Freeze Frame gives concertgoers a blast from the past this Thursday (July 21) at Willows Park from 6 to 8 p.m., returning for the first time since performing there at the Oak Bay Tea Party in 2019.
Comprised of drummer and sound effects specialist Paul McLellan, wife and lead vocalist Lisa McLellan, lead guitarist Steve Moyer and bassist Steve Hansen, Freeze Frame fuses great friendship with timeless hits from the ’70s, ’80s and beyond.
“The focus is about fun,” Lisa said. “We want to play music that makes people want to dance.”
The group, assembled in 2017 by previous members of The Waybacks, brings a fluorescent “checkerboard” aesthetic to the stage and flaunts its own stage technician and vintage car restorer, “Dave the soundman.”
While The Waybacks favoured more theatrical performances with routine wardrobe changes, the McLellans and their friends wanted a band that felt slightly more genuine and required just one outfit per show.
“We were looking for an act with less work,” Paul explained. “That’s kind of how it morphed into Freeze Frame.”
The goal of their group, Lisa said, is connecting fellow Victorians with classic tunes from a range of decades, whether ’70s disco or Lady Gaga bangers from the 2000s. “It’s definitely ’80s focused. So I guess we say ’80s and beyond.”
In her classroom as a teacher in Sooke, she asks students to predict which songs, old or new, will become the next trends. Her pupils are usually spot-on with their guesses, never failing to amaze her with how much more music savvy youth are today. Lisa uses their foresight to help compile the band’s next set list.
Freeze Frame prides itself on how it interacts with its crowd, handing out prizes to random audience members for their dance moves and blasting shirts into the abyss – “I’m wicked at the shirt cannon,” Lisa said when asked whether she plays any instruments.
She expressed how nice it feels to have a gig in front of a live, in-person audience lined up.
Added Paul: “We find the crowds (at Willows Park) are really receptive and not hard to win over.”
He noted it comes down to more than just the music and public performances for them.
“We’re not just musicians working together. We’re all really good friends.”
With Freeze Frame’s members living in close proximity, Paul and Lisa host regular rehearsals and jam sessions at their home and use an in-ear monitor system and electric drums to avoid disturbing others.
As Lisa put it, “We love technology and we like our neighbours.”
In the past, Hansen performed with golden oldie rock ‘n’ roll band Rukus, while Paul, who currently balances drumming for the Soul Shakers, played for country group Garry Lee and the Showdown, who recorded the 1980 triple-platinum, Juno-nominated hit “The Rodeo Song.”
Freeze Frame most recently performed at Elk/Beaver Lake for the Saanich Strawberry Festival.
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