Friday, March 9, 2012

Last Night In Music: Adaline, Ma Petite and Sidney York -- 03/08/12

Okay, it was a bit of a busy night last night, with about a half-dozen shows worth seeing. Islands at the Rio, the Evolution1079 Birthday party at the Railway and Ruffled Feathers out at UBC were all among them, as well as three other shows I wanted to see. So how did I decide? Well, I didn't. I saw them all. So to paraphrase another blog's title, here is Last Night In Music. (Which also ended up being an accidental celebration of International Women's Day)

The first stop was at CBC Vancouver for the CBC Toque Sessions. The series is just about wrapping up, but there are still a couple more to go. The shows are free and are being recorded for broadcast later of Radio 2 and their On Demand section (sidebar: check out the snazzy new CBC Music website).

The former Vancouverite -- now Toronto resident -- Adaline was back in town with her sexy electronic-pop sounds, joined by her backing band and occasionally a small string section, which included Hannah Epperson and Michelle Faehrmann.
The set kicked off with the energetic "Rebels of Love", and went through most of her new album Modern Romantics.
Adaline was all over the stage throughout the set, behind keys and synth and even coming right up to the front, and "threatening" to come down and sit on the laps of the front row. Her great stage presence and confidence was only overshadowed by her incredibly powerful voice, most apparent during the slower "Cost Is Too High", which was a more stripped down song with just her brother on the keyboard backing her, until the strings swelled up at the end.
There were a couple snags in the set, but she rolled with them quite well; at one point when the electronic track failed to kick in at the beginning of "Sparks", she just continuing with different lyrics, jokingly dubbing it the "Screw Up Song". But that aside, it was a very entertaining set, with other highlights being the raw "Lovers Collide", the raucous "Stereo", and "The Noise", a moody song that closed the set.

setlist
Rebels Of Love, Wasted Time, That's What You Do Best, Keep Me High, Say Goodbye (I Won't Even), Stereo, Lovers Collide, Chemical Spill, Sparks, Cost Is Too High (Not To Love), The Noise.

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After a quick bite the next stop was to the Media Club for Jamison Troy's CD release show, to catch the adorable Indiana Avent as Ma Petite. First up, though, was Two Bicycles, another project from Teen Daze's Jamison. They had a bit of a chill, almost folk-ish vibe, with a prominent saxophone to round out the sound. Some of the songs were a bit similar, but the short set was pretty good, and I wouldn't mind catching them again in the future.

Soon after, Ma Petite hit the stage, Indiana joined only by Ben Appenheimer on stand-up bass. The minimalistic folk-pop set was driven by Indiana's lovely voice and her fun songwriting, with songs like my favourite of hers, "I Like That You Like Books"; "Mittens", about the Australian's first Canadian winter;  "Adventure Wednesday", which is about exactly what the title implies; and the birthday song for "Benny Apples". Indiana was also really talkative on stage, chatting with the crowd and introducing each song, getting people to come fill the empty gulf in front of the stage and leading a sing along for the end of "Man About The Moon".

setlist
Morning Song, Lonesome, Adventure Wednesday, Mittens, How to Make a House a Home, Benny Apples, Man About the Moon. I Like That You Like Books, Two Big Thick Ruffled Coats.

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And then as soon as Ma Petite ended, it was a rush to get over to the Biltmore in time for Sidney York. Though my timing was perfect, as they hit the stage mere moments after I walked in the door (clearly they were waiting for me).
The normal trio of lovely ladies -- Sheryl Reinhardt on oboe, Krista Wodelet on bassoon and of course, Brandi Sidoryk on keys, french horn, ukulele and vocals -- were joined by Luke Cyca, Colin McTaggart and Neil Dorin something on drums, guitar and bass, respectively, but it was the girls who really stole the show. I've been able to see Sidney York more than a couple times in the last few months, and I think it's safe to say this was the best set I've seen from them.
There was an incredible high energy from the three of them; Sheryl and Krista ran through the crowd clapping at the start of "Dick & Jane", and Brandi was exploding all over the stage the whole night, even bouncing with energy when just sitting at the front of the stage, with people from the crowd joining her for "Roll With Me". Brandi also did a great job of talking and joking with the crowd, acknowledging the intimacy of the show, and even mentioning "fun facts" about specific people in the audience she knew.
Other highlights were the dark "Math & Fractions", the softer and heartbreaking "Go Home, Atticus Jones", where the boys took a break, and "Mile High Love", which ended the set with a bang.

setlist
Tea As It Should Be, Math & Fractions, Cold In Here, Apocalyptic Radio Cynic, Go Home Atticus Jones, Dick & Jane, Doctor Doctor, Roll With Me, Mile High Love.

Despite some timing worries for the latter two, pulling off the triple-show went off without a hitch (though I was sad to miss some of the others on both later bills), and though it was a bit of a hectic night, it was three somewhat different shows to make a pretty great night of music.

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