The Île Saint-Joseph festival takes place on Friday and Saturday
After playing in Sault Ste. Marie at Loplops in 2019, Toronto rock band Goodnight Sunrise are looking forward to making a comeback to the region with an appearance at the Go North Music Festival this weekend.
Go North will be held at Richards Landing Centennial Grounds on St. Joseph’s Island, beginning Friday evening and continuing Saturday afternoon and evening.
“We’re so excited to be back,” said Goodnight Sunrise’s Vanessa Vakharia (keytar, vocals).
Goodnight Sunrise is a five-piece band consisting of Vakharia and David Kochberg (guitar, vocals) as the core with a changing lineup of back-up musicians.
The band formed in 2011.
“I’ve always wanted to be in a band,” Vakharia told SooToday on Tuesday, discussing his previous attempts to break into the music scene.
“When I was in high school, I was determined to be a rock star. I tried for canadian idol and literally got kicked off stage after two minutes of singing I will never break your heart by the Backstreet Boys. I got kicked out of my high school choir. At the beginning of our career in the band, I was told that I was the worst singer in the whole world, so we really lived through that.
Far from being bitter though, Vakharia said all this criticism had sharpened his own resolve and that of his teammate Kochberg to persevere.
“We were so determined. We met in 2011 and started this band and decided to go.
The band went on hiatus in 2018 when they were asked to open for Bon Jovi at the Air Canada Centre.
“It validated the effort we put in, in such a crazy industry. So many people are told to give up on their dreams so often, and we stick to it,” Vakharia said.
“I would describe us as high energy rock and roll. There are jagged guitar riffs, really catchy vocals and all of our music is about perseverance. It’s a question of courage, it’s a question of positivity, it’s a question of belonging.
“Music for us has been really cathartic, especially during the pandemic, a way of persevering and releasing our emotions, but it’s also our way of connecting. People feel so disconnected. We’re so divided in so many ways. respects, but when we put on a show or release a song, it’s an invitation for everyone to come together… it’s an invitation for everyone to come together for this moment and remember that we’re all more alike that we are different.”
Goodnight Sunrise has toured Canada, the United States and Europe.
“It is our greatest joy and our greatest honor to be able to take our music all over the world,” said Vakharia.
The band performed as part of Tallin Music Week in Estonia in May.
“We got there and we were actually playing on the Russian border. We were playing in unity with Ukraine and we were standing on one side of the river and on the other side of the river you could see Russia. There was a giant fortress there and we were singing a Neil Young cover Rockin’ in the free world.
It was an unforgettable moment, Vakharia said.
“That’s the power of music, to bring hope in times of crisis. When you don’t know what else to do, at least you can sing. Everyone was singing with us. It makes you feel like there’s something you can do and something you need to share with the world.
“We’ve heard ‘no’ a thousand times. For young musicians I would say our new song wait for it is about all the people who told us to give up on our dreams, that we should just move on and not quit our day jobs because the line says ‘I’m still here because I’m not there yet, so just wait.’”
“That’s my advice to musicians. Just because you’re not there yet doesn’t mean you’ll never get there. Every no, every failure, every rejection brings you closer to the success you dream of,” Vakharia said.
The video for wait for it was released on Tuesday.
Goodnight Sunrise has released CDs, but Vakharian said all of his new material is available on any streaming service.
“I’ll stick with that for now so you can get the good juicy new stuff and the video will be up on YouTube.”
Goodnight Sunrise and its serious, determined yet light-hearted spirit seem fitting to be part of the 2022 Go North Music Festival lineup this weekend, as Sault and the region celebrate summer after the dark days of the pandemic.
The festival lineup includes Saturday night headliners, Juno Award-winning rock band Crown Lands.
Saturday’s lineup also includes singer-songwriter Charlotte Cornfield – portrayed by rolling stone under the name “Canada’s Best-Kept Secret”, Thunder Bay rock band The Honest Heart Collective, garage rock trio Royal Castles, rock band Taming Sari as well as local talents The Uncanny Valley and Cass FM.
The festival kicks off Friday with a special opening concert at Richards Landing Centennial Grounds featuring blues singer-songwriter Jay Pollmann.
Information about Go North – including tickets, concert lineup, concert times, vendors, a photo gallery and contact information – can be found on the event website. website.