a day in the life of ...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

08.19.08 Radiohead / Liars

I arrived at Thunderbird stadium to catch pretty much the last songs of Liar's set. They were actually pretty enjoyable. I guess I shouldn't have written them off a few years ago as a over-pretentious noise band with their best days behind them. Actually what they played today sounded a lot different than what I remember hearing of them a few years ago. I wonder if I've confused Liars with another band...

I really wish the venue/promoter implemented the "head-zone" setup they had in 2001 and 2003. (The Head-Zone, was a limited triangular section at the front of the stage, barricaded off. Sure the tickets were limited, but it did a way better job at controlling the crowd than your standard T-bar setup) Anyways, shortly around the start of Radiohead's set, it starts raining .... and it doesn't stop. Being the idiot that I am, I am wearing shorts and running shoes. I did however bring a rain jacket, so everything but the shirt under my jacket was soaked. It was a pretty miserable experience. The thought of hypothermia actually crossed my mind. I was thinking to myself, as my body shook from the cold, that Radiohead was probably be the only band I would endure this kind of weather for. It was really weird to see and hear (their stage lighting was pretty cool) such beauty, when your body is telling your brain that I'm cold and we should go home. Anyways I stuck around for the entire 2 hour performance which included the entire In Rainbows CD, plus songs from each album except their first one. As mentioned before, their stage design was pretty cool, lots of bright multi-coloured vertical lighting. Most of the time video monitors would display a 4 screen split of members of the band using what appeared to be the cameras typically used in closed circuit tv surveillance. Before one of the earlier songs, Thom dealt with a heckler tell him to "Shut the fuck up. You're not funny, you just don't get out much." Well said. Before the last song Thom asked the crowd if they could choose between Idioteque or Paranoid Andriod. The crowd seemed to go with the latter as apparently Johnny as his guitar was already strapped on. To summarize, the rain sucked, a lot of the crowd sucked, but the band was good and I guess that's really all that matters.

01. 15 Step
02. There There
03. Morning Bell
04. All I Need
05. Where I End And You Begin
06. Talk Show Host
07. Nude
08. Arpeggi
09. The National Anthem
10. Bangers And Mash
11. Faust Arp
12. Videotape
13. Karma Police
14. Jigsaw Falling Into Place
15. Just
16. Exit Music [For A Film]
17. Bodysnatchers

Encore 1:

18. House of Cards
19. Optimistic
20. You and Whose Army
21. Planet Telex
22. Everything In Its Right Place

Encore 2:

23. Reckoner
24. 2+2=5
25. Paranoid Android

$80/$80 (wouldn't be happy with paying that much, but still would)

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

08.10.2008 Tegan and Sara / Declan de Barra Under The Volcano Festival

Under the Volcano is one of Vancouver's gem annual festivals. It's a grass-roots festival focusing on social change with live performances, workshops and all sorts of socio-political information booths. It's run mainly by volunteers and the price of admission is on a sliding scale ($10-$20, students and people with jobs respectively). In my opinion, best of all, it's held in Cates Park, surrounded by trees and a waterfront, an absolutely beautiful location.

I arrived to catch the tail end of Flores de Alegria's set. They're an all female mariachi band from Vancouver. I think that's what they said they were from. Crowd seemed to enjoy it. Then again some people in the crowd seemed to enjoy just about anything.


Declan de Barra was the lead singer of an Australian band called Clann Zu. They actually played this very same festival in 2004. Unbeknownst to me at the time, that was also their final show ever. This time around, Declan would play without the accompaniment of a backing band. Almost fittingly, he started his set with a Clann Zu song, from Bethlehem to Jenin, a song he did not play during the 2004 show. He played mostly songs from his solo album plus a few traditional Irish songs. I chatted with him for a bit after his gig. He said that he was working on a second solo album and was thinking of going back to recording maybe in September. I asked if he could play "One Bedroom Apartment" (a Clann Zu song) during his next set. He said he would if he could remember the words. I wasn't trying to be "one of those guys", but i was running out of conversation material, plus I have seen youtube videos of him performing it post-CZ.

