Rich Aucoin gets all the school kids dancing

(Tamara Gravelle/AQ)
Rich Aucoin performs at the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival (Tamara Gravelle/AQ)

The Galaxie Barracks tent was alive and full of energy on Friday night for Halifax native Rich Aucoin.

“The energy at Harvest and at Fredericton all ages shows is amazing. There is something super special here,” Aucoin said.

Aucoin’s show is necessary for any fan of dance-pop music and a perfect addition to the generally more acoustic Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival. Despite the rain the barracks tent was packed and the crowd was excited for Aucoin and his catchy dance grooves.

“I heard he throws a real great party so I came down to see the live show,” said Aaron Williams, a third-year STU student.

The performance starts with the horn intro to the Disney movies. Aucoin enters the stage sporting a red plaid shirt and tie-dyed patterned cap, brandishing a light bulb. A bassist, a guitarist and a drummer join Aucoin, an unusual sight for most DJs, but this makes for an unique show.

Throughout the entire show a projector screened comical Internet videos, mostly involving cats and people falling. Seemingly endless amounts of confetti erupted almost constantly during the show. Each time the confetti fell, a massive howl of approval roared from the crowd. Aucoin uses the videos to lead into and add to his tracks, and re-mixes.

The dubbed and looped images in synchronization with his synthesizer licks and flawless live drumming fit perfectly with the indie pop guitar riffs and heavy bass booms. Making this show a feast for the senses.

Crowd participation is integral to Aucoin’s shows, and the Barracks tent did not disappoint. Not often do you see more than 80 percent of the crowd singing the lyrics in unison. Many times he would ask the crowd to repeat after him, screaming such sayings as “we are not dead yet, we are undead,” “four more years,” and “in times like this I want to be a believer.”

Adam Howe is a security guard who loves working festivals and got to work the Aucoin.

“Out of all the shows I have worked at the Harvest Jazz and Blues, Aucoin’s is the most rowdy,” Howe said. “I would like to see a barrier set up between the artists and the crowd, so that we don’t have people grabbing at the musicians.”

Hanging from the stage lighting like Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, Aucoin brought out a circus sized, multi-colored parachute which he threw over the crowd.

The show’s end came with a bang of confetti and blacked-out lights. The only thing to be seen in the tent was link where you can to all of Aucoin’s music for free.

This is Aucoins third year playing at the festival. He said this year was his favourite Harvest because he was able to soak in some shows and enjoyed some local talent.

For the pop music fan of any age Rich Aucoin is an unforgettable experience.

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