Rockin’ The Square with Moist and Paper Ladies: August 2019

The August tradition of Rockin’ The Square continued this past Friday with a free concert by the alternative rock band Moist with local Kingston band Paper Ladies opening for the legendary Kingston group. The bleachers were out, lawn chairs were occupied and the standing-room-only pit at the stage was filled with Kingston residents ready to rock out in celebration of Moist’s 25th anniversary of their debut album Silver.

Crowds had gathered by 7:30 p.m. in the square and people started milling about waiting for the show to begin. Promptly at 8:00 p.m. Paper Ladies took the stage and spent the next half hour entertaining the crowd. Thomas Draper and Joe Kenny warmed up the crowd with their retinue of rock, getting the audience ready for Moist.

While the crowd waited after Paper Ladies exited the stage, we were all cheerfully reminded from our host K-Rock 105.7 that if we wanted to use the bathroom, now was the time. Hardly any concert goers left the pit, in fact they pushed closer to the stage.

Right at 9:00 p.m. Moist hit the stage, the energy in the square grew with the band rocking out to the hits of their landmark album Silver and from their catalogue with songs like Push, Mechanical, Silver, Believe, Machine Punch Through, Resurrection, Tangerine, Black Black Heart, Gasoline, Underground, and Breathe. The group even augmented their incredible set with covers of Billie Jean and Sweet Dreams. Lead singer David Usher spoke about how this was the 25th anniversary of their album Silver and that twenty-five years ago the band was playing in the Toucan, and now they were rocking out in Springer Market Square.

Standing at the front of the stage, Rockin’ The Square offers guests that chance to be as close as they want to the musical acts in a free venue. Unlike the large concerts at ten thousand seat stadiums, fans of the hometown band Moist, were able to be a part of the show.

Throughout the crowd one could see a variety of ages amongst the faces. From older to young, with even kids rocking out with their parents. David Usher even commented on the young faces he saw amongst the spectators and joked about holding back swear words in his dialogue. This homecoming for Moist was twenty-five years in the making. Their roots in Kingston established a connection that was strong amongst the band and brought success. Last night that connection was obvious as the group from lead singer, keyboardist, guitars, and drums all had fun playing to the crowd. From the crowd to the stage, everyone was having fun.

Now that the 2019 Rockin’ the Square is over, I am wondering who the City of Kingston will get to fill Springer Market Square next August. My hope is that they have another popular Canadian band and a local band like Paper Ladies to open the show. It was the perfect night to welcome the August long weekend, let’s continue the tradition.

Bill Gowsell

Bill has been an elementary school teacher for the last 12 years. His passion for writing includes a wide variety of interests, from history, food, pop culture, and anything to do with Disney. Recently he published his second book, Extra Magic Days: Thirty Years of Walt Disney World Vacations. Learn more about Bill...

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