In a season just past where we were flooded with Christmas music, Wednesday, December 29 stood out, for this was a contemporary take on the seasonal favourites.
A month of gruelling practices and rehearsals came to a close as Sanctus Nocte kicked off to a literally awestruck audience. The show opened with an instrumental “Carol of the Bells” – a version unlike any other heard before- highlighting some wonderful coordination between the violins played by Thivanthi and Zainamb and James and Sajana on guitars. James’ fingers seemed to just fly up and down the fret board as he made complicated runs seem so easy. The rest of the set was followed by the four- chord bass “Christmas Canon Rock”, which was the first song of the night where vocalist Chrisantha accompanied by Selladore delivered a beautiful rendition.
After a quick costume change the boys were back on stage for the acoustic set. Chrisantha began by dedicating a moving version of “Mary did you know?” to his grandmother who had passed away just before the concert. Chrisantha was accompanied by Shamal Rajapakse. This was followed by “O Little Town of Bethlehem” and “So this is Christmas” by Shanelle Fernando. Many are familiar with the version done by Celine Dion, but Shanelle had definitely made this song her very own. She was accompanied by Selladore who harmonised and provided backing vocals. There was a special arrangement of “Silent Night” composed by Natasha Senanayake on the flute that made again a traditional Christmas carol sound so different.
The final set was full of surprises; guest performer Sankha B turned “Little Drummer Boy” upside down, a mystery drummer in the form of Davis Pereira sat behind the custom made three - bass drum set alongside Greg and it was a three-minute battle of the drummers that was so perfectly timed and choreographed that the audience had no choice but to stand and show their support.
Mihindu Ariyaratne took the stage to totally rock “Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel” with Chrisantha providing haunting and chill-inducing harmonies that by far was one of the loudly cheered performances of the night. The concert was brought to an end with Salvage paying tribute to the Trans Siberian Orchestra by performing their version of “O Holy Night” which when translated into Latin gave name to the concert “Sanctus Nocte” bringing to a close a concert that was enjoyed by different ages.