Monday, July 4, 2011

The Tom Fun Orchestra @ David Lam Park -- 07/04/11

As the Vancouver International Jazz Fest wrapped up for another year, they put on a day of free shows at David Lam Park, and closing out the festival was one of my favourite live bands, The Tom Fun Orchestra. I've seen them twice before, in small clubs, and while both were amazing shows it was really cool to see them on a big outdoor stage on a beautiful evening.

They took the stage seven members large with no two members playing the same instrument (well, if you count acoustic & electric guitars as separate) and launched into a new song, "Miles Davis". It was a perfect song to start the set, with a great energy, and they even slipped in a few covers; a verse from "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen, and some of Bonnie Tyler's "It's a Heart Ache". From there the set was a a mix of old songs, from 08's You Will Land With A Thud, and new ones. They didn't mention when/if a new album was due, but if the live songs are any indication, it will be pretty amazing.
The new songs sounded very "Tom Fun", their eclectic mish-mash folk, roots, blues, rock and punk, which is complimented perfectly by Ian MacDougall's gravely, raspy vocals. I didn't catch the name of most of the new ones, but my favourite started off calm and exploded into the usual Tom Fun cacophony of noise.
They brought the set to an end with "You Will Land With A Thud", somehow topping the energy that they had all night, which was no easy feat. You could tell throughout the set that they were having loads of fun, with MacDougall talking and joking between songs, from effectively stalling while they fixed a couple technical difficulties, to praising the crowd and city skyline, to inviting a couple people in cardboard robot heads from the crowd on stage to dance.

And while there were a couple small technical difficulties through the set, as mentioned, they were mostly nothing too distracting, except for one; the female vocals (not Carmen Townsend, but I didn't catch her name) were a little too low, so sometimes you couldn't hear her. But that aside, it was an incredibly fun set, and I already can't wait to see them again, and especially for the theoretical new album.

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