Let me preface this review with a rant, which I don’t often do! The Okanagan (Kelowna, Kamloops etc) really has no business inviting good solid rock bands to come play here! We don’t deserve them, we don’t know how to handle them, and we surely don’t show them a good time compared to most Canadian cities, if last night was any indication! Let me also say, its not you Finger Elven, its us!
The band came out to cheers, hoots, catcalls and general noisy environment, and if one stood outside the ‘in’ doors of the Kelowna Community Theatre, one would think you were at a superb nightclub or bar like perhaps, The Commodore Ballroom or any other House of Blues, but once inside the sit down theatre, reality showed that the entire audience was seated, making as much noise as possible from that position. The band came out all smiles, and singer Scott Anderson in particular was glowing. Backed by Sean Anderson (bass), a wildly long haired Rick Jackett on guitar to his left, Jim Black on guitar and vocals to the right, and touring drummer Steve Molella the band filled the stage, especially as both guitarists roamed the expanse to get closer to the crowd and shorten the gulf between audience and band.
Singing mostly new songs from Finger Eleven‘s album, Five Crooked Lines, the audience was a little unfamiliar with some of the songs, but sang along when possible, especially to the current single, Wolves and Doors, and Not Going to be Afraid got really great responses.
The albums songs were interspersed with old familiar Finger Eleven songs Whatever Doesn’t Kill Me, One Thing, and of course their monster smash hit Paralyzer. There were a few brave souls up front who tried to stand up, a few tried to edge closer to the stage (its a rock concert after all!) but the two lone security dudes – one at each side of the stage- told each person to sit down back in their seat (or leave- we found out later!). Some fans resorted to leaving the front rows, to find a few empty seats near the back where they could stand up and dance undisturbed!
I felt so bad for the band! They tried their damnest to get us to stand up, but years of security telling us to ‘sit down or leave’ just leaves us deflated and defeated…. almost! When the very last song of the night turned out to be Paralyzer, the audience suddenly woke from the hazy dream of padded seats and enforced confinement and it was like lighting a fire cracker off! We literally rushed the stage as a group, and the ‘poor’ security guys didnt stand a chance! With the entire gulf between audience and band now filled with bodies fist pumping, shouting, singing and dancing, it was like the start of a whole new show, but sadly we did it too late. The effect we had on the band was instantaneous — huge grins, kicked it up into overdrive and matched our intensity.
Short pause with lights out, the band comes back for a 4 song encore (which we probably wouldn’t have gotten if we didn’t rebel!) A couple of acoustic songs with Jim Black singing solo then joined by the rest of the band, and the night ended with a bang. Spoke to Scott Anderson at the merch table after the show, the band was warned by a few people about the audience being seated (and remaining so), so they expected it but still.. think what a through the roof reception we could have given them, and them us in return! Waited so long to see this band, glad I got the chance!