Concert Review: Plants and Animals, Yukon Blonde @ The Commodore, Vancouver, Feb. 18 2011

An early disclaimer: This “concert review” is not actually complete and is completely biased.  In fact, it is more of a recollection of the events of the evening, more than a critical review.

But I digress…

My partner in music crime, Brian, and I ventured downtown to the Commodore to see one of my personal favourites, Yukon Blonde, open for montreal-based Plants and Animals.  Yukon Blonde hit the stage promptly and opened with a brand new tune that had a great vibe and had us singing along by the end of the song!  They went on to play one of my favourites, Wind Blows, which was amazing to finally hear live, but I wasn’t impressed with the sound-man (I’ll talk a little more about that in a bit).  They then played another new tune that again, had a great vibe and gave me some high expectations for this new album they are in the middle of writing.  Next up, they rocked Brides Song and Babies Don’t Like Blue Anymore like it was nobody’s business.

Now, Yukon Blonde have played hundreds of shows.  They have played these aforementioned songs hundreds of times; however, they played them as energetic and excitedly as though this was the first time they played them.  This is a true sign of a seasoned rock act.  The last thing the fans want is for a band to get up and play and not be into what they’re playing.  Fortunately, this was not the case.

The boys from YB played one more new tune and then finished off their 8-song set with Nico Canmore from their debut EP called Everything In Everyway. A great way to close their opening set!

My only complaint regarding their set had nothing to do with the band themselves, I was a little more peeved with the sound guy.  It became that much more apparent when the fantastic Plants and Animals hit the stage.

Crisp. Clean. Solid.

It really put into light how the sound for opening acts in these shows is somewhat neglected.  This isn’t to say the sound was awful, but at one point during one of Brandon’s (Yukon Blonde lead guitarist) guitar solos, I mentioned how I loved this particular solo to my friend.  He nodded, but couldn’t hear it.  It was even difficult for me to hear the notes.  Could have been possible that we were at front stage, so things may have sounded a little more muffled… Great set, nonetheless!

Plants and Animals played a great set, with great sound (have I mentioned the sound yet?).  I was unfortunately unfamiliar with much of their material, as I had just purchased their most recent album, La La Land only hours before the show.

To be quite honest, we were slightly pre-occupied during most of their set; wandering around, meeting people I had only met previously via Twitter, and the like; saying, “hi” to a few members of Yukon Blonde at their merchandise booth and purchasing a T-Shirt (awesome!); getting introduced to Hannah Georgas…. you know, a typical night at the Commodore Ballroom.

As the evening ended and we filed out of the venue, Granville street was buzzing with intoxicated folk searching for pizza and the next place to party.  A homeless man ventured over to us and began telling us some mildly offensive jokes.  We laughed uncomfortably and he asked for some change.

We hopped a bus, still reveling in the awe of the great show and amazing evening we had, not realizing that our bus was headed for SFU.  Not New Westminster…

~ by DR on February 20, 2011.

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