Toronto band to Rock the Rink Saturday at CN Centre

The Rock the Rink show takes to the ice at CN Centre on Saturday.

The show features all-star figure skaters like Canadians Tessa Virtue, Scott Moir, Patrick Chan, Elvis Stojko and Kaetlyn Osmond.

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Bringing a strong live-music element is Toronto's alt-rock band Birds of Bellwoods who take to the stage to round out the entertainment.

The band includes musicians Stephen Joffe, lead vocals and mandolin; Adrian Morningstar, guitar and vocals; Chris Blades, banjo, guitar and vocals; and Kintaro Akiyama, upright bass and vocals. The band dropped their latest album Victoria late last year and just released their latest single Easy.

The Birds of Bellwoods will be the special opening act for Rock the Rink and their stage will be located in the middle of the ice rink.

Each member of the group has also been a professional actor at one time or another and so instead of taking the predicted routine looking for ways to steadily supplement their incomes the young men decided to go a whole other way.

"As an actor, you need a secondary source of income, and what better way to do it than to join the industry with the least potential of income in the world," Morningstar laughed. "I was interested in going into accounting or business or something like that and then all of a sudden I'm writing songs - what? Who thought this was a good idea?"

For Morningstar, he said he uses the training he received during his time at the National Theatre School because it wasn't so much that it informed him as an actor but as a human being.

"And when you are in training, you're not training to be an actor, you're just training to be a person, whoever that person might be on that day and whoever that script requires you to be," he said. "So the training definitely informs the live performance and writing and just working with four other individuals on a daily basis, running our music business. The time I had at the National Theatre School was tremendous for just learning how to be and exist and breathe and take it one step at a time."

During the performance the band will be on a stage in the middle of the rink - on ice. It's one of those unique circumstances in which preparing for it might not be an option.

"We're used to playing club shows or being at outdoor venues," Morningstar said.

Those stages are facing only one direction while during the Rock the Rink show the stage will be all access with the audience viewing the 360 degree stage.

"We will be on stage at centre ice playing to people all 360 degrees to people who are not right up at the stage either," Morningstar said. "Those people will all be in the stands. So that's going to be a really difficult thing to navigate because usually we can at least make eye contact with some of your audience where as this, we're just going to be playing in a bit of a fog."

Tickets are available at www.ticketsnorth.ca.

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