Saturday, February 19, 2011

Plants & Animals w/ Yukon Blonde @ Commodore -- 02/18/11

Plants and Animals are getting in the habit of picking some really good touring partners. Last time they were here Said The Whale opened for them, and the second leg of their current tour will be with Karkwa. To be honest, I am disappointed that Karkwa didn't make it out west with them, but that disappointment was sated a little when I found out who would be opening.

That band? Yukon Blonde, with a set consisting of some old and new songs. The new ones were great, though not too much of a departure from the bands sound; but they did have the same excellent energy. The four members on stage had a fantastic energy as they rocked through the set. From the harmonies of "Wind Blows" to the great solos and guitar work throughout, the band owned the stage. And they talked about being incredibly happy to play the Commodore -- and to find out the double-headed showers in the back were not mythical.
I wish they had played for a little longer, but it was a good length for an opening slot, and I have a feeling they'll be playing again soon enough.

setlist: (taken from their setlist, which was all shorthand, so a couple of the songs may not be the full title)
Oregon Shores, Wind Blows, Brides Song, Water [?], Babies Don't Like Blue Anymore , Radio [?], Breathing Tiger, Nico Canmore.

Every time I see Plants and Animals live, they never fail to astonish me on how they have such a huge sound with only the three of them, and last night was no different. They started with a new song that they later identified as "2010" (or "Twenty-Ten") before some more familiar material. The set started off a little mellow, with a couple from the new album and "Good Friends", from Parc Avenue, which was fantastic live and really got the crowd into it.
Frontman Warren Spicer broke out an acoustic guitar for an older song that I didn't catch the name of it, but I think it's all the With/Avec EP. That was followed by another new song, "Why & Why Not"; it was more rocking, and raised the energy, which was continually topped for the next few songs. "Bye Bye Bye" got everyone moving and "Mercy" was, as always, stupendous live -- definitely one of my favourite songs to see performed. They had the crowd singing, clapping and chanting along, and as the song came to a crashing finale, Spicer and Nicolas Basque met mid stage, and began playing each others, and their own, guitars simultaneously.
"The Mama Papa" managed to match that energy, with everyone dancing, and the set came to a "close" with the sprawling and epic "Faerie Dance".
But of course, there was the encore. Another new song started soft with Spicer on the acoustic guitar again, before switching to electric mid-song for a rousing ending. And their last song of the night left the crowd in high spirits, getting "recognition applause" for the whistling intro of the raucous "Feedback In The Field" for a superb ending.

I was slightly disappointed they didn't play "Guru/Sinnerman", which I've seen them play every time, or especially "American Idol", my favourite off the La La Land. But despite those small qualms, it was still a great set, and reminded me why Plants & Animals is such a great live band.

Setlist:
Twenty Ten [new], Undone Melody, Jeans Jeans Jeans, Good Friend, [older song], New Kind Of Love, Why & Why Not [new], Bye Bye Bye, Mercy, The Mama Papa, Faerie Dance.
(encore) [New song], Feedback in the Field.

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