Saturday, February 18, 2012

Jordan Klassen @ Media Club -- 02/17/12

Over the last few months, two local(ish) bands have been getting some big exposure from spins on The Peak. The first is Bed of Stars, from Evan Konrad's collaboration with Neverending White Lights and their own single, and the other, Abbotsford's Jordan Klassen. So it was of little doubt that the CD Release show for Jordan Klassen's Kindness EP would sell out the Media Club.

First up, though, was Northcote, which was Matt Goud on acoustic guitar, kickdrum and harmonica -- sometimes all three at once -- backed by Blake Enemark (briefly of We Are The City) on electric guitar. He had a straightforward folk singer-songwriter sound, but he was elevated above the generic with both the songwriting and the emotion he put into the songs. His set was fairly short, and I regret not picking up a CD, as I would definitely like to hear more from him in the future.

Second up was Bed of Stars, for a more synthy, electronic pop sound. While they have definitely had a fair amount of hype surrounding them, I thought their live show was just okay. It certainly wasn't bad, but nothing really stood out as songs flowed together, and his vocals seemed consistent through each one. But that being said, I can definitely see promise in the band; it was only their third show ever -- and first with their new guitarist -- and I can see them getting a lot better. After a cover of Kings of Leon's "The Bucket", they ended with the highlight of the set, their single "Falling Apart", which Evan Konrad sent out to The Peak for supporting them, Klassen, and local music in general, and was the high

And finally, the stage packed for Jordan Klassen with over a half dozen musicians backing him, including some familiar faces; Indiana Avent, Jocelyn Price, and Ben Appenheimer. The inclusion of violin, cello, keys and more gave Klassen's folk-pop a grandiose and rich sound that was nearly too big for the Media Club.
He kicked it off with "Call and Answer" from the Kindness EP and "Piano Brother", which will be on his upcoming full length Repentance, both of which set the stage for the rest of the set with the symphonic rises and falls. Klassen had a great enthusiasm on stage, despite admitting he was a touch nervous at the sold out crowd, and barely having enough room to move around at times.
As the set went on, the musicians came and went, with as few as two people -- Jordan and his ukulele, with the cello for "Threads" -- but everyone was back for three huge songs to end the set, which were my favourites of the night. "The Horses Are Stuck" started soft and swelled a chilling chorus with everyone on stage providing vocals; one that I didn't catch the name of, which absolutely exploded into a cacophonous ending; and finally "Go To Me", the single from The Peak that blossomed to a grand climax to close out the set. He was back out for one more, though, a softer, slower song called "Ask Me Not, Astronaut" to send off the crowd into the night.

Overall, it was a pretty good night of music, and I already can't wait to see Klassen again, no doubt in a well deserved much bigger venue.

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