A great night out to see Wintersleep almost a year after first seeing them at this very same venue. Also a night full of crazy people and overanxious fans making fools of themselves. To start off the night, we arrived a little later then usual and didn’t have to sit in that horrible lineup they fake outside the Commodore. Everyone knows they leave the line out there so people come over and ask what is going on, so it increase the popularity and demand for the location. Not on this night my friend, we made it there a little after 8pm and were able to find a decent seat about 50 feet from the stage.
Once the house lights went down and the automated shutters rolled over the windows to this fine establishment the crowd was ready to rock. The opening act was a younger band from Australia called An Horse, consisting of a male drummer and a female vocalist/guitarist. There music is very fitting with the of Bloc Party and the Ting Tings, but is very much in its infancy. They definitely have a great base and I am sure will expand there musical tastes, but at this moment they are very drab and one dimensional. In no way displaying any form of special “it” factor to separate them from the massive influx of new wave sound. I place them in a new wave category as this seems the most logical, but there sound is probably more of a pop indie sound.
After enjoying the background music from the opener, there was the customary 30 minute wait for the headliner. A few of the avid Wintersleep fanatics were sporting there brand new concert tee’s and slamming down as many pints as they could get there hands on. This seemed a particularly strange site, as this band is in now way known for this type of behavior. All in all it made for a great site, as people become more intoxicated and made foolish gestures and danced outlandishly, all be it solo, on the hard wood floor.
Finally the main act took the stage, and in their usual fashion started with a jam. The entire set list was almost a duplicate of the prior year, but the band was even better. They had grown and matured and were playing a lot more solid. This eastern Canadian jam band had every fan in the palm of their hand. Its funny how a musical group that receives so little air play can be so popular and have such a dedicated fan base. The show went off without a hitch, the over all feeling was that of comfort from the guys on stage. They were deffinitely more comfortable in their skin then last year and played a way tighter set.
Their show is a low frills, medium energy musical experience. Very few people i think go to see them play their “hits”, but more to see how them can contort and bend them with the live experience. Most songs turned into 10 minute epics, and had a feeling of pure whimsical magic. The lead singers vocals were spotty at the beginning, but I think it was more to do with the sound engineer than with the actual performance. The lead guitarist had developed quite a little stage show, with his 70s rock cliche look, he rocked and grooved all over the stage. The entire band put on such a good performance for the last 85% that it made up for any shortcomings with the mixing.
The overall impression of this show was great, but it wasn’t without its drawbacks. There was nothing changed from the last time I saw them the year prior, the sound of the band was better, and the playing was more finessed, but they played the same thing with the same sound. I mean I loved it, but the lack of change makes me fear for their future. Its hard to play the same show for ten years without losing the interest of even the most die hard fans. For this I hope the band grows with the release of their next album. I still recommend people to see them live, if they enjoy any of their music. But again musical growth is a little lacking.
An Horse photos by Jamie Taylor(click to enlarge images)
Wintersleep photos by Jamie Taylor(click to enlarge images)