November 15, 2016

The Trews Own the Stage at Vancouver Commodore

colin macdonald the trews nightmair creative

In a scene reminiscent of years gone by, The Trews took to the stage this past weekend at The Commodore Ballroom and reminded us what has made them such a fun-loving group. The energy was high from start to finish with a few intimate moments sprinkled it, and the crowd could not get enough.

Opening act Bleeker did a remarkable job starting the evening and warming up the crowd, playing youthful rock and hitting the mark more than once. They were sometimes repetitive, sometimes droning, but more often than not entertaining and focused. I’m not sure how far back these two acts go, but Bleeker was very suitable choice to compliment and contrast the night’s style.

Of course, this was more or less a Greatest Hits tour in support of The Trew‘s latest release, Time Capsule, but that does not dilute the fact that this is a group with relevance that fits into the present day. Every song felt fresh and invigorating, even though the fans had most likely heard them countless times before (myself included). The band was able to, in true artistic fashion, highlight each member and their key roles in each song, rather than just going through the motions. Opening bass riffs, drawn-out jams with guitar solos, and drum clap alongs punctuated the spaces in-between the singing, giving the a sense of inclusion and unity, as though they were up on stage with the guys.

One side comment here about the lights. They were bloody fantastic. Honestly one of the best lighting performances I’ve seen at that size of venue. Intricate dancing of the overhead mechanicals mixed with the static colored and audience directed flashes, and wildly spinning head-height positioned rockers that always felt like they were going crazy at the appropriate time. I was blinded by the majesty more than once.

The Trews also know how to honor fellow musicians, and displayed such grace and humility when they broke into Leonard Cohen‘s “Hallelujah”. Recently deceased, it was a beautiful send off to a man who has touched so many lives with his soul-capturing vocal.

As well, and in a very topical move, they sprinkled in Pink Floyd‘s “Mother”. It’s not too hard to relate it to all that is happening in current US politics, asking if we should “build a wall”. I’m not going to go into it here, but it’s kind of an issue that has divided the nation, and a nice touch from a rock band (rock n roll being the voice of the people you know).

If you’re a true Trews fan, you may have a chance to catch them on their Canada wide tour, Tour Dates Here.

There’s no sight you’d rather see than The Trews rocking out right in front of you.

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written by Vaughn Oliver

*Editor’s note: Kudo’s to The Trews for insisting there be no fencing between audience and band. It was a breath of fresh air to be able to get up close and personal for an old fashioned rock concert with die hards hanging off the speakers and stage front. Thanks and good things always to the group of girls who not only allowed me to stand closer to the stage with my camera, but pushed me onto the other side of them to be closer to the action! And having long time ‘fifth band member’ Jeff Heisholt banging the keys was a great addition to the overall vibe and energy. ~ donna mair

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