Its not often a band can stir up a Kamloops crowd on a cool, wintery Tuesday night – especially when that Tuesday night is also the night of the biggest election in US history… but The Trews were game to try, and it didnt take long to heat things up at CJ’s nightclub.
The Trews are currently touring in support of their new Time Capsule and companion piece, The Vault and it was sublime. Every band has greatest hits.. those much loved songs that everyone wants to hear live. The ones that live on radio and casual fan’s iPods, and that’s great, but there is something magical about hearing songs that helped a band get where it is today. Hearing songs that are the gems that were bypassed in favour of the radio hits. And hearings the songs that endeared the die hard fans to the band since day one. Such were the songs that The Trews played tonight, many from The Vault and like any great band, these songs scattered between the hits, rotate on a nightly basis so each audience gets to hear something totally different. In fact, The Trews have been asking fans to let them know which one’s they want to hear at their own specific shows, and I love that! (helps that I requested ‘Locked Doors’ for tonight’s setlist and YES they added it! First time I’ve heard this song live ever).
We’ve been to more than a few Trews shows over the years – starting first in Nakusp, then Salmon Arm Blues Fest a year later, the Commodore of course and last year’s Konquer Ride and Rock charity show, and even as far as St Albert! But tonight’s show was unlike any Trews show we’ve ever been part of. Its hard to define why! Singer Colin MacDonald is on fire.. maybe its the lack of drink on stage over the last year, maybe its the longer hair and more casual attire. Whatever it is, his vocals are just as potent but he’s more relaxed; there was some experimentation and spontaneity happening, less ‘sticking to the program’, and it was great. ‘New’ drummer Gavin Maguire (whom the elder MacDonald credits to the renewed vigor of the band), is starting to show his true colors behind the kit; a very dry and very funny sense of humour! Bassist Jack Syperek is as smooth as 20 yr old whiskey and just ‘is’, and lead guitarist John Angus MacDonald showed off his chops playing the ‘old’ hits with new arrangements!
It was also great to hear Colin MacDonald do what musicians used to do (and more need to do).. use the music as commentary on politics and life. Without missing a beat, MacDonald changed the lyrics to one song to change it into commentary of Trump and the election happening while the band was on stage. As evidenced by catcalls and audience members doing the thumbs down sign, people noticed and agreed.. and later, a snippet of Pink Floyd ‘Mother’ was added to the bridge of ‘Sing Your Heart Out’.. the section referencing building a wall got crazy good reactions from the audience. Wish more bands would get back to being rebels!
The evening rounded out with an impromptu singing of ‘Naked’ after an audience member yelled out a request (and the guys doing a quick group huddle to see if they could oblige), and then a rousing 3 song encore that saw John Angus playing drum with one foot and guitar at the same time while the others went off for a quick fresh air break. Despite the show being truly the right length, they were gone too soon! The mark of a great band. Cant wait until Saturday’s show at the Commodore for comparison!
If you get a chance to see The Trews on this tour – do yourself a HUGE favour and go! I guarantee it will be different. And memorable. And fun! Check out their tour dates HERE.
And check out The Trews performing Locked Doors acoustic below, circa 2009.
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*photo cred Crystal Olsen twitter