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February is for (Music) Lovers

February is the month of lovers, and music lovers can feel extra special as a new venue finally opens its doors in downtown Oshawa. BOND|ST, located at 44 Bond St., celebrates its grand opening on Saturday, February 3, with hard rockers The Flatliners and special guest Cam Kahin. 

BOND|ST features an 1100-capacity two-story main room with a Mezzanine on three sides, a 400-capacity room in the basement named TwoTwoTwo (for those of a certain age, it was once the legendary all-ages venue, The Dungeon), as well as a music lounge and cafe on the main floor on either side of the entrance, and on the second floor, a restaurant. It's an all-in-one event complex, artfully designed with all the modern finishes one can expect.

The opening of BOND|ST brings the number of large music venues all within strolling distance of each other to five. The others are The Atria, The Biltmore Theatre, the Regent Theatre, and the Tribute Communities Centre, making Oshawa the live music epicentre of the East GTHA. Add in other places which host live music, such as Cork and Bean, Brew Wizards Board Game Cafe, and the smaller bars, the General and the Stag’s Head, and there is the potential to have almost 10,000 music lovers in the downtown core at the same time. That’s a live music festival any night of the week. Music lovers have many great reasons to book an overnight stay or two at the Holiday Inn Express or La Quinta, both of them right next door to these venues.

Also, this Saturday, 80s Cancon synth-rockers Saga are on the loose at the Regent Theatre. The following Sunday, the Regent has a Back to the 80s tribute band covering all the big hair hits of that dayglo decade.

Wednesday, February 7, raucous alt-country outfit Elliott Brood starts their Canadian tour at the Biltmore Theatre. The Windsor, Ontario, trio has many friends and fans in Oshawa, so this should be a fun gathering. Opening is one of Canada’s finest singer/songwriters, Jerry Leger. His latest album ‘Donlands’ is getting great reviews. 

Friday, February 9, at the Regent Theatre, there is a tribute to the music of renowned composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, ‘Till I Hear You Sing’ and on Sunday, February 11, an early opportunity to rev up the Valentine's Day romance with the sounds of the Jersey Nights tribute to Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.

Friday, February 16, again at the Regent Theatre, a tribute to the G.O.A.T, Neil Diamond, with Will Chalmers and his Solitary Man show. Across the road, Vancouver alternative rockers Hotel Mira check in at the Biltmore Theatre.

Saturday, February 17, will feature a celebration of Emo music at the Biltmore Theatre with four top-notch bands: Contour, Conversation, Far From Infamy, and Slow Drain.  At the Regent Theatre, there is a tribute to the music of the musical Grease, along with other hits from the 50s. 

Sunday, February 18, Nova Scotia legend Joel Plaskett plays at the Biltmore Theatre. Plaskett is one of the best songwriters of the past 30 years and has been working away in his New Scotland studio and shop, producing and recording his own albums as well as the albums of other great artists like Shotgun Jimmie, Peter Elkas, and Mo Kenny. Skye Wallace opens, and she’s pretty rad as well.

On Tuesday, February 20, there’s a really great show at the Tribute Communities Centre. It's such an amazing lineup with yet another one of the best modern singers/songwriters, the Juno-winning City and Colour, aka Dallas Green. Also on the bill is the soulful Americana of Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, he of the mega-hit S.O.B., and Ruby Waters, who has previously toured with City and Colour. 

Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats
Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats

And no, we are not done yet because Saturday, February 24, Country star Brett Kissel brings his Compass Tour to the Biltmore Theatre. Then, on Sunday, February 25, at the Biltmore Theatre, there are two Candlelight shows, a matinee and an early evening show; one is a tribute to Queen, and the other is a tribute to Coldplay.

And there’s more, yes, even more! The influential Montreal-based indie collective Godspeed You Black Emperor brings their post-rock sonic explorations to the Biltmore Theatre on Tuesday, February 27, and the following night, Canadian rockers The Trews close out the month at the Biltmore Theatre on Wednesday, February 28. Thankfully, this is a leap year; you are going to need that extra day to recover. 

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