Becoming Rock Stars Before Our Eyes

The highlight of my Rendezvous was the Friday night, in the tent at Shipyards Park. It was here that I was lucky enough to watch the band, Plaid, and dance crazily amongst their screaming fans.

“We got paid, so technically we’re professional musicians now,” says Bram Komaromi, one of Plaid’s guitarists. He laughs.

Although this was Plaid’s first paying gig, the last couple of months have been packed with practice, preparation and performances for Plaid.

Four Grade 12 boys, Bram Komaromi, Quinn Dennehy, Travis O’Neill, and David Dugas, from F.H. Collins Secondary School, were brought together by their mutual love of music and equally inspired by Led Zeppelin.

The name, “Plaid” was devised by Dennehy, the drummer. Out of a long list of possibilities, “Plaid” was agreed upon as their temporary title, but somehow it stuck.

The band got together about a year ago and, since then, they jam regularly in Dennehy’s basement. They practise anywhere between two to five times per week; anytime they can.

“We play blues and rock and some psychedelic … old 60s and hippie stuff,” says Dennehy.

Before Plaid had performed anywhere, it often invited friends to come watch its jam sessions in Dennehy’s basement. This contributed to the now loyal fans that consistently attend Plaid’s shows.

“There are a lot of chicks in the crowds at our gigs,” says Dennehy.

“We do have a good female following,” Komaromi agrees.

O’Neill smiles and nods, they all exchange smug glances, none of them are complaining.

For Plaid, it’s all about the reaction from their fans. The members feed off the energy from their audience.

At their very first gig, Battle of the Bands, the crowd’s reaction is what decided Plaid the winner. From this, Plaid received the opportunities of opening for Sam Roberts and performing at Frostbite.

Opening for Sam Roberts was a huge step for Plaid because it was only its second show and it was thrust under the spotlight in front of hundreds of people.

The members were all quite confident though as they had practised every single day for the week prior to the gig. They felt like they had gained stage presence from performing at Battle of the Bands.

By Frostbite, they were no longer just standing still and playing their instruments. Plaid was feeling the groove and it had everybody up on their feet dancing.

Plaid has many goals for the summer. The boys have already sent an application and demo to the organizers of the Dawson Music Festival and are waiting to hear back.

“We are hoping to get as many gigs as possible!” O’Neill says excitedly.

Plaid has really come together as a band and they understand the importance of each member. When they first got together, they were at all different levels, but now they are an even blend and they benefit from each other’s strengths.

They are focusing on writing more and learning more songs to expand their repertoire. They have recently booked time at a local recording studio to make their first CD.

Although they would love to have a guest player come jam with them, they would not accept a fifth member because they feel complete as it is.

“I’m the backbone. I keep the timing …” Dennehy says. “David and Bram are just the good-looking guitarists,” he jokes.

As I watch the members of Plaid laugh and joke with each other, I witness the close friendships and connectedness of their band. The music they play is enhanced by this loving atmosphere they’ve created.

I think this is what makes Plaid so unique.

PHOTO: RICK MASSIE [email protected]

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