The good, the bad, and the critic

Review: After The Show

Romi Mayes is one of Winnipeg’s most colourful and enjoyable homegrown rockers.

Mayes has been rock ’n’ rollin’ for the last decade. In 2011 she joined long-time friend Jay Nowicki (The Perpetrators) to write, record, and perform a live original duo album.

Directed by Steven K. Johnson, After the Show documents Mayes and her band’s trials, tribulations, triumphs and general lives.

The camera seems to follow the charismatic singer everywhere, from airports to backstage rehearsals to a live performance at the West End Cultural Centre. There are many talking head interviews in which Mayes reveals both the difficulties and the rewards of being a single mother on the road. She is a great role model who perseveres despite circumstance often not being on her side.

After the Show dissects not only the life of one creative artist, but the lives of many. It’s a tribute to all independent artists who must sacrifice their time, effort and relationships in order to rock. For non-musicians, it’s difficult to fathom how rough the road life can be, but this film gets it down perfectly.

Too many rockumentaries make their subject pathetic by glorifying their excess of pills and booze, so it’s refreshing to witness an artist who comes off as truthful and free without succumbing to the “live fast, die young” motto. Though Mayes doesn’t have widespread international fame, the picture measures her success via her commitment to her art form.

Rating: 4/5