A high energy explosion of 80s electropop and dance rhythms pulsed through the Commodore Ballroom on Wednesday night. Dragonette, the Canadian three piece, were one with the crowd and took the hearts of many from the get go. The openers, The Manvils, were timid at first but finished there set with authority and charisma. All in all in made for a great Wednesday in the fair city we call Vancouver.
Once in the venue the first thing you could notice was quite simply the lack of people. The crowd separation between the two bands was immense. In the first 45 minutes from the doors opening there were maybe 50 attendees. All of which sat at their tables and waited patiently. No mad rush for the floor, no elbowing battle to gain front and center. It was almost like these people didn’t care.
The crowd was completely different then you would see out at the Commodore on most nights. People in suits strutting around with highballs and a smug sense of entitlement. In was interesting to see the variation from the norm.
Once the Manvils took the stage people started to shuffle towards the floor and make themselves comfortable. This show had no barrier, as they surely were not planning on seeing any crowd surfing this fateful night. The Manvils came out a little shakey at first. The musicianship and tight playing of the band was there from the beginning but there was this feeling of nervousness in the air. After about the third song they blew that all away. Mikey, the lead singer, is one whom is consumed by the music. His on stage spectacle is a thing of beauty. He traverses the plateau while the demon that is music overtakes his body. The drummer, Jay, and the bassist, Greg, are very tight. They form a beautiful rhythmic backdrop from which Mikey can highlight his vocals. All together they are worth seeing live.
The band tended to not use much of the stage at all. This is something that can become boring very fast. The only complaint I would have about the band was the tendency to stand front and center and not really take control of the crowd visually. Like I said they are worth seeing live, so get out there and rock out a night with them. You will not be disappointed I guarantee it.
After a brief hiatus Dragonette came to the stage. This is when the place erupted. The electropop trio sauntered to the stage in 80s fashion. A backdrop of bar lights lit there figures as they filled the venue with the screams of eagerness. Martina, the singer, is the bread and butter of this band. She has a certain obscure sex appeal that shines through her face. Her over emotive output is cast on to the dance floor, as each vocal set pulses through your head. The drummer and guitarist were very forgettable, but such is the life in an electropop band.
The floor was alive with the seamless rhythms of the beat. Like a solid entity they flowed and swayed like the ocean grasses as a wave caresses them. The power of each song seemed to energize them more and more. As one song after another fueled the fans to dance faster and faster. The basic stage setup seem to amplify the larger than life persona of Martina. Her actions and movements are fueled by the 80s. Everything about this band is retro and some how comforting.
Overall the night was well orchestrated. The sounds was great, the dancing was fierce and the band was on its game. I would say that experiencing an electropop dance club band such as this is only good if you get right in there. Find your way to the floor, raise our arms and dance the night away. Dragonette is great at what they do, and they have quite the ambitious group of followers. I would suggest this band as a great group night out for those looking to have a great time. They are feverishly fun.
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