Venue – Father John Misty
Granville Street’s Venue should add “The Worst” as a prefix to its name. Now I’m sure it’s just fine for anyone that lines up, pays their $15 dollar cover to see hear some shitty house DJ, but seeing a live show at this place can be a very frustrating endeavor. There’s a similar thing happening in the National Football League right now. The league is basically screwing the regular officials by not signing them to a new contract because they know their presence does not affect their bottom line. People will stick pack the stadiums and still tune in with record numbers to the games with or without the officials. It’s incredibly disgusting what they’re doing because they are actually ruining the game of football by pretending that officials don’t matter. At Venue, they have decided that they want to host live shows, but at this point it seems like they do it out of some weird obligation, as if they promised some dead grandmother that they would host live shows, because all they seem to want to do there is cater to the late night Granville crowd. The basics are that most live shows are early shows at Venue, which I am all for. I love going to early shows, the show is done early, and I’m in bed early, but Venue seems to have a weird interpretation of “start” time. I come from the theatre world, and if you’re late to a theatre show, you are not allowed in the door, if you’re late to a movie, well you’ve missed that much of the movie, that’s because they have start times. Music shows classically will always start later than the advertised time, that’s because the venues like to make money on people buying booze before the show, but the last time I went to see a show at Venue the show started earlier than what I had expected, so this time I made sure to ask directly to the people running the venue and the organizers what time Father John Misty was going to hit the stage. When you go to a festival you’re seeing many shows, so start time is crucial, and when they said that he was going on at 8:30pm, I was a little taken aback because that seemed really early considering their standard Granville crowd wouldn’t be arriving till at least 1030pm, but whatever 8:30 was doable. I showed up outside the doors to get in at 8:15pm and what do you think I hear inside? Yup, the sweet sounds of Father John Misty. The place was half full when I got inside, incredulous to the scene but the man onstage is such a consummate performer, I was lulled into a trance and slowly forgot my annoyances. Father John Misty only has one album out, but his presence on stage is that of a veteran, it’s amazing to think that his talents were sort of wasted behind the drum kit with Fleet Foxes. Half way through the set I looked behind me and saw that the place was now full, maybe not quite a sellout but close. Then all of a sudden someone on the balcony starts shining a flashlight right into my eyes. I look around confused along with a few other people around me. Suddenly a bouncer jumps over and a start shining a flashlight in our faces up close. They were looking for someone that sparked a splif, but the whole ordeal of the balcony bouncer shining a flashlight, and then the bottom bouncer shining a flashlight in a different person’s face as if to say “Is this the guy?” seemed to take forever. Well long enough to miss another song. These Mensa candidates rekindled my rage, but once again it was quelled by the Father as they broke into “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings”. The band is a lot more rocking then they sound on record, but it works incredibly well when there’s a quieter pace, mainly because J. Tillman just has that velvet voice that never waivers. They came out for an encore and played a cover medley of John Lennon’s “Mind Games” and The Flaming Lips’ “Do You Realize?” It seemed like a very fitting end to a night, the crowd was delighted by an impeccable performance, of course only half saw the entire thing, but I’m sure Venue couldn’t give two shits as they had a full lineup of suburbanites that would be queued up in an hour for their wallets to be raped.
Biltmore Cabaret – Shout Out Out Out Out
Putting together a festival and lining up all the acts must be a difficult thing. It must make it all worth it though when you’ve got a packed house for one of your headlining acts. Sure most people may have shown up at the Biltmore just because it was Saturday night, and they needed to get their lurk on but hey Olio will take it. When Edmonton’s Shout Out Out Out Out Out Out Out Out Out Out Out hit the stage at 1:30am (apparently all shows in Vancouver have to be super early or super late) people were ready to drop their lurk and get their dance on, or in some cases just combine the two. Shout have had a reputation of being a good live act, and they didn’t disappoint. They’re a dance band, so that’s what their goal is when they hit the stage, and they delivered with a high leg kick. With two drummers, at times two bassists, and a million keyboards and knobs, there was plenty to watch if you were taking a break from your dancing or you were just trying to avoid the grinding of some sweaty old perv. What the Shouts do is not something that’ll make electro record geeks swoon, but it will get the dance floor going. The songs have a cool groove that sound great because most of the bass lines are played live, and the beats are driving with the dual drums, the vocals are vocodered, and they all take turns dancing around the stage. They’re not as young as they used to be, but they still look like they enjoy what they do, and so did most of the people at the Biltmore.