Yukon Blonde, Sun Wizard & Redbird @ the Red Room, Vancouver, May 7 2011

Jeff Innes of Yukon Blonde

I know, I know..

I am completely aware that this is the third concert review that I’ve done for Yukon Blonde, the headliner of what was, sadly, the second last West Coast Pop series show.  I’m also completely aware that I’ve written several other posts about Yukon Blonde and their awesomeness; however, this review is a little different.  “Why”, you ask?  Because of two very important reasons:

  • Yukon Blonde was finally a headliner and I got to witness it!
  • They played almost half of their new album that’s yet to be released, let alone mixed!
Let me back this review up a little bit, I’m getting ahead of myself.
Before Yukon Blonde took the stage, the gracious patrons of the Red Room Ultra Bar in downtown Vancouver were graced with the presence of two opening acts: Redbird and Sun Wizard.  Redbird hit the stage first, and led by lead singer, songwriter and acoustic guitar player extraordinaire, Savannah Leigh Wellman, they rocked a solid half hour set that was full of boot-stompin’, sweet Tele-tone guitar solos, lovely vocal harmonies and some wholesome laughter.  Lead guitarist John Sponarski played swiftly, while Jeremy (bass) and Ben (drums) pounded out the rhythm and made it look easy. This was my first time watching Redbird play and I look forward to the next show!  If you missed this show and/or want to catch them again, they’re working on a new album and will surely do some local promotion (ie. shows!) soon.

Sun Wizard

After a little down-time between acts, a gangly group of long-haired ruffians took to the stage.  They consisted of two left-handed guitar players (what are the odds?), a bassist and a drummer.  They rocked out to a grungy, classic rock vibe with a youthful, indie rock energy.  It was a great combo, kind of like Bob Dylan had an affair with Sloan, or Blue Oyster Cult made love to the Strokes and the result of either scandalous romp was the birth of this mysterious band: Sun Wizard.  I’m ashamed that I had not given Sun Wizard any ear time until that day.  Note to self: a purchase of their latest album, Positively 4th Avenue (Bob Dylan-inspired, much?) is a must.  Give them a listen for free here: Sun Wizard on Bandcamp
Just when I was getting over how cool Redbird and Sun Wizard were, Yukon Blonde hit the stage.  And to a riot of cheers, I might add.  As anticipation built and the opening tune was counted in, Jeff Innes (singer, rhythm guitar) steps up to the mic and starts crooning one of my favourites, Rather Be With  You.  I was both delighted and excited as I’d yet to hear them play this tune live.  It seems I wasn’t the only one, as the rest of the Red Room was singing to the fantastic chorus line.  From there, the evening did not disappoint as they played a number of tunes from their debut, self-titled LP such as Wind Blows, Brides Song, and Babies Don’t Like Blue Anymore.  That was not the highlight, however.  After playing 4 or 5 songs from said LP, Jeff announced to the crowd that they had been in the studio recording a new album and told us they were going to play a few tracks from it.   

John and Savannah of Redbird

More cheers, and they were off!  Although I didn’t count, I’d say the boys played 5 or 6 new tunes for the lucky crowd at the Red Room, but the one that seemed to have the place buzzing afterward was a track that may or may not be called Radio.  Even the Twitter feed was buzzing, with a member of a very well-known local band in the audience tweeting: “Tonight @yukonblonde played a new song that was so good I actually googled the lyrics because I thought it had to be a cover.”  I’m thinking this may very well be their lead-off single, whatever the track name may or may not be.
After an hour-long set, the band took a quick encore break and came back with a song called My Girl (I think) and closed with the epic Loyal Man.  Again, the Red Room was singing along to the oh-so-singable chorus.  And then, as quickly as it began, the show was over.  Another Yukon Blonde show in the books, and the best I had yet seen.
A fantastic night from three great bands who all put on great sets, none of which disappointed in the least.  I look forward to seeing all of these bands again someday and highly recommend you all do the same.
Brandon of Yukon Blonde
Sun Wizard

Jeff of Yukon Blonde in a blurred state

~ by DR on May 15, 2011.

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