Sunday, June 13, 2010

We Are The City @ Biltmore -- 06/12/10

The Peak kicked off the new "season" of their Performance Project with a show at the Biltmore last night, with three bands from last year, as well as staff and a lot of musicians, from both years, milling around. I got to say, there are a lot of great bands in it this year, with no less than seven that I want to see win. (Which are, in no particular order: Aidan Knight, Christina Maria, Vince Vaccaro, Debra-Jean, Adaline, Ben Sigston and Said The Whale)
Before I get to the show, I want to rant for a minute. I hate it when people talk through a person/bands set, and it seemed especially bad last night. I understand the event was part concert, part social, meet & greet, but it was still ridiculous. You'd think other musicians especially would be a little more quiet, as I'm sure they wouldn't want it to happen to them.
Mind you, there have been times when the Biltmore has been terrible for that. A few times there have even been performers pissed off because of it (Kyp Malone, when doing his solo Rain Machine show there, chastised the crowd for talking the whole way through his opening act).

Anyway, I digress. As I said, first up was singer-songwriter Adrian Glynn, who came out alone, just his guitar and a kick drum. He was a little soft spoken for some of the songs, which made the chatter that much more noticeable. There were a few songs, though, where he cut loose a little more, and those were the ones I liked more. At one point, he jumped hopped off the stage to sing and play in with the crowd, enlisting everyone to sing alone. Part way through the set, We Are the City joined him for the song "In A Minute", and then again for the last song, which I didn't catch the name of, but really liked. The end of that song he just went all out, with more energy than the rest of his set. I liked his live set a lot more than the recorded songs I've heard, and I would like to see him live again... hopefully with less rabble.

Next up was The Left, and they started with the lead singer with his new toy, a Korg Kaossilator Pro, which immediately became my second favourite instrument. He showed it off, first with a drum beat and some looping, and then showed off the coolest part of it: the touch pad on the front... it's hard to describe, so here is a random demonstration. He even let a few people in the front play with the touch pad a little.
I admit, I never really got into the band; they aren't bad by any means, and their set was catchy enough, but they were about the same as last time I saw them. They had a good, high energy and were really upbeat for the whole set, to go along with their music. I definitely wouldn't be against seeing them live again, but they probably won't be what draws me to a show.
Unless they use the Kaossilator more often.
(And I finally realized who they reminded me of. The Dudes, if The Dudes were from the 80's.)

And finally was We Are The City, and band that, even though I've seen them over half a dozen times now, never fails to impress me with their live show. They were in fine form last night, and Andy seemed especially intense on the drums (not to imply that David or Cayne weren't the best as well). They played a fair amount of new songs, too, started off the set with one before segueing into "There Are Very Very Big Lights In The Sky", and some more new tunes. The first was one they've played live a few times, which I call "Morning Song" (may not be the actual name) and after that was one of which I believe was called "The Birds" (or something that sounded like that), which was ridiculously good; I can't wait to have a recorded version of it.
This was, I think, the first show I've seen where they didn't end with "Astronomers", but rather "April" this time, which segued into the same new song they started with, bookending the set very nicely.

Earlier this year, at the end of the first Peak Performance Project, I said "if they can even get half the talent next year, it'll still be one hell of an event." Well, it seems like they did, and it will be, and I can't wait to see how it goes.

setlist (with made up/assumed names for the new songs in the square brackets)
New Song [Prologue], There Are Very Very Big Lights In The Sky, New Song [Morning Song], New Song [The Birds], Time Wasted, Peso Loving Squid, New Song [Take It From Me], Astronomers, There Are Very Tiny Beasts In The Ground, April, New Song [Epilogue]

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