Concert Review: Behind Sapphire @ GoGo Bean in Abbotsford, April 21, 2011

There’s something almost magical about a band playing in a coffee shop.  I’m not sure if it’s the lack of dim lights, the intimacy or the smell of coffee instead of spilled beer and marijuana, but it’s likely a combination of all those elements.  When I buzzed down to Abbotsford around 9:30pm on April 21st with my wife to meet up with Scott Graham (THE man behind popular food blog What’s For Lunch BC?) at GoGo Bean, I knew it was going to be a lovely evening.

Gone were the typical aforementioned odours and vapours you’d be accustomed to at a show/concert, and present was the delightful aroma of coffee, excitement and the beautiful Behind Sapphire.

I will be the first to admit that I couldn’t name one song off of Behind Sapphire‘s debut album, and had only known about them because of 2010’s Top 20 PEAK Performance Project, but for this reason alone, I was intrigued.  And perhaps, part of the reason I thoroughly enjoyed Behind Sapphire‘s hour-long set was because I had no idea what to expect.  Well, to put it simply (or strangely), I’d equate my first experience of Behind Sapphire to the first time one eats their favourite desert:  a discovery of something brand new and delicious that does well to one’s soul.

For those who have not heard of this indie band, I can’t really describe their sound as a specific genre.  Lead singer Grant Cassell has a unique, haunting and beautiful voice that borders on jazzy mixed with soft, indie folk magic.  The band setup was great with a minimalist drum set, bass, piano, guitar (both acoustic and electric) as well as a few trumpets!  My admiration for horns is growing exponentially, so this was all very exciting.  I was also nearly blown away by their amazing three, four and five part harmonies.  It’s not very often you see a group of young adults sing so beautifully together, especially in an indie rock outfit.

Between songs, the band regaled us with a few tales from their past 3 month long road-trip which made for some neat, non-musical entertainment, and at the same time, made the whole experience that much more intimate.

After about an hour, the band finished their set, but not before some coaxing to play “one more song”.  They decided to move to the other side of the coffee shop and sing us a spiritual tune that I didn’t catch the name of, only accompanied by a single floor tom for percussion, an acoustic guitar and 3 beautifully harmonized voices.  Spiritual, emotional, magical.

This beautiful band happens to be playing tonight (!), April 23rd at the Red Room for the West Coast Pop series, so be sure to check them out if you are in Vancouver tonight, as tickets are only $10!

And thank you to Behind Sapphire for a rare and lovely evening in quaint ol’ Abbotsford.



~ by DR on April 23, 2011.

2 Responses to “Concert Review: Behind Sapphire @ GoGo Bean in Abbotsford, April 21, 2011”

  1. Nice desert reference! The last song was called “Nearer My God to Thee”. Awesome show!

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