It's a very big week for Dear Rouge.
First up, the band is involved in tonight's big-money Peak Performance Project band contest finale at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver. Win or lose, the married duo of Danielle and Drew McTaggart, plus backing musicians, take home at least $50,000 for cracking the contest's top three (along with Jordan Klassen and Dominique Fricot).
"We're still in shock and definitely feel fortunate and humble about being there at all," singer Danielle McTaggart told the Now.
Then, on Saturday afternoon, Dear Rouge hits the stage as part of Surrey's annual Tree-Lighting Festival, a day-long event (see sidebar).
It's been a whirlwind couple of years for the McTaggarts since they formed Dear Rouge. Their brand of textured guitar pop wasn't well known locally until the Peak contest call was made for 2012.
"We were kind of shocked even making it into the contest," Danielle said, "because we were so new to it all as Dear Rouge. Nobody knew about us and we had nothing going into it, but we really bought into the whole process and worked really, really hard at it. We just went for it."
The band name is a play on Red Deer, the Alberta town where Danielle grew up.
These days, the McTaggarts live in Vancouver and both commute to jobs in South Surrey - Danielle in PR at Cactus Club's South Point restaurant and Drew in sales for a newspaper. They married in June 2011.
In particular, Drew is thrilled to play at the Commodore.
"He's from here, so it's one of his dreams to play on the stage where so many of his favourite bands have played," Danielle said. "It's just really cool to be able to play there."
Among the band's recent videos is for the song "You Step Out of Nowhere," a song about the roller coaster of love. Appropriately, the band rode the roller coaster at the PNE to film the clip.
"I rode the thing nine times, and that was the seventh take, I think," Danielle said. "We had a normal camera at first, which was pretty foolish of us because it's too shaky and horrible, and then we bought a GoPro (camera) and it worked out.. I learned the twists and turns of the roller coaster, all the bumps and when to brace myself. And it worked out with the timing of the full ride, from song start to finish, because we sped the song up a little and I sang to it like that."
Another married couple - singer Martina Sorbara and bassist Dan Kurtz - form the nucleus of Dragonette, the headliner at Saturday's Tree-Lighting Festival in Surrey. The Ontario-based band is best known for the infectious dance-pop hit "Hello." Dragonette hits the stage at 7 p.m. Saturday, after the big tree is lit at Central City plaza.
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