Great Lake Swimmers Thrive in the Desert

 Great Lake Swimmers
June 13, 2015
Valley Bar- Phoenix, AZ

        Great Lake Swimmers, a folk rock band from Toronto, performed this past Saturday the 13th in Phoenix Arizona. The Great Lake Swimmers released their debut self-titled album in 2003. Since 2003, The Swimmers have released a total of six studio albums, with their latest album A Forest Of Arms released earlier this year. The Swimmers performed at one of Phoenix’s newest concert venues, Valley Bar, situated in a back alley of downtown Phoenix.

Once fans located the entrance to this well-hidden gem, a staircase led fans to the basement of the building, which created an intimate and almost too perfect atmosphere for the show. The Swimmers had not one, but two talented opening acts: Justin Moody and The Weather Station. After The Weather Station’s Tamara Lindeman exhibited her creative and complex songwriting skills, the Great Lake Swimmers stormed the stage with maracas in hand. The band gathered in a circle to shake their maracas and dove right into the first song of the evening and the first song off of their new album: Something Like a Storm. The crowd pressed in closer to the stage as the Swimmers played an extensive set including many songs from their newest album: Zero in the City, Don’t Leave Me Hanging, A Bird Flew Inside the House, and Expecting You, just to name a few. The Swimmers sprinkled in songs from some of their older albums including: Your Rocky GLS6Spine, The Great Exhale, and ending the encore with Still.

The Great Lake Swimmers, exhibited their musical talents by switching up their instruments throughout the set, the band incorporated: maracas, violin, upright bass, electric base, banjo, and guitar. Tony Dekker (lead vocals/guitar) called for audience participation during I Must Have Someone Else’s Blues, having the crowd bellow out the chorus in unison. The entire venue had their eyes fixed on The Swimmers throughout the set, taking in every descriptive lyric and every violin or banjo breakout. The Swimmers exhibited the definition of an “intimate show” by jumping off the stage and into the audience to perform. The Swimmers still have a number of US shows before heading back up North to Canada. For those of you that love folk rock, this is one band you do not want to miss, the Swimmers put on an incredible and intimate performance that you will not soon forget!

Review by: Meghan Lee