Friday, November 11, 2011

Yukon Blonde @ Biltmore -- 11/10/11

I am not sure why, but while I have always liked Yukon Blonde's records, I find they pale in comparison to their live shows. I've had the chance to see them a few times this year, and they are definitely among my favourite live acts, so I definitely wasn't going to miss them at the Biltmore, especially since they also brought a couple cool opening bands along with them.

Thanks to some internet lies, I showed up a couple sings into Kingdom Cloud's set. I was surprised to see they didn't have their keyboard with them, but that didn't stop them from winning the crowd over with their incredibly infectious pop. I've seen them a few times this year and am always struck by their awesome energy, especially singer/guitarist Evan Jeffery, who hardly stands still for a minute. As well as their own stuff, they also threw in a cover of Guided By Voices' "Game of Pricks", and highlights included the awesomely titled "Turbo Ranger" and "Rainbow Road", which closed out the set.

Second up was The Paint Movement from Toronto. They had a they had a really upbeat and fun sound, rounded out by keys and a sax player, with catchy boy/girl vocals and harmonies. While they lacked diversity in their songs a little, but had a really good energy and stage presence, engaging the crowd. It was a really fun set, and I would absolutely catch them next time they were through town.

And finally, Yukon Blonde rounded out the night. Starting the set with "Babies Don't Like Blue Anymore", they immediately burst forth with their incredible energy live, great harmonies, and flat out rockin' songs. Several times throughout the set, they had the crowd singing and clapping along, and there were even a few crowd surfers -- including guitarist Brandon Scott. They also seemed to have a bit more banter and joking that the last few times.
Among the highlights were members of both bands coming on stage to help out on vocals for "Kumiko Song", and some of their new songs, including "Radio" which I have seen live a few times and is quite possibly my favourite song from them, even though it hasn't even been released yet. They also tossed in a cover, starting the encore with a cool rendition of Tears For Fears' "Everybody Wants To Rule the World", and after another great singalong to "Wind Blows", they brought the set to an end with an older song, "Nico Canmore", wrapping up what was the best set I've seen from them.

setlist (taken from the on-stage setlist, so some new songs may be shorthand)
Babies Don't Like Blue Anymore, Radio, Brides Song, Stairway, Rather Be With You, Loyal Man, Water, Iron Fist, Fire, Kumiko Song, My Girl, Breathing.
(encore) Everybody Wants To Rule The World [Tears for Fears cover], Wind Blows, Nico Canmore.

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