The Commodore Ballroom has a excellent track record of bringing entertaining music to Vancouver’s masses and the night of Nov. 3rd’ 2014 proved to be no exception. The evening’s performances consisted of two bands which have both been around for more than two decades. The evening’s acts consisted of Slowdive, a dreamy English five piece supported by Low, an American indie rock group founded in 1993 and hailing from Duluth, Minnesota. Low’s Indie rock set the tone for the evening, a strong compliment to Slowdive’s dream pop/experimental jams. This double bill of underground alternative nineties rock acts yielded a strong evening of distant rock and dreamy pop songs.
Low started the night off right. Alan Sparhawk’s voice filled the venue accompanied by a mellow bass line which pulled the audience out of their seats and onto the floor. By the third song almost everyone was on their feet and cheering for more. Drummer Mimi Parker also added vocal energy the while Steve Garrington adding the finishing touches on bass. Their comforting lyrics and ability to transition from a soft beginning into a powerful electric infused atmosphere sent shivers through the crowd; these skills could only come from years of performing. The song “Tonight the Monkey Dies” was a particular crowd pleaser. Many new acts seem to be in a rush to get through a song, with just shy of an hour performance Low took their time, made each note, pause and second count, the outcome was a live musical experience where all in attendance get their moneys worth.
Slowdive was welcomed with a roar of applause. The band immediately got to work, taking control of the Commodore Ballroom, quickly demonstrating to the crowd that they were a force to be reckoned with. Every band member of the contributed to a captivating performance backed with an impressive array of visuals filling the projector screens at the back of the stage. By their second song the crowd stood practically frozen and waited for Rachel Goswell to continue to captivate the crowd with her impressive singing ability as a tambourine tapped gently at her side. Their brand of Dream pop/alternative/experimental rock in combination with chest pounding bass which was inescapable from any corner of the venue; they had come to play their hearts out. Toward the end of the show small flames of lighters appeared above the audience calling for more, followed by the all too common chant “Encore, Encore” and the stamping of feet. Slowdive returned once again to a roar of applause and gave their fans the finally they had hoped for. The band closed the evening with a blisteringly wall of sound, waved to the crowd and walked off stage. On a rainy, Vancouver Monday the Commodore Ballroom was the only place to be, showing us again that live music will always be in demand. The vibrations which shake the very ground beneath your feet, the blinding lights and of course the music, this is why we save our money, cross off the days on the calendar and wait in those long line-ups, because when all is said and done, it’s completely worth it.