Was it ever a busy night in Vancouver. With no less than five events worth going to, it was a tough decision. But based on a complex series of deciding factors, I came to the conclusion that the Electric Owl was the place to be.
First up was current Peak Performance Project contender The Belle Game. I've seen them a couple times in the last month, and they've really impressed me. Packing the stage with half a dozen members -- including The Ruffled Feathers's'es' Andrew Lee -- they have a grand and layered sound with a great intensity; an intensity that was taken out on the floor tom that took a beating. The set seemed a bit short, but included a new song and their current Peak single, "Sleep To Grow", leaving me wanting more; which may be rectified this coming weekend at Live @ Squamish.
Next up was Elias, who were having a bit of a homecoming, since they hadn't played a Vancouver show in quite some time. They were joined by Juno Winning Bass Player Peter Carruthers, and had a great intensity and stage presence that you would expect from a band that has been working as hard as they have for as many years. The set included a fair amount of new stuff -- songs that were played for the first time (and possibly last, they joked) -- and a few I really dug, including one with just Brian Healy and Peter on keys, and another near the end that featured more of guitarist Rob Tornroos on vocals.
Despite the fact that, at times, they are a bit "Fox-Rock" for my taste, they put on a darn good live show, and I just hope they don't wait a year before seeing them play live again.
Rounding out the night was another member of this round of the aforementioned PPP, Rococode -- who are one of my favourite new bands this year. With vocals split between long time collaborators Laura Smith, on keys, and Andrew Braun, guitar, and joined by Johnny Andrews and Shaun Huberts -- drums and bass, respectively -- they may be a new band, but the experience they all have with previous projects gives them an awesomely tight sound and insanely energetic show.
Early on in the set was the fantastically infectious "Empire", and they didn't let the energy down, with "Weapon" and the cacophonous "Blood" being other highlights. They ended the set with a song I didn't catch the name of, but had Andrew taking over the keys from Laura, bringing the set to an explosive climax.
All in all, it was a night of great fun and an excellent showcase of local talent.