On my way to see Declan's second set, I took in a bit of Sherman Austin's set. He sort of resembles a Ice-T in a way. He rapped about police brutality and social oppression on top of beats and even while playing bass at the same time. Impressive.

De Barra's second set was by the Waterfront and was brought about by the cancellation of another act. De Barra performed a completely different set with sailboats and blue skies in the background. Toward the end of his set, he played a request from the first set, Apple Tree, which is on his myspace page right now. True to his word, he obliged me by closing out his set with an acapella version of "One Bedroom Apartment."

Declan Singing "One Bedroom Apartment"

Hometown favourites, Tegan and Sara, started their set while Declan was ending his. Yep, the applause in the middle of that video was for Tegan and Sara, playing about 200 meters away. They started with "Dark Come Soon" but stopped about 20 seconds in order to adjust their monitors. This pretty much set the tone for their entire 40 min set. There were actually a couple of songs which were stopped abruptly due mostly to the relaxed vibe. I've said this before, but half the fun of a Tegan and Sara show is the onstage banter and interaction (bickering) between the two sisters. It makes them very relatable if you've ever had a sibling. Although, the set was billed as "acoustic", it was in fact pretty much just a regular show, just without a drummer. Their setlist was typical of their previous tour, but was everything you could ask for in a non-headlining slot.

Probably My Favourite Part of T+S's Set. (User: Nataliex33)


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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

08.05.2008 Feist

At $67 a ticket, the price to see Feist at Deer Lake park was a little steep. However, thanks to the power of the free market and craigslist, I only paid $40. I'd like to think it was worth it. On a side note, Feist played British Columbia's 150th birthday party in Victoria the night before, where she duet-ed with Sarah McLachlan. I was hoping, since McLachlan actually lives in Vancouver and would probably want to go home anyways, we'd see a repeat performance in Vancouver. (we didn't)

I missed the opening band the Weakerthans, mainly because it was hot outside. That and I find them somewhat boring, though I do like "I hate Winnpeg." Anyways I arrived to them playing in the background while I waited in a really long line up, with, what had to be, over zealous security. 15 min later, I was directed to another entrance with no line up. hooray.

The first thing I noticed when I got to the venue was the amount of kids and parents there. Feist being on Sesame Street must mean their kids will love Feist. From what I saw most of them were bored after the first hour. I witnessed one kid near the front over the course of 1/2 hour try to convince his dad, without success, to leave. Leslie Feist entered the stage in a white dress looking as excited as the crowd was to see her. Her guitar amp had the word 'Fox' added to the 'Vox'. Cute. She opened with the familiar, "When I was a Young Girl," which included a longer, jammy ending. She then followed that with my personal favorite Mushaboom, also from Let it Die. Her other singles "My Moon My Man" and "I Feel It All" came shortly after. During the course of the show, for visual effects, "projector art" would be displayed in the background. Think of it as the visual art that goes on when Final Fantasy plays live. I think I enjoyed the latter more. There were two songs that I had to look up at home that she played mid-set. One was called Sunset and the other a Lucinda Williams cover. Both were mellow if you're wondering. Between songs, Feist made a point of letting the crowd know that she couldn't really hear what people were saying and toyed with the idea of playing broken telephone with the audience. She finished the main set with an upbeat "Sea Lion Woman." "Phantoms" was played during the encore, which took me by surprise because I've only heard it on live recordings. Admittedly ending with "Let it Die" is kind of anti-climatic, but I suppose it wouldn't be a Feist show if it didn't happen.

When I was a Young Girl
My Moon My Man
There's a Limit To Your Love
I Feel It All
Honey Honey
Over Time [Lucinda Williams]
I'm Sorry
So Lion Woman
The Water
Let it Die


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