With him was Justin Rutledge, who was on stage armed only with his guitar. Luckily, it was a "listening crowd", as he put it, and Rutledge's strong voice & songwriting had the crowd hushed. Taking the opportunity to play some slower and quieter songs, the soft spoken singer/songwriter also joked around with the crowd between sets (I, for one, would go see a movie called "Twentysomething Santa").
Highlights from the set included "Out of the Woods", from his new album Valleyheart, and "Be A Man", which even acoustically built to a strong and passionate ending.
Sadly, he did not play his big, rousing sing along song "Jellybean", but it was still a strong set, and no doubt the Toronto troubadour won over more than a few fans.
Then at 9:15 sharp, Aidan Knight took the stage with his Friendly Friends. "You Will See The Good In Everyone" started off the set, beginning soft and building to a huge climax, a trait shared by a few of Aidan's songs. A few of the older songs had variations on then, different arrangements or slight adjustments; nothing to make the songs unrecognizable, but just a natural progression, and punching them up a little.
Part way through the set the band took a break for Aidan Knight Story Time; in true Aidan fashion a bit of a rambling, but entertaining tale of their current tour, and flipping their van, to past tours and Dan Mangan and car sickness.He then followed the story with the utterly devastating and heartbreaking "Margaret Downe", before the band came back for a few more including the lesser known "Lambics", building to an intense ending, and "Knitting Something Nice", which ended the set with a cacophony of swirling guitars and crashing drums.
They came back out shortly after for a couple more, including "Skip" from the new album, which Aidan mentioned had never been played in Vancouver before, and of course wrapping up with the big group sing along to "Jasper".
Aidan & his Friendly Friends always put on a great show, and a lot of the songs in the set sounded bigger, more grandiose; as if Knight was stretching his sonic wings more and more. If that was the case, then I am very interested to see what comes next.
You Will See The Good In Everyone, A Mirror, Land's End, Singer/Songwriter, Margaret Downe, Dream Team, Lambics, Altar Boys, Knitting Something Nice.
(encore) Skip, Jasper.