Monday, March 15, 2010

The Trews @ LiveCity Downtown -- 03/14/10 (Even More Paralympic Shenanigans)

I really wish LiveCity existed all the time. Three great bands in three nights, and all for free. You can't beat that! The Paralympic opening weekend was closed out with Antigonish, Nova Scotia's The Trews! (side note: I love saying Antigonish.) I missed their show at Atlantic House during the Olympics due to the insane lines, so I was more than happy when I found out about this show.

I've said before that The Trews have got to be one of my favourite live bands; few bands have can match their raw energy live, and they did not disappoint this time. Even after Colin admitted they left Canadian Music Week in Toronto at 5am that morning, any fatigue on their part was not noticeable (or at the very least, well concealed). They kept up the energy for nearly an hour and a half, hitting material old and new, and even a brand new one which has been played live since their acoustic tour, "Highway of Heroes", a moving number written about a woman from their hometown (Antigonish) who went off to fight in the Canadian Forces and never returned.
Some other highlights of the set were "Ishmael & Maggie", which is perhaps my favourite Trews song, ending with the band forgoing their instruments and crowding around the two mics to sing the end a capella. That transitioned nicely into another one of my favourites, "Poor Ol Broken Hearted Me" which had the crowd singing along by the end. Another great song-along, "Tired of Waiting" had a bit of an extended ending which segued perfectly into "Hold Me In Your Arms", which "ended" the main set. And of course no Trews show is complete without John-Angus' fantastic guitar playing. Part way through "Yearning" the rest of the band left the stage, leaving just him up there to melt most every face in the crowd. For the encore, they came back with a few mellower tracks, "Man of Two Minds" and the acoustic "Sing Your Heart Out" before ending the show with the intense "Burning Wheel" and the band just go crazynuts at the end.
One of the things I have always loved about The Trews live shows is how they slip in random covers here and there, and this show was no different. There was a verse from Fleetwood Mac's "Second Hand News" in "Can't Stop Laughing". The chorus of "Waving Flag" by K'naan was in the middle of "Yearning", and they started "Tried of Waiting" with a few lines from "54-46 That's My Number" (originally from Toots & the Maytals, but oft-covered).

This was my fifth time seeing The Trews live, and while I don't think it was my favourite show of theirs, it is always enjoyable to see them live. I can't recommend them more if you have the chance to see them live... especially for free!

setlist:
Dark Highway, So She's Leaving, Not Ready To Go, Can't Stop Laughing (w/ Second Hand News by Fleetwood Mac), Paranoid Freak, Yearning (w/ Waving Flag by K'naan), Ishmael & Maggie, Poor Ol' Broken Hearted Me, Highway of Heroes, Fleeting Trust, Tired of Waiting (w/ 54-46 That's My Number by Toots & the Maytals), Hold Me In Your Arms.
[encore] Man of Two Minds, Sing Your Heart Out, Burning Wheels.

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