Each year, our local Rock radio station, CFOX puts on a Seeds Competition for all local bands to enter. The final three duke it out with a live performance where the winner is declared at the end of the night. The bonus this year was, The Trews closed out this show!
The three bands battling it out were Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Head of the Herd and Louder Than Love. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes were up first with a 45 minute set that was difficult to sit through: Heavy Metal/screamo rock with vocals that were hard to understand, a front man who moved around too much (yes usually I complain bitterly that the singer doesnt move enough), and a drummer with a fondness for too much kick drum. One positive though, the band has the energy and passion needed for a stage show, and took the time to engage with the audience throughout the set… something even seasoned ‘pros’ often forget to do (Bob Dylan anyone?)
Up next was Head of the Herd. A 5 piece Rock/bluesy band with a girl on keyboards/backing vocals; they looked cohesive in white shirts, black pants and black suspenders. (Thank god – enough of the ratty white v neck rolled out of bed look on bands). This cohesiveness extended to the moves, the music (and lyrics), and the harmonies, and the band were a joy to experience. The end of the set had the audience yelling for an encore (unfortunately due to time constraints for the night, that was an impossibility)
Louder Than Love finished the indie set. Heavier in tone than Head of the Herd, but still solid rock tunes, their songs were received with huge enthusiasm from an ever growing crowd that seemed to know all the words to their songs. Judging by the crowd reaction it was no surprise when Louder Than Love was announced as the winner just before the Trews came on stage, but they were somewhat cookie cutter for my tastes and really nothing new. A record deal ensues for the winners, as well as coaching and other goodies.
The main show started with a bang and a jolt and went off the rails from there! I’ve seen the Trews about 4 times in the last year; Nakusp Music Fest, acoustic in Kamloops, opening for Kid Rock, and their own Fan CD release party. I’ve seen them good, great, unbelieveable – but the only way I can describe them for this show is “best f****n show I have EVER seen” (and that includes ALL concerts I’ve seen over the years – yes.. even U2. It was that good!)
At one point front man/singer Colin MacDonald congratulated all 3 bands their accomplishment, and Louder Than Love for winning, adding, “now begins the real work.” MacDonald and the rest of the band, Jack Syperek on bass/vocals, Sean Dalton on drums/vocals, and brother John-Angus MacDonald on guitar/vocals, proceeded to raise the bar above and beyond anything I’ve ever experienced. The energy was magnetic and infectious, and the audience sang the familiar chorus’ at the top of their lungs. Even the softer songs like Stay With Me, have that distinct Trews ‘kick ass guitar riff, drum beat, louder than you can possibly sing’ burst of passion in them… for the first time in a very long time, **”every ounce of energy you try to give away” was apparent. Not only was it apparent, I was living and breathing it! While not as sweaty as the band (obviously), I left the show with almost completely wet hair and tee from the energy expended on the jam packed dance floor. Even the challenge of standing behind the absolute tallest man in the audience could not deter me from being completely absorbed in the moment – thus was the power of the band!
For the first time in a very very long time, I was taken in the moment.. no thoughts about how well the band was doing or not doing, no trying to remember the setlist for later, and yes I did snap a few photos (point and shoots were allowed) but I was too worked up about the music and it felt good!! Finally… the heat got to be too much, and just before the encore I decided to move back further and check out the show from the other side of the stage…. the view was just as good 😉 The guys really outdid themselves at this show and I cant figure why it took me so long to like this band! Playing catch up has been an amazing experience; I didn’t think they could top the CD Release party show last fall, but somehow they did! Keep it up guys – we need more bands, more shows, to be like you!
**lyrics to Turn the Page, Bob Seger
For the diehards – the songs in the set, in no particular order and probably incomplete 🙂
Hope and Ruin, The World I Know, People of the Deer, So She’s Leaving, One by One, Highway of Heroes, If You Want To Start Again, Stay With Me, Paranoid Freak, Hold Me in Your Arms, Poor ol Broken Hearted Me, Fleeting Trust, Tired of Waiting, Sing Your Heart Out
Photo Gallery HERE
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*For a different perspective on the same show, check out Jamie Taylor’s post on Concert Addicts HERE