Reviews

Big Wreck + Jesse Roper @ The Commodore Ballroom – March 1st 2018

Ian Thornley of Big Wreck at The Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, BC on March 1st 2018

Canadian rock band Big Wreck are just a treat to see live.

They took over the Commodore Ballroom on Thursday night, delivering a solid set, proving why they have been an active, sought-after live group since their beginnings 24 years ago.

Opening the show was Victoria-based blues musician Jesse Roper. His set was ferocious.

Jesse Roper performing at The Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, BC on March 1st 2018

The musicians he brought with him were very talented. Together they formed a cohesive unit performing sprawling blues jams. The crowded venue lit up with excitement, repeatedly cheering and applauding, causing Mr. Roper (sorry, I couldn’t resist) to stare back at them with a humble grin on his face.

That opening buzz carried forward into the main act.

The four-piece walked on stage and a deafening welcome echoed through the air.

Frontman, Ian Thornley, delivered haunting vocals. That guttural growl to his release, that is reminiscent of the recently-departed Chris Cornell, brought wave after wave of nostalgia.

The audience was enthusiastic and the whole event felt like a gathering of old friends. Smiling faces stared starry-eyed at the stage while belting out their favourite lyrics to each song.

Beers were consumed, laughs were exchanged, and a great night was had.

The evening was billed as “In Loving Memory Of… 20th Anniversary Tour”, which had the band playing 1997’s In Loving Memory Of… in its entirety in addition to fan favourites from their vast catalogue of music. We got exactly that. A mixed-order visit to the album with a smattering of the other favourites, such as the well-loved “Albatross” from their 2012 eponymous release.

Ian Thornley of Big Wreck at The Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, BC on March 1st 2018

I left the show with a warm feeling. A wonderfully talented cast of musicians had performed a solid set with enthusiasm and love in their hearts, while an endeared crowd absorbed, reciprocated, and joined in.

Thank you to all the musicians for a fantastic Thursday night.

Photos © Jamie Taylor // Cryptic Photography

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