Rob Edney holds up a framed photograph from just over a decade ago, himself in a natural pose from the time — wearing an original-style Vancouver Canucks jersey and holding a microphone on-stage at Mel Lastman Square in Toronto.
Edney’s son, Sascha, is also in the photo, and is also in a natural pose from the time — asleep in his Dad’s arms. Edney relates the tale of how his band was performing in front of hundreds of people, and Sascha suddenly became frightened from his backstage vantage point. He toddled into the spotlight to his daddy, and Edney carried on with the final three songs of the set, cuddling his young son in one arm and the microphone in the other.
Neither one of the Edneys, it seems, has ever been shy of the stage. And, over the next couple of weekends, they’ll prove that point with an exclamation point by performing a number of concerts in a number of different venues in St. Marys and beyond — each with their own band.
The group for which Sascha, now age 12, is the bassist, has its origins in Rob’s downtown St. Marys business, The World’s Coolest Music Store. Called Fortress 13, the band also includes drummer/vocalist Jake Bieber and guitarists Jared Bieber and Thor Lovering.
Until the band formed, Sascha’s love for the stage had been manifested mostly in theatre, through his involvement with the Original Kids troupe in London — with which continues to play prominent roles. But when the Fortress 13 first started to form, and there was no one to play bass, Sascha stepped into the brink.
Having spent so much time in the music store while his dad had been giving lessons, he had naturally picked up some musical skills to go along with his theatrical flair.
Last September, Fortress 13 won the Thorndale Fair edition of the Rise to Fame talent contest, securing a spot in the Western Fair championship event in London this coming September. In preparation, the young band has a number of performance dates booked over the summer, beginning with this weekend during the annual Stonetown Heritage Festival.
Sascha, Lovering, and the Bieber brothers will play a 45-minute set starting at 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 13, as part of the Festival’s daytime downtown music stage.
“Some of our favourite songs to play are Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana, You Might Think by the Cars, and Song Two by Blur,” reports Sascha.
Then next weekend, Saturday, July 20, they’re booked to provide pre-cinema entertainment at the Rotary Club of St. Marys’ first-ever “Movie in the Park” at Milt Dunnell Field. Admission is free, with the music starting at 8 p.m. and the film — “The Goonies” beginning after Fortress 13’s set.
(Note: There was an error in last week’s Journal Argus article about the event. The article listed the wrong movie title.)
Rob Edney, meanwhile, will be travelling a little further afield over those same two Saturdays, to perform with his long-running rock band, Tara Tuma.
On July 13, the Edneys will pack up from Fortress 13’s downtown performance and drive to Newmarket for the Closing Ceremonies of the 2013 Special Olympics Ontario Summer Games, being hosted this year by the York Region Police. Tara Tuma will headline the Ceremonies, supported by aerialists from Zero Gravity Circus. The Special Olympics Ontario Summer Games are expected to draw over 900 athletes, coaches and families, as well as approximately 900 local volunteers.
“I’m very excited about the Special Olympics show,” Rob said. “It’s going to be an exciting, high-energy show.”
The following weekend, also in the Toronto area, Tara Tuma will perform at an anniversary party for Revive Magazine, a fashion and lifestyle publication.
Rob Edney notes that the band’s line-up has remained unchanged since that photo was taken, with his young son in his arms on the Mel Lastman Square stage.