As luck and twist of fate would have it, last night’s show brought an end to another incredible year of live music and unexpectedly at Joe’s Apartment. Admittedly, I had not been inside that Granville Street building since its Tonic days so my expectations of this venue were low. I could not have been more wrong. The long wooden bar and exposed brickwork walls were reminiscent of “Richards on Richards” & Joe’s Apartment embodied everything I love about smaller venues. The sound was fantastic and every artist clearly drew out some of their die hard fans to the show. It’s great to see pairs and groups of friends singing along to nearly every song, lost in the moment, in the sound. It’s part of what makes live music so great, but sometimes and somehow, gets lost as a band draws a larger crowd and the venue size grows.
The crowd was sparser throughout Devon Coyote’s set but for those lucky enough to catch his performance, it was well worth being there. He’s a BC (Kelowna) native & spent 2012 touring with fellow Canadian musicians the Sheepdogs as well as America’s AWOLNation. It was a fantastic beginning to the night, and an excellent indication of things to come.
When Redgy Blackout took the stage I was floored. Their name registered somewhere in my consciousness but it wasn’t until much later (thank-you google search) that I able to place them- they were in this year’s Peak Performance Project Top 20. When they took to the stage, it was evident why they made the Top 20. Lead singer Scott Perrie oozed charisma, charm and quite a bit of theatricality. If I were to liken him to another artist, I would say he is reminiscent of Charlie Winston. This is especially evident in the way he is able to change tempos so readily from slow and contemplative to upbeat, jazzy or full on rock. They played an incredibly engaging set, drawing countless people up to the stage to dance their hearts out. Unfortunately, the band announced that last night’s show was their last performance, indefinitely. They gave no real explanation last night and their website indicates that some sort of explanation is to follow soon but either way, it’s too bad. In any case, I’m glad I got a chance to see them perform live. Hopefully these guys will eventually return to the Vancouver music scene. In the meantime, both of their EPs are available for digital download and I highly recommend giving them a listen.
By the time Bend Sinister took to the stage, Joe’s Apartment was buzzing with an excited, almost electric anticipatory energy. Like Devon Coyote, Bend Sinister also got their start in Kelowna but have since relocated to Vancouver. Bend Sinister opened with their biggest single, “Things Will Get Better”. It was a surprising but excellent song choice as it started the show off on an incredible high. Even more impressive, the band was able to sustain that level of energy throughout the set. Bass player Matt Rhone is further evidence that Bass players are really the most entertaining musicians to watch in any band. He was jumping around, climbing on stage equipment, and wildly swinging his bass around for most of the night. He seemed to be having a blast, lost in the rhythm of each and every song. Lead guitarist Jeff Blood was incredibly funny, holding up his own lighter for slower songs and drawing in the crowd with snapping, clapping and witty banter. Dan Moxton’s signature vocals coupled with Jason Dana’s incredible drumming rounded out the band’s style and sound. It is evident that these guys have fun playing together and really love what they do. In some bands, a single member sometimes stands out among the rest but with Bend Sinister, they really are a collective group, no member more integral to their musicality and style than the rest. Their finish was a brilliantly delivered cover of Supertramp’s “The Logical Song.” Although Vancouver is not listed on their March tour dates, hopefully these guys will not make us wait too long before playing another hometown show … and when they do, be sure to check them out. Bring on 2013!