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Whitehorse @ Vogue Theatre – October 19, 2017

Whitehorse brought a snappy set, some grand stories, and a great time to the Vogue Theatre on a rainy evening. The stage was bedecked in a sparkly floor-to-ceiling backdrop, in front of which hung a network of fairy lights, while hidden mirrorballs lit up the audience more than the band at times as they spewed glitter light across the room. The ease and connection between the husband-and-wife duo of Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland cannot be understated. In addition to an excess of musical talent and wordsmithing, the two become a powerhouse of big voices on stage (and look pretty flashy to boot). The presentation is indeed flashier than one might expect from a body of work that includes a lot of rootsy-bluesy-twang, making for an interesting juxtaposition. Part of their merch proceeds from the night were going towards WISH Vancouver, a drop-in centre on the Downtown Eastside, and some tales (and songs) revolved around parenthood (including pointing out and commending a guy for bringing his 4-ish-year-old-son to the show), the nerve-wracking prospect of playing Neil Young songs for Neil Young, cruising with Lyle Lovett and Emmy-Lou Harris, and some first-bar gigs as a 15 year old, requiring hiring Doucet’s dad to play guitar and chaperone. Even the humble Railway Club got a shout out. The venue had a real living-room, couch-watching vibe to it though, with one of the most sedate crowds I have seen in a while. No one stood aside from a couple of quick standing ovations at the end of the main set and the encore, and after the polite clapping was finished after each song, the room was so pin-drop quiet, you could hear the band chit-chat on stage away from the mics. One fellow broke this awkward silence by shouting, “You guys are adorable!”

 

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