Reviews

lovelytheband + Flora Cash + Jagwar Twin @ The Commodore Ballroom – April 19th 2019

American musician Mitchy Collins of lovelytheband performing at The Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, BC on April 19th 2019

Last night, the Commodore Ballroom was a flutter of activity as stacked triple bill kept the masses dancing for the latter part of the evening.

First up was a new band called Jagwar Twin, the brainchild of American singer-songwriter Roy English. The group was so new in fact they said this was not only their first time performing in Canada, they said it was only their second time performing live altogether. Regardless of that information, they put on an invigorated set that brought many onlookers up out of their seats and out on to the dance floor.

American band Jagwar Twin performing at The Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, BC on April 19th 2019

The initial offering by Jagwar Twin, Subject to Flooding, dropped in September of 2018 and drew much attention due to producers S1 and Linus being involved.

This opening set was fun and bouncy but still managed to drip with rock star sexuality. Keep your eyes on this Jagwar, it doesn’t just growl it packs an impressive bite.

Next up was Swedish-American indie pop duo Flora Cash.

I had no experience with this group prior to this show but I was blown away by their performance. They built this incredibly powerful wall of sound that incorporated guitar and keys and vocals, it just grew and swelled and overwhelmed the tiny venue. It was something you could dance to but also it was complex enough that you could just sit there and let it run through you.

Musicians Shpresa Lleshaj and Cole Randall of Flora Cash performing at The Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, BC on April 19th 2019

The dual singers kept their range close to one another, which allowed for these piercing harmonies to resonate through the air.

This was all matched with minimal but intense lighting. Pulses of red and blue, thickly laid out across the stage, adding to the experience and working hand in hand with each note.

Of all three bands from the night, only Flora Cash felt like a plant that had outgrown it’s pot. This venue was too small for them. They need more room, maybe a theatre or a small arena. The sound was just too big for the wonderful Commodore Ballroom, and it has been a long time since I have ever thought that.

I was able to meet the duo, Shpresa Lleshaj and Cole Randall, after their set. They were kind and humble. I thanked them for their performance and managed to get a photo taken with them. Hopefully they will make a return visit to Vancouver, I would love to experience that again.

Now it was time for the headliner, American indie pop band lovelytheband

. They came out under the veil of darkness and took their positions on stage. An outline of red lips pulsed from the backdrop of the stage.

There were a few quick words and then the dove straight into their set. Lead singer Mitchy Collins was the central focus. He strummed around the stage with his cream and pink Fender, a small smirk cracked across his face as he looked back towards the crowd.

The music was lively and contagious. The dance floor swelled with eager attendees as those beats drew them in.

American musician Mitchy Collins of  lovelytheband performing at The Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, BC on April 19th 2019

Looking around, it was a sea of happy faces swept away in the moment.

The lighting setup was far more complex, pulsing and moving lights created a visual explosion that made it hard to look away.

The whole experience got my heart racing and my head bobbing.

This show was originally scheduled to be across town at the Imperial, which is a smaller venue. I am truly glad it was moved here to the Commodore Ballroom, with openers Flora Cash shaking the foundation and headliners lovelytheband proving why they are rising stars, I am afraid the Imperial may have just been left in ruins.

By the end of the night I walked away completely in shock from the show. I had gone in to photograph a few bands expecting a decent show but it ended up being far more than that. This was special.

Thank you to all three bands and their teams for a wonderful night out.

loveltheband setlist:
intro
make you feel pretty
emotion
stupid mistakes
i like the way
coachella
alone time
your whatever
Change Your Mind
slide/hold on (covers)
pity party
filling a void (interlude)
don’t worry, you will
maybe, i’m afraid
broken
everything i could never say… to you
these are my friends

Photos © Jamie Taylor // Cryptic Photography

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