Library Voices @ the Biltmore Cabaret, Vancouver, Sept. 22, 2011

LIBRARY VOICES

Cheap, tasty beer.

Electro-acoustic pop magic.

Sampler noise dissonance.

Hipster chic patronage.

Friends, great music, Oh Yoko! cover.

It all equals an amazing night. These were just a few bits of random awesomeness that occurred this past Thursday night at the Biltmore Cabaret in Vancouver.  The reason these events took place was all because the Library Voices happened to be in town.  And they happened to be kicking some serious prairie-pop ass.  Not that anyone there was the least bit surprised.

The only thing the Library Voices are better known for than their awesomely energetic live shows is the fact they almost always have 7 band members on stage. Minimum. It makes it rather difficult to party when you’ve got a group of your best friends playing music with you night after night.  All that fun translates in to a fun-filled live performance.

The Regina-based 7-piece are currently touring in support of their latest full-length release, Summer of Lust. And just as the album does, their set at the Biltmore kicked off with the bumpin’, boppin’ dance jam, If Raymond Carver Was Born in the 90’s.  From there, the band played their best tunes from their past two albums, including Write Me A Myth, Generation Handclap, Party Like It’s 2012, and Be My Juliette Greco, Paris 1949.  

As if the songs weren’t great enough, I appreciated the intro’s that singers Carl Johnson and Brennan Ross gave for several tunes.  For example, The Prime Minister’s Daughter was intro’d as the song that’s been getting a lot of attention on the Conservative message boards; Reluctant Readers Make Reluctant Lovers was said to be the “most provocative” song title in the Library Voices catalogue; Que Sera Sarah was about “the one that got away”.  There was much more witty banter that involved topics such as the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the end of the world, but it was more of a “you had to be there” kind of thing…

I wasn’t sure if they’d toss any old tunes from their debut Hunting Ghosts EP, but sure enough, Kundera On the Dancefloor and Step Off the Map and Float were thrown in; both tunes being set list highlights and the latter being the set closer.

At the end of the set, I was sweaty, as were many others in the audience.  Not having played hits such as Bookish and Drinking Games, I knew the Voices weren’t quite through.  Sure enough, they popped back onstage and smoked an awesome version of Bookish, one of my personal faves.  But there was no Drinking Games to be had.  As they kicked into the second tune of their encore, I knew I didn’t recognize it, so it couldn’t be one of their tunes. (Yeah, yeah – I’m a fan boy…)

I recalled the lyrics and googled it when I got home and sure enough, it was a cover of Wayne Carson‘s The Letter. A great tune and they nailed it.  For their final tune, another cover: John Lennon‘s Oh Yoko!, and this was probably the highlight of the whole show.  They sang the tune with beautiful harmonies, and for the last verse, the entire band ventured out from the stage and into the crowd where there was a group-love sing-a-long.  The only one left onstage—kind of—was a member of Dinosaur Bones (one of the opening acts) beating a floor tom with a drum stick to keep the beat.  

I don’t like to throw around the word ‘epic’ a ton, but this whole scenario could use such a descriptor.  Amazingness.

With that, the night was done.

[And, I should mention that there was a lot of talent in the crowd watching the Library Voices.  You know you’re doing alright when a member from Brasstronaut, Sidney York, The Beekeeper, Jody Glenham, among others come out to watch your show. Kudos!]

-Dylan

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~ by whet_hopped on September 24, 2011.

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