Sunday night was a night of soul, passion, and heartbreak at the Corona Theatre on Notre-Dame Street in Little Burgundy. The UK’s Jake Bugg was the headliner of the night, and Canadian musician Kandle opened for him. Both are heavy musicians with big hearts and a lot of soul. Kandle, 23, sang folk and country-esque songs with a duet partner. The two played guitar together and harmonized.
The Corona theatre has that classically grand feeling, with a deep history of entertainment. Elegant murals cover the walls, and it smells musty and damp—but almost in a comforting way. A young woman sitting in front of me on the balcony leaned over to her friend and said “It feels like we’re in a church.” The crowd was diverse —young couples, parents with their children, and sets of dudes with Jake Bugg t-shirts from his previous tours sat drinking beer.
When Bugg finally came on after a long intermission, the audience roared and screamed out his name while he thanked them profusely. Bugg wore a Beatles-like outfit, dressed in black from head to toe. He’s a dreamboat, but he’s also a very humble and giving musician. His range is diverse, with inspirations from folk greats like Neil Young and Bob Dylan. Bugg’s songs go from sleepy love songs about heartbreak and bad decisions, to stronger and more intense songs about the roughest parts of the human experience.
The crowd loved him. Bugg was gracious with his audience, giving them witty back and forth banter. There were moments of quiet beauty, with Bugg standing on an old Persian carpet, alone on stage with his gin and tonic and guitar. The blue lights shone down on him, making the theatre feel spacious but also warm and alive. “You write a song about your terrible town and then that song takes you around the world,” Bugg said before he sang Trouble Town. Bugg is an incredible guitarist—some of his finger work is out of this world. After giving an incredible performance, Bugg signed off to a standing ovation from the crowd. You can see why his fans are so loyal. When a musician is this gracious and thankful, you can’t help but love them.
WATCH “Trouble Town” BY Jake Bugg: