The Trews bring Rise in the Wake Tour to Vancouver’s Commodore Ballroom
written by Rea Raven
Flash! Intense light from centre stage penetrates the crowd as they wait for The Trews at Vancouver’s Commodore Ballroom. The band walks out onto stage, sharply dressed and ready to go, with a hint of excitement and barely held back energy. The first guitar strikes a chord.
Flash! Rise in the Wake floods the audience with an immediate assault on the senses. As unfamiliar as the audience is with the band’s new single, is how familiar we are with their next song, What’s Fair is Fair. As Colin MacDonald sings the repeating choruses, the audience attempts to join in, right down to the Woah’s and Oh’s being sung by brother John-Angus MacDonald and bassist Jack Syperek.
Power of Positive Drinking and So She’s Leaving elicit more audience participation (being more well known songs), with John-Angus and Syperek sharing the same microphone to sing backup vocals to Colin, inbetween rocking their hearts out and dancing their way across the stage and back.
Age of Miracles (new) reminds us that it is a truly magical time to be alive and sharing this experience together, and MacDonald (Colin) thanks beautiful Vancouver for being there – you sense he and the band really mean it – they’re grateful for the chance to play and to be in our fair city.
Colin dedicates Paranoid Freak to Russell Brand (Brand has almost singlehandedly taken over ‘the trews’ brand on google with his ‘true news’ videos), and a few in the audience cat call and cheer as the keyboard (Jeff Hiesholt) thumps into the unmistakable intro/solo. Harmonica and tambourine blend seamlessly into the song as do the voices of the audience in the chorus, so much so Colin lifts his mic stand onto his head holding it out to the crowd to intensify their singing. A few people are even motivated to enthusiastically crowd surf their way to the stage before being taken off by security.
At one point, front man MacDonald tells us The Trews have a mix of classic and modern songs that they perform at Bar Mitzvah’s for $500 a night. Despite the dotted laughter, nobody seems certain if its serious or a joke!
A few more songs as we are asked to count in with “1-2-3-4” on behalf of Vancouver, keeping everyone engaged and on their toes. MacDonald is having fun, tossing his guitar to the tech in exchange for an alternate before bringing the beat back. Hands raise to the roof as the music builds toward their most recently known song, Highway of Heroes which is introduced as being written for the troops not for the war.
The band leaves the stage and a drum solo ensues… the band jumps back on stage to start Poor Ol’ Broken Hearted Me inviting The Glorious Sons (all 5 of them) back on stage to share in a combination of Trews song then turning it into “Down by the river,” with Glorious Sons Mama. Asking if we want to keep going, they’re bombarded with screams and whistles to the affirmative and share another song before bringing it back to their own music.
An encore ensues, and we are treated to acoustic rendition of Ishmael & Maggie with all four voices blending in amazing harmonies – a stark contrast to the last two songs which were full on rock and closed out the show with a blast.
Find a GALLERY of show photos, shot by Dermot King HERE.
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written by Rea Raven