It was a strangely busy night in Vancouver for a Thursday, and while I was a little sad to have missed the third show in the Peak Performance Project Concert Series Showcase Spectacular, and Royal Wood, it had been too long since I had last seen Library Voices live, and seeing as they put on one hell of a live show, I wasn't really a tough decision. And in addition, they had brought with them two bands I was really interested in seeing; both I have wanted to see for a while, but just never had the chance.
The first of the two was The Provincial Archive, from Edmonton, starting the night on a bit of a mellow vibe. They had a folk sound that reminded me, at times, of The Weakerthans in all the best ways. The four of them had an assortment of instruments, from melodica to stand-up bass to accordion to banjo, great harmonies and really catchy and well written songs. They definitely won over more than their fair share of the crowd as they wove through their set, ending with a newer song, "Drive" and what was probably my favourite of the set, "Weight and Sea".
Second up was Dinosaur Bones, who started to picked things up a bit, energy-wise. With a bit of a dark-and-brooding-pop sound, the band was really tight and put on a solid show. The members had a great chemistry together and played off each other with an effortless ease. With highlights of their set being "N.Y.E" as well as the last song, which I didn't catch the name of, I really dug them and would definitely be intrigued to catch them live again.
And then, hitting the stage seven members large, it was Library Voices. From the beginning of the set -- opening with "If Raymond Carver Was Born in the 90s" -- they had an enthusiasm that is unparalleled. Especially their bass player, who hardly stood still for a minute, singing along even when he wasn't on mic and just generally getting everyone pumped. But the liveliness wasn't limited to him, as each member of the band was just as energetic, a few times coming out to the front of the stage, even on the boxes right in front of the stage at the Biltmore.
Their set focused on the new album, Summer Of Lust -- with the awesomely titled "Reluctant Readers Make Reluctant Lovers" and their current single "Generation Handclap" definitely being highlights -- but they also hit a few older ones, the apocalyptic "Party Like It's 2012" and the insanely infectious "Step Off The Map and Float", which wrapped up the main set. But of course, they came back out for the usual encore, starting with one of my favourites from Denim on Denim, "Bookish", and ending with a pair of covers. The first was (I think) "The Letter" by The Box Tops, which was really fun and upbeat song, but they ended the night on a more quiet note, saying it seemed the proper thing to do on a Thursday. The band crowded the front of the stage to play Lennon's "Oh Yoko", which ended up with a couple members wading out in the middle of the crowd for a massive sing-along.
Any of the three bands playing would have been great on their own, but putting them all together made for one fantastic show, and I can't wait to see any of them again.
If Raymond Carver Was Born in the 90s; Write Me A Myth; Generation Handclap; The Travellers Digest; Prime Minister's Daughter; Kundera On The Dance Floor; Reluctant Readers Make Reluctant Lovers; Que Sera Sarah; Party Like It's 2012; Be My Juliette Gréco, Paris 1949; Haunt This House; Step Off The Map And Float.
[encore] Bookish; The Letter [The Box Tops cover], Oh Yoko [John Lennon cover]