The Deep Dark Woods

Big River SK, July 19

The Deep Dark WoodsBig River SK, July 19
On paper, a Deep Dark Woods show at the Ness Creek Music Festival sounds like the ideal Saskatchewan music experience. In reality, it's a bit different: despite having a picturesque boreal forest setting as their backdrop, the Saskatoon five-piece's rich melodies and lead singer Ryan Boldt's gravely rumble struggled to compete with a crowd that wanted to wave glow sticks and crowd-surf like it was 1996.

Which is not to say the Deep Dark Woods put on a bad show. That's probably impossible: the band's nothing if not solid, and from the opening strains of Jubilee standout "18th of December" to a Hammond organ-laden 12-minute jam on older track "Mary's Gone" — a jam as sonically expansive as the province they call home — the Woods gave those who worked to pay rapt attention a rewarding hour. Still, with the stars out and the Saskatchewan air crisp and cold, it's tempting to imagine what could have been.
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