance, it was just Janes on his own. He began with “Hospital View” from his Hop, Skip & A Jump EP, and played a mix of material from I Made This For You as well as some newer songs he wrote while on the road.
One of these songs was very powerful, written after he lost a friend of his. A line of the song says “a broken heart can mend itself but a worn-out heart never will.” I actually felt a really strong emotional connection as he sang.
Janes had good stage banter, at one point joking (or maybe not) that the reason he wears a coat on stage is because, should he mess up, he can run for the door and not get cold.
He ended the set with his most popular song, “Up & Down.” It sounded pretty awesome since he was doing all the parts himself- he made great use of loop pedal.
Finally, Provincial Parks took the stage and played a set of mostly newer songs. The band generally had an ambient sound in their intro but eventually showed themselves to be capable of a folk-rock sound and some very impressive vocals (no doubt a reason there are Wilderness of Manitoba members).
The band seemed to stumble a few times before starting a song but once they got started the audience reacted with a lot of cheering and applause.
Despite the small crowd for the show, there was a good amount of enthusiasm for a night of folk and folk-rock.