Paint Concert Review May 28, 2011 at The Rainbow, Ottawa and Reflection Piece on Guitarist Mandy Dunbar by Becky Westgarth for Operation Stay Home

Paint: A Rock & Roll Band

by Becky Wesgarth
May 30, 2010

It's a pretty amazing thing to watch someone live her dream.

My university roommate, Mandy, is an amazing person to begin with. We hit it off on Day 1, wiping away tears after saying goodbye to our loved ones and hello to each other. She was a guitarist majoring in math, I was a French major dabbling in singing... Mandy and I performed in pretty much every coffee house we could... Once a year, we have a cottage weekend at our friend Meagan's, and this past year, Mandy brought out her guitar and played us a songthat she wrote. She also let us know that she had plans to audition for a band. There are a lot of people who say they want to be rock stars when they grow up, but Mandy was serious. And this fall, she joined indie rock band Paint.

The band is composed of several really excellent musicians: Robb is on lead vocals and guitar, Mandy rocks out on rhythm guitar and backing vocals, Marcus mans the bass, and Chris kills the drums. We caught their live show downtown on Friday night at a local club, and it was pretty unbelievable. You know when you go see a band for the first time, and maybe you only know one or two songs of theirs, and you're counting down to those songs? This was not remotely like that. They brought incredible energy to the stage, fun banter, and an engaging radio-friendly sound. It kind of makes you wonder that when there is so much out there that's contrived, how a band with such genuine talent can be relatively unknown. Mind you, that's changing pretty quickly: in the few months since their latest incarnation, they won a fan favourite contest from 102.1 The Edge in Toronto, and just wrapped up a two-month tour of Ontario and Quebec.

Watching Mandy onstage was obviously a huge source of pride for me. She's an introvert like me, but at the same time she looked completely natural rocking out onstage with her bandmates, and even engaging the audience between songs. I wondered what Paint had been like without her!

The original text of this article can be found on Operation Stay Home.