January 8, 2015

Current Swell in Vancouver, a review

Current Swell
Written by Vanessa DeRenzio

Current Swell rocked the boat at the Commodore Ballroom the other night. The sold out show went over without a hitch, and the crowd couldn’t get enough of the indie-folk band from Victoria.

When I arrived at the venue, the lineup for the show was insane, including those last minute decision makers, hoping to get a ticket. Needless to say, the place was jam packed! The age range of the crowd was an eclectic mix, surprising considering the Peak Performance Project winners appeal to the younger crowd.

The opening band Jon and Roy came on, and I must say, they had a pretty uninspiring set. While I enjoy a good folk band, none of the set that they played was upbeat, leaving a pretty tired feeling throughout the audience. I think everyone was a little bit relieved when they left the stage after a 45 minute set, as many people were finding it hard to drink and dance to their music. Despite the fact that it was a Sunday night, many people were trying to make it a night to party (I sat near the bar and watched the bartenders hard at work).

When Current Swell finally came on, I was thoroughly impressed. Not only were the songs fun, but these guys could really play their instruments well (a rare feat these days with so many Indie bands). They opened with Keys to the Kingdom which got the crowd roaring, and continued their dynamic two-hour set, complete with a steel guitar. They really played quite a broad selection as it included both indie-folk, rock, blues, and acoustic, which sounds like it wouldn’t work, but it absolutely did. The crowd danced and sang the night away. There was even one man trying to crowd surf to the quirky set, although he was promptly dropped.

The band themselves had a lot of energy. While I did think that Scott Stanton (lead guitar), Chris Peterson (drums), and Dave Lang (guitar) were wonderful, I feel like Ghosty (bass) and Dave St. Jean (trombone) deserve a standing ovation. Ghosty, who looks like he fell out of Nirvana, kept up the grunge persona and rocked out the entire night, even to slower songs! He was a true headbanger, with his blonde hair and long beard flying around all night. Dave St. Jean also impressed me with his trombone enthusiasm! I swear, the second he stepped on stage he lit the entire place up, even though he was only out there for two or three songs! He looked so happy to be there and so excited to play the music.

Current Swell surpassed my expectations. I went in expecting to see an average indie-folk band, but they have so much more to offer than that; great sound, great variety of music styles, and talented musicians! It was a really fun show to be at, and definitely a band that I would recommend for anyone who wants to enjoy a really fun show. And hey, they’re local, so that means we’ll be seeing a lot more of them around!

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written by Vanessa DeRenzio



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