Sharon and Bram TD Fort York Stage, Toronto ON, June 6
Published Jun 07, 2015When bookers for Field Trip decided to give Canadian children's music legends Sharon and Bram a shorter set on the kids stage and a longer one on one of the "adult" stages, they clearly knew what they were doing — though the main set brought out grownups with their children, it also brought out scores of adults without kids, visibly excited to be revisiting some of the major songs and voices of their childhoods. For their first set after the passing of their longtime bandmate Lois Lilienstein, Sharon & Bram delivered a celebration of music and laughter.
Though it took a few songs to warm everyone up, Sharon & Bram got nearly the entire crowd moving, shaking, and singing along to classics like "She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain" and originals including the beatnik-esque "Chugga-Chugga." Sharon & Bram were masterful at getting everyone to participate with friendly banter, simple instruction and heaps of charisma; by the end, those who were too cool to be singing and dancing along were few and far between. And though they stuck out on a bill amongst their younger festival-mates, they kept up by inviting Broken Social Scene frontman Kevin Drew to the stage for a great rendition of "Peanut Butter." "Peanut Butter" also highlighted the duo's three-piece backing band who, beyond the buoyant, kid-friendly lyrics, were playing a serious jazz groove, and perfected the instrumentals every time.
The end of the set — a medley of original "Side by Side" and the iconic "Skinnamarink" — was dedicated to Lilienstein, and poignantly emphasized that, though life isn't forever, the spirit of childhood can last as long as you want.