a day in the life of ...

Friday, June 10, 2011

Summer Re-Cap 2011

Maybe I'll turn this blog into a quarterly...

05.20.2011 Kathryn Calder/Himilayan Bear

Missed opener, Louise Burns' set. She used to be in Lillix and is now doing the solo stuff. Completely different than Lillix. On a side note, I was once backstage at Warped Tour and overheard Lillix's manager trying to get into the backstage area. I don't know if he got in or not.
Missed all of but the last song of Himilayan Bear's set. I think HB is another solo artist, but this particular last song also had 2 members of Calder's backing band joining him.
Calder played for roughly an hour with a full backing band. They sounded really good and reproduced the intricacies of the album well. She played almost of the entirety of the her debut album, filling out the rest of the set with a couple of new songs. Most of the new songs were pretty mellow in nature. Between songs, Calder told the crowd that while at the crossing the border, she had misheard the border guard asking the band name and instead told them the name of their van, "baby ray". She later joked about smuggling a baby ray over the border. She ended her set with a Castor & Pollux.


03.23.2011 Patton Oswalt

I've seen other comedians in the past and most of the time I'm disappointed to find out that their sets normally consist of 40-50% material already found on the "Live CD" they're touring on. Also for whatever reason I'm usually disappointed when their sets run less than an hour. I dunno it just seems like I'm not getting my money's worth if i show up at 8 and i'm out on the street again by 10. Since he is one of my favourite comedians I figured I would check him out, even with my low expectations. Oswalt newest bit of comedic awesomeness is a book that actually has some BC content. In it he recounts in journal form, his experiences working in Surrey for a week 20 or so years ago. Anyways, his set ran about 70 min, which is pretty decent as far as standup sets go. His set was about 90% new material was very nice. I didn't think they were all home runs, but overall very entertaining and worth the money.


05.30.2011 Wolf Parade / Frog Eyes / Himilayan Bear

A few weeks before this show, the promoter's weekly email leaked out that this would be their final show, ever. Subsequent emails later had this little tidbit removed. I guess they wanted to avoid any finalities.
Completely missed Himilayan Bear this time. I've never been able to get into Frog Eyes, but there were many people in the crowd who loved their set. Being local to this area (Victoria, close enough) doesn't hurt either.
Now being it was their last shows, bands normally take one of two options: A. One last hurrah where they get it all out, playing all the rare songs that their fans have wanted them to play but they never do, or B. The "best" show of the current era. Wolf Parade opted for option 2. The setlist was essentially the setlist you would expect them to play in 2011. All their staples were played like 'Sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts' with new songs from their current album like "What Did my Lover say?" and "Little Golden Age" to fill out the setlist. I read in an interview somewhere that the reason why some songs were not played anymore was because either they knew the audience wouldn't enjoy it, or that the band themselves wouldn't enjoy playing it and thus the audience wouldn't enjoy hearing it. Towards the end of the set Dan remarked on the unprofessionalism of the band, I thought they played as well as any other time I've seen them. I was pleasantly surprised there was a second encore. After 'Fancy Claps' finished I really couldn't think of anything else they could have encored (again) with. They ended up letting the crowd onstage while they performed a veeery loose cover of Dylan, and I guess GnR's version of, "Knockin' on Heaven's Door." Oh yeah officially, they haven't broken up, it's just an indefinite hiatus. I guess that's better than broke up and 5 years later reunion.


07.09.2011 Hannah Georges / Neko Case / The New Pornographers

For Vancouver's 125 birthday, The city of Vancouver threw a birthday bash at Stanley Park with 3 days worth of FREE concerts, all with local artists. I managed to go to only one of those.
I loved Hannah Georges' albums and was pretty excited to see here live. For some reason I just couldn't get into her in a live setting. I dunno, it might have been the large stage thing. It just didn't seem to translate well. I think I'd enjoy seeing her more in a smaller venue like the Biltmore or even Venue. She played about 40 min and even included some new songs that she's been working on.
For all the times that I've seen Neko w/ the New Pornographers, this was the first time I've seen her solo. My reaction is mixed. Liked quite a few songs, but was reminded that I really don't like the alt-country thing that much, even if Neko's the one bringing it.
Well this is a first, I've seen the NP without Neko, and now I've seen them without Kathryn. Well sort of. Kathryn ended up getting on stage about 2 to 3 songs in, apparently she was at a dinner reception or something. Not surprising as the traffic getting into Stanley Park that day was ridiculous. Carl Newman also commented that Calder was getting married. Sorry folks. I don't really have much else to say other than I enjoyed it for the most part and that It was a fairly standard NP set. One you would expect to hear at a recent show. About an hour and no encore due to curfew.


07.16.2011 The Klaxxon

This one's pretty random. I was in Tofino this weekend and someone was mentioning that there was a "SKA" show by a band call The Klaxxon. My first thought was Klaxxons? and Ska?, that doesn't really make sense. Then I noticed the absence of the 'S' at the end of Klaxxon. Well turns out they're a SKA/world music band from... I can't remember, but I want to say Columbia. They were the only band that night and played 2 sets. Pretty fun stuff. There was also a lot less skanking going on that what I would have expected.


.... and that was my summer in terms of live shows. On second thought maybe I'll just turn this into a bi-yearly thing...

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