Nick’s Summer Concert Rundown


So this summer, as per usual in this neck of the woods, there have been some rocking shows going on. I’ve been fortunate enough to hit up a few of them.

 Review of Black Mountain feat. Ladyhawk and Basketball at The Waldorf, Vancouver, August 25th, 2012

Photo by Sarah Fawcett.

First off, there was the parking lot show at The Waldorf on Hastings St. (http://www.waldorfhotel.com/). My initial reaction when I went to this show was that of panic, as there were a lot of people standing outside of the fence line, and I began to doubt my entry into the show… but it just turns out there were just a lot of people mucking about. We managed to make our way to the front of the line and got in without any hassles. Just in time for Basketball. For those of you who think I’m talking about chillin’ out max and relaxin’ all cool, shootin’ some b-ball outside the school, you are wrong. I’m talking about Basketball, the band (basketballaz.tumblr.com). These guys sounded outstanding. But what’s more they had the energy to back their set up, and it also helps when the lead singer is pouring wine, through a horn, down people’s throats! They ran through until dusk began to settle in and I had to go get my taco fill and maybe a little beer? Only to wash down the tacos of course…

Cue up Ladyhawk! Their set sounded awesome, although the vantage point from the beer gardens was less than stellar, the sound was still booming, and Ladyhawk were rocking! In fact, they were rocking out songs on their upcoming album, and if the show was any indication, this is going to be an album with lots of energy. No surprises there!

Black Mountain (http://www.facebook.com/BlackMountainOfficial) came out to headline, and between broken strings, and droning jams, these guys and gal put on one hell of a rocking show. McBean’s guitar tone was furious, I couldn’t get over how big the sound was. Their set certainly didn’t disappoint, and they didn’t even play “the Hair Song”! My recommendation? If you haven’t seen Black Mountain yet… get on that!

Review of Brown Bird feat. Good For Grapes at the Electric Owl, Vancouver, August 21st, 2012

Next stop on the concert list was Good for Grapes and Brown Bird at Electric Owl (http://www.facebook.com/ElectricOwlSocialClub?ref=ts) on Main street. I have a few regrets in my life, and leaving early during Brown Bird’s set because of work is one of them (not seeing The Hives last week, because of work, is another). First of all, the only qualms I had with the venue had nothing to do with the sound, the drink prices, size of stage or dance floor, but rather with the bathrooms. Because for the first hour that I was there, I was convinced that there were none, turns out they are located at the bottom of the staircase that happens to be right in the middle of the floor as you walk in. Next time, I’ll try and pay attention to my surroundings, but enough about that! Good for Grapes hit the stage in front of a decent sized crowd, lots of which were friends and family, which was doubly awesome because the band had literally just gotten back from tour, this was their first show back! However the cool thing about the crowd, I found, was that once GFG got on the stage, people who had no idea who they were, and were patiently waiting for Brown Bird to hit the stage, were totally blown away by the band’s performance! You guys want to talk about a tight band with presence? This is it! Good tunes, good harmonies, great energy (make sure you keep your eye on that accordion player, if for no other reason than making sure he doesn’t step on someone), GFG are the package deal.

Now I’d never heard of Brown Bird. I didn’t even know what to expect for music, I was expecting another acoustic/indie/folk act. WRONG. Brown Bird are a two piece blues bombshell made up from a little David Lamb on guitar/vocals/drums, and MorganEve Swain on a variety of four stringed instruments. And boy, do they rock? Is that a rhetorical question? Of course they do. There’s one song in particular from their set that stuck to my mind, and if I hear it again I’ll know it. But if you manage to see them, I’ll give you a heads up, MorganEve Swain plays a double bass, and during a melancholic chorus, she bows it. And I swear the rafters shook in the building. They had feeling in the music, and emotion in their performance. This was a good night of music in Vancouver.

Photo by Sarah Fawcett.

Review of Jackie Treehorn feat. M.G. Graveyard at British Ex-Servicemen’s Association, Vancouver, Sept 14th, 2012

The last show that I’m writing about is put on by the wonderful people at Vanmusic (http://www.vanmusic.ca/), and it’s a series that happens EVERY FRIDAY, at the British Ex-Servicemen’s Association at 1143 Kingsway. This show was on Friday, September 14. And the featured artists were M.G. Graveyard, Jackie Treehorn, and Los Furious. I’d seen MG graveyard (http://www.facebook.com/MGGraveyard) as a two piece performing at open mics around town beforehand. This was my first exposure to the full lineup, and it was a great set. These guys have that sound that makes you want to drink booze and stomp your feet. It’s a good thing there was booze, too bad everyone was sitting down. Obi, the lead singer, has a nice, real, deep voice. Not like a lot of those Tom Waits knock offs I’ve heard before (and continue hearing), and paired with Jess Goldstein’s lead guitar, you’ve got yourself a rockin’ blues duo. With Kevin Moser, and Dio (not that Dio, he’s dead R.I.P.) holding the back line tight, this music pounds and grooves.

Jackie Treehorn. What can I say about them? Go see them? That’s about the gist of it! They’re a six piece funk/soul powerhouse that will rock your sox off and make you dance, resistance is futile. Just go with it. You’ve got Ashley Robbins on lead vocals, and lead personality, with the lovely Chelsey Burden at her side, always grooving. Speaking of groove, you’ve got Nick Nixon on the bass. His combination of slap & pop with finger style make for some really interesting bass lines. And they don’t sound over done, they don’t over crowd the music with notes, they overcrowd the dance floor with people. Then you’ve got Kevin Sanders on the guitar, this guy knows his leads, and he’s got taste to boot. Adam Kerby on keys, and Derek Van Deursen on the drums complete the powerhouse line up. These guys know how to keep it on the level, and kick it up a notch! Due to extenuating circumstances, I never got to see Los Furious play, so I’m gonna leave you with this from Jackie Treehorn.

Until next time!

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