Show Review: Veneer 

December, 2023

by Steph Kolodka

Disclaimer: For transparency’s sake – I know and love members of the band in the below-mentioned show at the Good Will on Dec 16/2023. All opinions expressed in this article are my own and contain potential bias.

On a mild mid-December day at the iconic Good Will Social Club, the local Winnipeg band Veneer played their tape release show for their album Drifting. Veneer is a female-led band that formed in 2017. It is led by Talula Schlegel on guitar and vocals, Sam Sarty on bass and vocals, and Claire Boning on drums and vocals. It was a late-to-start show, with Synthetic Friend opening for Veneer at 9:30 p.m. The energy at the venue that night at a seemingly sold-out show was palpable. Perhaps the knowledge of the impending closure of the Good Will elevated the mood for the night, but regardless of reason, the club was jam-packed, and the vibe was brimming with positivity and excitement.

This was one of the last shows before the Good Will Social Club shuttered its doors in early 2024 – a truly iconic venue that hosted many a show in Winnipeg’s flourishing music scene. They played their album release almost entirely from front to back, with Mira Kolodka playing supplemental guitar for songs “My Best,” “Small,” “Look,” “Back of Your Head,” and “Ingredients.” The album was released in the form of a tape, with colourful artwork done by Cato Cormier embellishing the front.

The venue was hopping – the crowd vocal and nostalgic for the venue that so many had attended for so many years. Under the flashing and colourful light show that bathed Veneer for the duration of their set, the crowd’s excitement and energy could be physically observed.

Veneer highlighted the B-side of their tape with tracks by their alter ego “Cavity.” It is a very fitting and clever name for their more grungy tracks that differ from the upbeat indie tunes that are on the A-side of their tape. The variation between the two sides of the tape was obvious and added an extra flair to the set.

Veneer overall played a wonderful and energetic set that engaged the whole audience, which was obvious by the smiles and cheers all around. It was, for me at least, a show at the end of the Good Will’s career and an album release that I will personally never forget, and I can imagine others in the crowd that night felt the same.

Pictured above from left to right: Mira Kolodka on supplemental guitar, Talula Schlegel on guitar, Claire Boning on percussion, and Sam Sarty on bass.

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