It's been a while since David Vertesi -- tall bass player of Hey Ocean! -- has done a solo show in Vancouver. But earlier this month he released a brand new song, to tease his upcoming second solo album which should be released sometime next year, and a quick jaunt of western tour dates, wrapping up in him home of Vancouver.
Starting off the night at the Anza Club was Windmills from Kelowna. The one-man-band of Cory Myraas took the stage alone armed with his guitar and a looping station, building layers of his ambient-pop (or maybe post-folk) sound, with almost haunting vocals.
He combined it with awkwardly charming stage banter between songs, even going so far as to tell a couple purposefully terrible puns, or joking he was going to "kick it up to 7", as he wrapped up the set with a couple of the more high energy songs of the set.
It's always fun to watch loopers perform live, and he was no exception.
Next up was Rosie June joined only by Andrew Rassmussen on keys and synth, with more of a minimalistic pop sound. The focus was definitely on her lofty and breathy vocals for the show, but unfortunately much of the set it was either too low, or not clear at all, at times hard to make out what exactly she was singing. In fact, she didn't have very much stage presence, hardly moving through the entire set. Even Andrew behind the keys was more animated than she was.
Aside from her own songs she included a cover of Sugar Ray's "When It's Over", and the synth beats were definitely catchy. But I can't help but feel if she just had a bit more behind her vocals, it would have been a much more enjoyable set.
And finally, finishing the pattern of adding a band member, David Vertesi hit the stage with Andrew once again on keys, and Johnny Andrews on drums. They started with a slow-boiling instrumental before going into "Soft Skin" from Vertesi's first album Cardiography, joking that his genre of music was "sad dad cruise ship" (a phrase plastered on the shirts he had for sale).
His songs are simple, yet effective, many of them are about love, or the lack thereof, but it's the emotion he brings to the songs with his smooth baritone that really sells it and sucks you in. The best example of that came later in the set with the heart-wrenching song "Learn To Run" as it built to an intensely emotional release.
As well as the new songs -- like the catchy "Loud Talker" -- Vertesi also threw in a couple cover songs; first an almost lounge-y version of GOB's punk hit "I Hear You Calling" which was a really cool reinterpretation, and later a pretty straight up and dancey cover of "Say You'll be There" by Spice Girls. He wrapped up the set, without bothering with the whole faux-encore business, with his most upbeat (musically, anyway) song "Mountainside", leaving the floor dancing.
Vertesi left the crowd with only a little taste of his new album, but from the sounds of it, I am already looking forward to it.
[intro]; Soft Skin; Gentlemen Say; [new song]; I Hear You Calling [Gob cover]; Loud Talker; All Night, All Night, All Night; Learn To Run; [new song]; Say You'll Be There [Spice Girls cover]; Mountainside.