Friday night during Art Crawl, they'll be belting it out from Dr. Disc's roof one last time before winter comes.
It's the last edition of the “Raise the Roof,” concert series hosted by owner Mark Furukawa — closing things out with a bang despite some forecasted chilly weather.
Furukawa has hosted rooftop concerts at his store through the years, but started the series in earnest last year to celebrate his twentieth anniversary selling music downtown.
And he's been doing it at Art Crawl each month through the summer ever since. “We're big champions of local music around here,” Furukawa said.
“Because it's Art Crawl, it's not necessarily the demographics that would normally see these bands. That exposure is exactly what we want.”
The shows themselves are free, but Furukawa spends about $1,000 on each one between permits, staff, sound and store credit for the bands that play.
“I'd say about 300 people were there watching,” he said. “And the crowd was just loving it.”
'When there's no more love, that's when I close the doors. But there's no shortage of love in Hamilton'—Mark Furukawa
And his favourite memory? That would be when hip-hop act Canadian Winter played “Paupers and Royalty,” a track that carries a triumphant refrain, spelling out Hamilton letter by letter.
“It had that hometown feel and really meant something to them,” Furukawa said. “It really showcased local hip-hop."
Maggie Szabo, frontwoman for All About Maggie, had nothing but good things to say about Furukawa.
“He's passionate about music,” Szabo said. “He's managed to maintain such a cool reputation for that store.”
Szabo is from Dundas, and plays pop music unapologetically. She says she's always trying to tell a story through her music, and stay close to her roots.
“My music a bit more organic than the hardcore tech stuff that's on the radio now,” she said.
Szabo got her start singing at parties at the Dundas Golf and Curling Club. She moved on to singing the national anthem at Ti-Cats and Blue Jays games before heading to Nashville to hone her songwriting skills.
She lived in Nashville for a year and a half, but Hamilton's music scene drew her back, she says.
“There's a passion here for music and for art in general,” she said. “People that aren't from around here don't notice it as much.”
Furukawa agreed, adding he plans to keep this concert series going each summer for as long as he can.
“When there's no more love, that's when I close the doors. But there's no shortage of love in Hamilton.”
You can catch music on the roof of Dr. Disc at 20 Wilson St. starting at 7 p.m. Friday.