Monday, July 28, 2008

Weekend of intensity.

My weekends are busy. I have things to do, places to be, and people to see. This past Friday-Sunday was no different.

I met up with RM for a couple hours Friday night for tea and chatting, then took in $100 at the Horseshoe. I got there just past midnight, and missed the beginning of the band's set. But no worries, since I knew the folksters would be playing two sets that night. The place was very full when I arrived, so much so that for the first few songs I was closer to the door than I was to the stage. Boo! I was unhappy being surrounded by tall men I didn't know. I spotted Slim Twig in the crowd---the only familiar face I saw there---and made my way closer to the stage when I had a chance. It's really much better seeing than not seeing. I can't even really tell you what I thought about the band since I was do distracted by being far away and having an unobstructed view. (I am really spoiled, I realize.)

The crowd thinned out on the dance floor after the first set---beer retrieval and bathroom break---so I planted myself right up front, in the middle. Like, at Simone's feet. A much better spot from which to take things in. For this second set the band played a few covers---Dolly Parton, The Moody Blues, and a couple others---and most of the songs featured guest musicians/vocalists. It was a great night! The band didn't stop until maybe 1:50am. Considering the in-between set wasn't that long, $100 played for a long time that night. I was glad to see such a good-sized crowd out for what is essentially a folk band. Simone's voice is great. I gotta say that I found myself a wee bit bored on occasion. This could simply be because the set was so long. The highlight for me was the Moody Blues cover that Rick White led the band in. Just awesome.

Afterwards I biked over to the Boat to catch the last 45 minutes or so of Yacht Rock. This dance party is, I think, my favourite dance night at the moment. It's so much fun. KH was celebrating his birthday, so there was extra reason to go.

On Saturday . . . let's see. Oh, right. After a sushi dinner with CS, I went to an early show at WhipperSnapper. Cobras Cobras Cobras, Brides, and Colourbook were on the bill. The first two aren't my usual pop fare, but they were good. I would have been happier had Cobras not had to stop after seemingly every song to get more equipment (or whatever they were doing). It kinda killed whatever mood they were trying to create. The crowd was great, though. Young kids---I'm guessing most of them were underage (as allowed at this event)---who were actually dancing. Yes, dancing and jumping around. Without being drunk. It was great to see. Colourbook impressed me. Here again the crowd had something to do with it. Group hugs/moshing/laying on the floor/etc. This sounds weird. It wasn't, really. Some of their songs reminded me of a bit rockier Born Ruffians, while other tunes were more noise-pop. Interesting. I would see them again. And I did, the next night.

After the all-ages show I went to Sneaky Dee's, getting there as doors opened for a quadruple bill featuring three bands sharing members which each other (Adam & the Amethysts, 3/4 of whom are in Miracle Fortress, and Think About Life, which includes Graham Van Pelt from MF) plus local young yelpy-pop favourites Ruby Coast. Adam & the Amethysts played a short set, like they did when they were here for NxNE. I like them, but they don't excite me. There was already a pretty good crowd at Sneaks, though, so hopefully their set won the band some new fans.

Next up was Ruby Coast. I've seen these kids a few times, and they are great! I know some people who know more about music than I do say they aren't particularly original. I don't care if this is true. I have an excellent time dancing to their music. Oh, and first mosh pit of the night. Half way through the set I needed to remove myself. Enough being bashed around.

Miracle Fortress was next. I'd thought they would end the night, but they didn't, and this was a good thing. The two times I've seen them before, I've liked them, but they weren't memorable. Better on the record, I say, which is fantastic. ("Five Roses." Get it.) But Saturday night they put on a good show. Definitely more in line with what I expect out of this band. I'm still waiting to be blown away, but I'll take impresseive over just ok any day. So, three bands, and three at-least-good sets, and one mosh pit. Not bad for my $13.

But . . . Think About Life! Holy crap, what a band. What a live show! I'd only ever heard a couple of their electro tracks before, and didn't really get what the big deal was. Until now. I still don't know if I'll like their recorded output---maybe I will when I get around to giving some of it a proper listen---but my oh my the crowd at Sneaks exploded as soon as this band started playing. It was impossible not to get caught up in it. And, seeing as I had made by way to the front, it was equally impossible not to get bashed around an awful lot. I took as much battering as I could before chickening out of the mosh pit and retreating to safer ground. But man did the trio make me want to jump and holler and generally make a fool of myself. Speaking of which, the boys from Howl (at least three of them) were crowd surfing. One of them emerged bloody but happy. Crazy.

I have never seen a show/crowd reaction like this before. Ever. And, well, it was excellent. I got home at 2am and literally collapsed on the floor. There was nothing else for it. Damn.

My weekend wasn't over yet! Sunday I was zonked out. But by early evening I roused myself and went to have dinner with KH. And then we played Scrabble, at which I am bad. And then we went to Wavelength. This Sneaky Dee's Sunday night fixture is also becoming a real fixture in my week. I always have a good time, and last night was no exception. The two Victoria bands (Cobras Cobras Cobras and Colourbook) were back at it (with an older, larger, and more subdued crowd this time), and then local folk-tinged melodic rockers Proof of Ghosts headlined. I was happy with the first two acts . . . until Proof of Ghosts took the stage and I realized what a great band sounds like. There were brief moments where I wished for a bit more intensity, but the last song ("Genevieve," extended) was kinda amazing. Wow. So good! Unexpectedly so.

How would this be for a lineup: Proof of Ghosts, The Schomberg Fair, and The Rural Alberta Advantage? These are the three bands of related genres that have really impressed me lately.

1 comment:

Quadb said...

Haha. I'm just like you when I don't get front row. Downright grumpy and wanna go home. I always thought I was average height, but at concerts I feel like the shortest person in Toronto. Next to you. Jokes.