Sunday, June 10, 2012

Tracks on Tracks: The Second Day


Day two began somewhere in the middle of BC, with some people decorating the Green Couch car and interviews aplenty as the Green Couch people and Grant Lawrence from CBC Radio 3 talked to a few of the bands.

The first performance of the day was in the afternoon, Chris Ho in one of the train cars as we were pulling in to Jasper. Chris was joined by Kiana Brasset and a couple other bandmates for a stripped down, but upbeat folksy set. After a few catchy songs, he wrapped up with an appropriate cover of a certain Aidan Knight song as the train pulled into the station.

The stop in Jasper featured a couple more platform shows as they got the green couch off the train for The Matinee and Sidney York to play a pair of acoustic songs each in the rain. The Matinee went with “L'Absinthe “ and “Sweet Water”, getting a lot of the passengers in the station stomping, and Sidney York got people bopping along to “Mile High Love” and “Dick & Jane”

Back on the train, car shows started back up with Adaline. Due to some technical problems, she didn't have a keyboard this time, but an acoustic guitar. She was a little nervous to just be playing on guitar, but soldiered on like a pro. Part way through her first song, a voice from the back of the car joined in, a voice belonging to Adrian Glynn, who joined her for the rest of the set. They harmonized on some of the songs they had worked on in the past, some of Adaline's and even one of Glynn's, and for “Whiter/Straighter” they went a capella and got those with rhythm in the car to snap and clap along.
With the intimate space of the last car on the train, and the beautiful scenery disappearing into the distance right behind them, it was a pretty amazing set, and definitely one of my favourites so far.

After some (delicious) dinner, Sidney York and The Belle Game were playing in a different car – they had four cars total set up for live shows; three smaller and more acoustic and one main Green Couch Car.
Sidney York had the full band set up, and a lot of the folks who were on the train not knowing about the project happened by, and it seemed like a good number of them were won over by their enthusiastic and infectious indie pop. Even in a confined space, Brandi was bouncing up and down behind her keyboard and the band was rocking the train.

The Belle Game was next, but as they were literally two notes in they blew the fuse, rendering half their equipment powerless. But they rolled with the punches and played an entirely stripped down set instead. “Sleep To Grow” started the set, and they were joined by the lovely ladies of Sidney York to add bassoon, oboe and french horn to the grandiose ending of the song. They were only able to play a few songs, due to the power issue taking up most of their time, but it was really cool to see them that basic. So far two of the best performances were born from equipment failures.

Later on in the night was a full set from Maurice in the Green Couch car. People packed in, sitting on the floor for more of a rocking set from JP and his band, as opposed to the platform show from the day before. He played for about a half hour and ended with his cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams", slipping in a couple fun top 40 songs; "Teenage Dream" and "Moves Like Jagger", all of which had everyone singing along as the train pulled into Edmonton and picked up the last of the bands, Shred Kelly.

And the day wrapped up, music-wise, in the best way it could have; a Top Less Gay Love Tekno Party. It's nearly impossible to describe the events of the set, but the Green Couch car was absolutely packed with people -- many of which were, in fact, topless by the end of the set -- and everyone jumping and dancing, shaking the car to the bands incredibly fun dancey pop sounds. There was a lot of singing and clapping along to songs, like their self titled "Top Less Gay Love Tekno Party", and they were even called back for one more song, a slower, quieter one to wrap up the night.

Tomorrow is another packed day with shows on the train from Shred Kelly, The Matinee, Portage and Main, a stop in Melville, SK and the big free show tonight at Winnipeg at the Forks; the only actual-venue show of the trip!

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