The Wooden Sky & Yukon Blonde @ The Biltmore, Vancouver, Sept. 25, 2010

Yukon Blonde

I would consider myself to be a bit of rookie or “newbie”, so to speak, when it comes to attending Indie shows.  I definitely don’t have the dress code or “style” down: I don’t have much in the way of a beard; my hair was neither long nor was it messy; I was not sporting any kind of toque or fedora; my jeans were not tight or dark; I wasn’t wearing glasses and my shirt was a solid colour (as opposed to the newly fashionable plaid, which hasn’t been in style since the grunge era).  Needless to say, I felt a little like a standout.  Regardless of everyone’s attire, we were all there to see and hear the same thing.

The Wooden Sky

Yukon Blonde and The Wooden Sky.

But first were the Great Bloomers.  This Toronto-based indie band is led by the scrawny and lanky Lowell Sostomi, who you wouldn’t expect to have such a deep, strong voice considering his size.  As they played their alt-country, be-bop tunes, I couldn’t help but tap my feet.  Their song Speak To Me was a standout, as was a great Neil Young cover that I didn’t catch the name of.

Once the Great Bloomers had wrapped up their set, there was a short break and Yukon Blonde hit the stage.  This local band was the whole reason I was at this show.  Since I purchased their debut album back in the spring, I haven’t been able to get enough of them.  They were the reason I started MoreThanAFeeling Music Blog.  I felt that their music needed to be heard by more than just a select few and that by starting a blog and spreading the word about them and great music in general was the way to do it.

So there I was, standing 10 feet from the stage with two friends, 10 feet from the band I had pined to see for months.  And they didn’t disappoint.  Their opening tune was one I had never heard, but quite enjoyed as it had the Yukon Blonde fingerprint all over it.  In fact, they ended up playing three songs I had never heard before, one of them being a “new one”, as lead singer and rhythm guitarist Jeff Innes so put it.  The other ones were most likely songs off their EP Everything in Everyway (which I don’t own, for some reason…).  As the show progressed, things only got better.  Their three-part harmonies were tight, their sound was excellent, and their energy was infectious.

My only complaint regarding their set was that it was way too short!  They should have had at least an hour-long set, in my opinion, but were cut to only about 40 minutes at the most.  I got to hear some of my favourites from their debut, self-titled album such as Wind Blows, Brides Song, Loyal Man, and Babies Don’t Like Blue Anymore.  In fact, if my memory serves me, those were the only songs from the album they played.  To no fault of Yukon Blonde, I was disappointed with the set length because I was indeed wanting more.  I would have loved to hear them nail Rather Be With You, for example.  But alas, it wasn’t to be.

After their set was cut short, we found lead guitar player Brandon Scott grabbing a drink at the bar and thanked him for a great, but all too short set.  I asked him if there was a new album in the works for 2011 and he informed me that they have indeed finished writing a whole new album and are just shopping it around to see who which label will pick them up.  So get ready for new Yukon Blonde in 2011!

After another slightly longer break, The Wooden Sky hit the stage.  They kicked their set off with a great song called (bit part), but lead singer/guitarist Gavin Gardiner stopped the song almost as quick as it started due to some technical difficulties.  Once the show resumed, the sound improved and they played an hour or so of songs off of their two studio albums, as well as a few new ones, which actually caught my ear better than many of their other songs.  Following the previous bands wasn’t an easy task, however, because I found myself a little bored with their set.  Sure, they played songs I knew and enjoyed, but for the most part, they were lacking some energy and intensity that had been almost overwhelming in the previous set.

I suppose that a majority of the crowd was there to see The Wooden Sky, hence the “headliner” status.  However, I feel for Yukon Blonde, not only because I am a bigger fan of theirs than either of the other bands playing, but because they deserved the headlining spot, especially considering they are from Vancouver!  Even my two friends attending the show with me, who had never heard any of the bands before, both enjoyed Yukon Blonde the best and were a little bored at times with The Wooden Sky.

Overall, the evening was a blast, the venue was interesting, to say the least and the music was good.  I look forward to seeing Yukon Blonde on a headlining tour next year, because, quite frankly, they deserve it!

Great show, aside from the set lengths:  4 out of 5 stars!

~ by DR on September 26, 2010.

One Response to “The Wooden Sky & Yukon Blonde @ The Biltmore, Vancouver, Sept. 25, 2010”

  1. Yeah, that was definitely a great concert. At least you weren’t the only one standing out there. I think me and you were about as Indie as Tom Cruise is sane.

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