Monday, October 1, 2012

A Week of Concerts, Vol. 2

Should I have recovered days ago? Of course, but where's the fun in that? I still have a small sniffle and feel like my brain is trying to expand it's way out of my nostrils, however that didn't stop me from completing one of the greatest weeks of live music in recent memory.

I last left you on Wednesday night when I was sat at home, licking my wounds in anticipation of crazier things to come. Thursday contained a fair promise of free CASBY tickets, however, shit luck would stay shit and they never would pan out.  As such, I instead spent the evening drinking and playing video games with my brother from another mother at Get Well.

Friday, however, was to be a little more upbeat. Ben, Eddy and I converged upon Lee's Palace (again) to see Little Foot Long Foot (again) and White Cowbell Oklahoma (again). Diemonds were playing somewhere in there too, but... meh?

This was the first time I'd seen LFLF since the departure of Caitlin Dacey on vocals / keys who was focusing on her mainstay, Bella Clava. While the foot was their usual pleasure to see, their sound did suffer with the absence of Dacey. New addition Jeff Heisholt brought a strong, soulful presence to the keys, however, it will take some time for the new lineup to find their balance and sound. I will miss the dual-sirenesque blend of Smith's and Dacey's voices blaring out painful harmonies from songs like "Missing the Point." However, I'm excited to see where the new configuration will take this band and hope that their sound will continue to evolve in the right direction.

Then along came White Cowbell. Just fucking wow.  Word's can't quite describe the full experience of this band's live show, however, let me take a shot. Combine 3 parts guitar, 1 part bass, 1 part keys and 1 part drums with a man of questionable sanity brandishing 2 chainsaws, a grinder, a blowtorch and, of course, a cowbell. Throw in a couple of burlesque dancers, Jager ice sculptures, flying toilet paper and an injury lawsuit just waiting to happen and THAT's what I call a party. I'd tell you more, but you know what... just go see them live sometime. You'll thank me later.

I awoke the next morning with an empty wallet, a ringing in my ear and the hangover equivalent of a 10 galleon hat. After struggling my way through the day, I found myself once again in the clutches of a live venue - the Horseshoe Tavern.

I don't say this enough, so let me say it again: I fucking hate the Horseshoe. Amazing bands inevitably will play there, however, the layout is terrible, the sound is mediocre at best and the crowd is typically comprised of rock-poseur assholes looking to be spotted listening to independent music without giving two shits about what they're actually hearing.

Now that I've got that out of my system, I can sing the good praises of Daylight for Deadeyes. I hadn't seen the boys play since they opened up for my band's album release over a year ago.  Much to my delight, they played a very upbeat, heavier set that did well to warm the crowd and set the tone for even more amazing things to come.

Flash Lightnin' may be the band I have seen live the most during the summer of 2012 - and this is including my own band. However, no matter how many times I see this whirlwind of rock n roll live, I continue to be captivated by Darren Glover's mastery of his Les Paul and the incredible cohesion the entire band has achieved. Jay was seeing them for the first time and it took 3 people to help pick his jaw up off the floor. What was particularly impressive was continuing this level of rock dominance even while having to deal with the drunkest man in Canada - you had to be there.

Finally, I could begin winding my week down as one of my favourite bands of all time, Wide Mouth Mason, took the stage. Allow me to gush for a moment - I love my life and there are few people in this world that I would ever trade places with.  However, if only to attain such musical perfection on both the guitar and vocals, I would become Shaun Verrault in a heartbeat. The whitest, soulful bluesman you'll ever see tear a stage apart, Verrault makes it look easy.  Whether he's singing like a gospel choir across 3 octaves or peeling paint off the wall with his guitar, Verrault's live presence solidifies him as one of the greatest Canadian musicians to ever live. Oh, and in case you'd been living under a rock, it helps that WMM recruited Gordie Johnson on bass about a year ago.  No big deal.

After this, it was a mere hop, skip and a jump to Grossman's blues jam on Sunday night and a groggy Monday morning. Fortunately the week ahead only has 2 concerts. Let me know if I'll see you at Fink at the Garrison on Wednesday or Change of Heart at the shoe (fuck) on Friday.

-You were never the cornerstone of me