I have to admit, I have never really considered myself a big fan of Great Lake Swimmers. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy hearing their songs on the radio, but I've never really delved into their music beyond that. Though when, mere hours before the show, I was offered a chance to see them play an invite-only set put on by The Peak at the Vancouver Aquarium, in front of the beluga tank.... how could I refuse? If nothing else, it would be an interesting setting for a concert.
As the crowd gathered in the depths of the aquarium, Great Lake Swimmers took the makeshift stage for a soft, intimate performance fit the setting perfectly, with blue lights bathing the crowd and stage. Their hour long set consisted of songs from their new album, New Wild Everywhere, a collection of soft yet rich songs.
Front man Tony Dekker didn't say much between songs, except expressing his awe of the setting, but was a captivating lead singer, backed by the lovely voice and violin from the equally lovely Miranda Mulholland. Highlights of the set were the catch first single, "Easy Come Easy Go", the beautiful "Fields of Progeny" and the final song of the hour long set, the upbeat title track, "New Wild Everywhere".
And the belugas definitely seemed into the show, swimming up the the window throughout, seeing what was going on, and "dancing". They were especially interested in drummer Greg Millson, who looked like he was watching the mammals almost as much as he was drumming.
To call it a "once in a lifetime event" is perhaps a bit melodramatically, but it was definitely a special rarity that won't be soon forgotten, and perhaps more importantly, it definitely made me more interested in checking out their new album next week.
The Great Exhale, Changes With The Wind, Cornflower Blue, Easy Come Easy Go, Fields of Progeny, Think That You Might Be Wrong, Ballad of a Fisherman's Wife, The Knife, New Wild Everywhere.