Entertainment Features

Spend a Rockin' Poppin' New Year's With Mel Monaco

Spend a Rockin' Poppin' New Year's With Mel Monaco

By David DeRocco                            dave@gobeweekly.com  https://twitter.com/?lang=en 

There was a time when Prince wanted us all to party like it was 1999. Niagara’s Mel Monaco would be happier if we all partied like it was 2019.

That was the year before COVID-19 arrived to suck the life out of big celebrations like New Year’s Eve. But now that the pandemic is mostly behind us, the sultry and talented chanteuse is inviting everyone ready to party to her end of year Rockin’ Poppin’ New Year’s Eve With Mel Monaco and Friends at FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.

“To do something like this on New Year’s Eve is a dream come true for me,” said Monaco, who has released five well-received albums of original jazz, soul, and R&B flavoured material over the past decade. “I’ve wanted to put on my own show there for years. When I walked in there and approached them it seemed so out of the stratosphere. I didn’t know how I was going to make it happen, but I presented what I wanted to do and they liked it. This is the perfect year for a test run!”

The Rockin’ Poppin’ New Year’s Eve ticket includes a headline performance by Monaco and her band complete with a brass section, along with two opening acts – comedian David Green, and hypnotist/magician Danny Zzzz. According to Monaco, the event offers a complete package of entertainment value.

“You’re getting food, you’re getting a drink ticket, the 2023 Mel Monaco calendar. You’re going to have laughs, you’ll be amazed, and you’re going to be entertained, and you’ll be helping a local charity. You get dinner, a comedian, a magician, then I come out and crush it with a band. It’s going to be a great night.”

Traditionally, New Year’s Eve parties would be expected to run past midnight. The Rockin’ Poppin’ New Year’s Eve with Mel Monaco runs from 6:00 until 10:00pm, which Monaco said is the perfect timing for an event of this nature.

“I know my crowd. The pandemic changed things. Most people don’t like to be out late anymore. It’s not a thing any more. Most gigs that used to be 9:00 to 12:00 are now 7:00 till 10:00. The show has everything you need out of your New Year’s celebration. Then you can go home, and ring in the New Year with your kids and family. If you still want to go out and party, you can leave at 10 and walk down the street.”

The concert provides Monaco with a perfect opportunity to showcase the album she released during the pandemic, 2021’s Better Not Bitter, along with some of the recently recorded R&B covers such as “Let’s Stay Together” and “Just The Two of Us.” With 10 years of originals in her catalogue, there’s a lot of music to choose from which according to Monaco is a good problem to have.

“It’s a rockin’ poppin’ New Year’s Eve, so we’re totally cherry picking. You’ll be moving and grooving. You can get up and dance. It will be completely curated to those who want to feel the love of the music pouring out from the stage. I really want to show people what we can do in this space.”

Given the fact the early stages of the pandemic had Monaco questioning her desire to continue making music, the Rockin’ Poppin’ New Year’s Eve will be a reaffirmation of the singer’s passion for her art.

“At the beginning of the pandemic, I honestly thought that was it. I thought I lost it, that it was over, it’s gone. But for me, making music is a part of me. Quitting would be the equivalent of not drinking water. It’s a vital life source. It’s how I make sense of things. I love to write. I love to play and perform. I had the existential crisis that it was over. But it can never be gone. It’s like a scar or a birth mark.”

The Rockin’ Poppin’ New Year’s Eve with Mel Monaco and Friends starts with cocktails at 6:00pm. Performances start at 7:00pm. Get your tickets at https://firstontariopac.ca/.


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