Seeing The Trews is always a good excuse to hit the road, but if one needed added incentive to travel nearly 600km round trip (to Vancouver and back), getting out of the 42 degree heat and into cooler temperatures was the added kick to road trip this past weekend. Combine that with the band playing at a new venue we’ve been hearing a lot about lately, and we knew we were in for a great night.
Red Truck Beer is Vancouver’s best kept secret (but not for long!) Tucked into the edge of the downtown core near Main and First Ave, Red Truck Brewery has been doing their best to spark a resurgence of live music nights with their on site Parking Lot Concert Series. Boasting a cafe along side the fully operational brewery, Red Truck also adds picnic tables and umbrellas, portable washrooms, adequate security, on site food trucks, merch table for the bands, and a DJ booth located at stage front, in the flat bed of one of their many historic older ‘red’ trucks on site, where a local DJ spins tunes between sets of the three bands on tonight.
We arrived just in time to catch the last few songs of local band No Sinner. Pretty decent tunes. The crowd obviously familiar with their music as they sang along at stage front, raising their craft beers in salute as the band ended their set and left the stage. A mere 15 minutes later, the stage was ready to rock with the highlight of the night, The Trews!
Hello Vancouver! Singer Colin MacDonald struts on stage and addresses the crowd, wrapped in a grey scarf and black leather jacket. Guitarist (and brother) John-Angus is off to his left, straw Panama hat in contrast to bassist Jack Syperek’s well worn, unique, feathered brown felt hat. With minimal intro the band jumps straight into their current radio hit, Rise in the Wake. What’s Fair is Fair follows (another radio hit from their current new album, The Trews) and the audience is revved up for the band to try a brand new unreleased song, which goes over well. So She’s Leaving hits the deck as does Colin’s jacket, and the audience is suddenly singing along every word at the top of their lungs, which continues well into the middle of the set as the band plays more of their well known hits.
Under the Sun (my personal favorite) makes the set list despite being a bit of a slower pace, and ironically the drizzle that had been toying with us off and on, became ‘on’, and didnt let up for the rest of the night. Not a downpour though, and it couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd.
The Trews new drummer Gavin Maguire, keyboard player Jeff Heisholt and bassist Jack Syperek leave the stage and the brother’s MacDonald do an acapella Sing Your Heart Out with the audience joining in loudly… which segued into Ishmael and Maggie, a raucous fun drinking song which had the three missing band members coming back, and all 5 sharing the same mic. Many a raised Red Truck brews finish the song on a high note “I only drink with friends and total strangers…. I’ve been drinking too much I better go home.” But of course we stayed!
A few more singalong songs, another brand new song that is also well received (Lotta Work Little Love?), and then another personal favourite from the new album, Where There is Love which is a bit 60’s psychedelic ballad and softens the crowd up for Highway of Heroes which elicits a very good response. To my right, a young guy takes his hat off for the entire song in respect of those who serve our country (nice to see).
Back to the party and crowd participation with Poor Ol’ Broken Hearted Me, and head banging galore with Hold Me In Your Arms! Great way to end the set… or so we think. Band goes off for a quickie breath catcher and comes back on to get ‘trucked’ with us in Power of Positive Drinking (of course!), Not Ready to Go (we aren’t!), and ends the set with New King.
All in all a great night. Colin MacDonald’s voice is the best I’ve heard it, with a new depth and tone to it. The band was energetic and played off each other all night and the sound was really well done. I also heard from friends on Twitter that Red Truck Beer live streamed the entire show! The Trews killed it.
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*Many thanks to Red Truck Beer for the tour, for allowing the photos on side stage, and for a great experience.
The Trews live at Red Truck Beer singing opener Rise in the Wake!