They've had a few shows there so far, but this was the first chance I had to see one there, and it was a pretty nice venue; a welcome addition to the city.
Though I will say, in a very aggravating turn of events, despite the advertised "Doors 8, Show 9" the first band did not go on until just after 10:30. I know Vancouver is not a punctual city, especially for shows, but having the show start an hour and a half after the listed time is ridiculous.
But I digress. After a couple of hours of DJs Owen Ellis and Louise Burns spinning vinyl, James Younger took the stage. Formerly in the Vancouver group Sun Wizard, when they disbanded, he struck out on his own (as well as playing backup in The Zolas).
Younger's sound had a throwback feeling to it, definitely influenced by the 70s. Songs like the bouncy "Sleeping Alone" had a high energy and upbeat rock, getting the crowd moving.
There was nothing about the set that made me dislike it, but not much that made it particularly stand out either. Younger and his bandmates -- which included Andy Bishop, who plays in about 37% of all Vancouver bands -- were all unarguably strong musicians, but there wasn't much variety to the songs. It was Perfectly Acceptable Music, and a good opening act.
After a fairly short turnaround, it was time for Gay Nineties. The band took advantage of the old movie screen behind them, projecting things from flat colours and patters, to scenes from the gay 90's (the 1890s, that is) and other animations.
They opened with a softer song, building into the rocking "Hold Your Fire", taken from their new album they are currently working on. With charismatic frontman Parker Bossley clad in a golden chainmail shirt, the set ranged from sultry slow jams to high energy rockers, blending hints of 60s psych-rock, 90s grunge, and 00s dance-rock. They even slipped in a cover of an Ambrosia song.
One incredibly danceable song was introduced with Bossley asking people to slow dance like they were in middle school, and their current explosive single "Letterman" got a huge response.They wrapped up the set with slow-burner, starting calm and erupting to a big finish, but of course they were back for the obligatory encore, inviting up James Younger for a pretty solid cover of Tom Petty's "American Girl".
The Gay Nineties burst onto the scene a couple years ago in the Peak Performance Project, and they have been on an upward trajectory ever since. Every time I see them play, they get better and tighter, and I am definitely interested to see what they have up their collective sleeves for the new album.