With Jacob Moon preparing to celebrate 20 years as a professional musician it seemed only right that I should be there, in town, to help in any way I could. Jacob was gracious as always and during the next five days after my arrival he allowed me to be a part of some very special events leading up to the concert in Hamilton on April 17th.
I arrived in late afternoon Monday in the pouring rain at Pearson Airport (YYZ of course!) and drove down to Hamilton. Soon after checking in to the hotel the sun came out and I decided to explore the area a bit. Hamilton is composed of many different neighborhoods and I explored the “old town” sections around Locke Street on this first night. Back at the hotel, now it’s 10 PM, and I receive a call from Jacob to head out to deliver some tickets for the show. This is not unusual for Jacob as an independent musician he has to be working any hour of any day to keep his fans satisfied and bring people to the gigs which are at the heart of his professional life.
The Staircase Theatre – site of the famous rooftop video of ‘Subdivisions’ by Jacob Moon. Photo by Steve Thornton.
After dropping off the tickets we head to a local joint on Locke Street for a bite and a talk. This is one of my favorite parts of the whole week as I get some time alone with Jacob to discuss what is going on in his life and what his thoughts are on his music and the future of where he wants to be. Being an independent musician and being your whole “crew” to keep the business going is a daunting task and can at times be discouraging, but Jacob is looking forward to new things and new music. Twenty years is a significant milestone where you can look back in retrospect and nostalgia at what has happened, and Jacob will spend some time this week doing that, but he really is focused on what’s next and how he can bring his music to even more fans.
Jacob Moon and Tom Houge (The Spec online). Photo by Steve Thornton.
Tuesday night Jacob has an interview with Tom Houge of The Hamilton Spectator, who also served as the emcee for the Hamilton concert, and Jacob asked me to come along and help videotape the evening for eventual release as a series of podcasts. It was great to be there as these two gentlemen discussed Jacob’s career so far and had a very open talk about the influences and approaches that Jacob takes in his music. Look for this series of podcasts from Jacob in the near future and check The Spec online as they may be running some more articles from this interview.
Wednesday brought two exciting events – the publication of The View article, featuring Jacob on the cover, that I spoke about earlier on the blog and the full band rehearsal for the Friday concert in Hamilton. I was honored to be asked again by Jacob to film the rehearsal as a memento and a record of the night. So, here I am for three hours on that Wednesday getting an early preview of the upcoming concert and watching as Jacob and the band, plus Lisa Winn, prepare for the show. Jacob has been working with these musicians for some time now as the Jacob Moon Band and has worked with Lisa for many years on various albums and live in concert; so he has an assured style of interaction and direction as he works the band through the set list and focuses on the music but also the production of how the music will be presented and enhanced for this special night.
Corey Lacey and Beatdown Brown at rehearsal. Photo by Steve Thornton.
Jake Payne, Rich Moore, and Jacob Moon at rehearsal. Photo by Steve Thornton.
A funny story of how focused we can become and miss a simple solution to a problem. Jacob was discussing how to get on stage for the opening song, ‘The Great Beyond’, where Jacob wants to come out on stage singing the first few lines of the song while the band plays on stage and Jacob is trying to figure out how long his cable needs to be to allow him to carry his guitar out on stage. A bunch of ideas are discussed and theories made and then Beatdowm Brown, the drummer, says to just leave it plugged in on stage and pick it up after you get there. Mystery solved! Thanks Beatdown!! Another of the many special parts of the night for me is when the full band plays ‘Subdivisions’ and seeing Jacob’s smile as they play and at the end his excitement at having played this song for the first time with a full band live after eight years of playing it solo. He is jazzed and ready for the show!
The Jacob Moon Band (Jake Payne, Corey Lacey, Jacob Moon, Rich Moore, and Rob “Beatdown” Brown) with Lisa Winn. Photo by Steve Thornton.
The big day arrives, Friday April 17th, and in spite of all the preparation and planning there is still much to do. As some things really can’t be done until you get to the event and set things up as they will happen that night. I won’t go into all the details here, but rest assured it is like every other event – things happen to put the schedule off and keep everyone hopping right up until the curtain falls. Some of the highlights include the VIP reception before the concert where Fan.si Silver, Gold, and Platinum members get early access to Jacob back stage and help celebrate his 20 years in music with a special Larivee shaped guitar cake and swag bags of items exclusive to the event that night (Moon Con 2015). The cake was really delicious too from all accounts (Courtesy of Sonia’s Piece of Cake in Hamilton).
Jacob Moon 20 Years cake at the VIP reception. Photo by Steve Thornton.
Jacob Moon and producer Glen Marshall. Photo by Steve Thornton.
Jacob Moon and Tom Houge, emcee (The Spec online). Photo by Steve Thornton.
At 8 PM the time has arrived for the big retrospective show looking back over 20 years and introducing a brand new song as Jacob continues to look toward the future in his music. The venue at Hamilton Place is packed with folks that have supported Jacob during his whole career and they eagerly wait for the show to begin. After Tom introduces Jacob and highlights his years in music, Jacob comes out on stage (without a guitar, see above) and this special night kicks off in grand fashion.
Hamilton Place both Anniversary Set List
The Great Beyond
Back To You
Among The Thieves
There’s A Place
Live A Little
Love of Mine (new song debut)
Memory of the Dark
Jingles from Jacob’s past – Federal Deerborne Credit Union; Postal Heating & Cooling; and Barbi’s Sleep Over CD featuring Jacob’s cover of One Direction’s ‘Chasing the Sun’
Is That All You Got
Not Gonna Lose Your Love
Ribbon of Darkness (Gordon Lightfoot)
African Skies (Paul Simon)
Just Like You
Encore – In Your Eyes (Peter Gabriel)
Jacob Moon 20th Anniversary Concert April 17th Hamilton Place. Photo by Steve Thornton.
Jacob Moon, Lisa Winn, and Shawna Hart on stage. Photo by Steve Thornton.
Following the show Jacob spends more time with the fans out by the merch table and thanks everyone for their many years of support. And what would an important career milestone be without some memento of the event to hang on the wall. On behalf of all of Jacob’s fans this site presented Jacob with a 20 Years plaque to honor him for sharing his music with us all for these many years. Thank you Jacob! Let’s do it again before 20 more years have passed.
Jacob Moon and Steve Thornton (fan site admin) with the 20 Year Anniversary plaque awarded to Jacob after the Hamilton show. Photo courtesy of Andy Wright Studios (www.andywrightstudios.com)