Friday, August 24, 2012

Then & Now @ Biltmore -- 08/21/12

The brainchild of Vancouver's beekeeper, Then and Now was a simple concept; take ten artists and get them to play a brand new song and an old song-- their current favourite that they're super proud of, and one of the first songs they wrote, that they may be a little embarrassed by.
The night was also a fundraiser for Megaphone, a local magazine that is sold by the homeless or low income people, who get to keep the profits of their sales.

The night started with a couple amazing songs from aboriginal blues artist Murray Porter, followed by Brandi of Sidney York, who took the concept to its extreme playing her very first song and brand newest song -- the latter being a sexy cellphone song (no, seriously). Dominique Fricot followed, with his "then" song being a song he wrote for his high school grad.
Hannah Epperson sang a short song she wrote when she was eight, to sing as a pre-dinner prayer of sorts, before amazing everyone with her incredible violin looping, and the first half of the night was wrapped with with Katie Rox, first singing a song from her old (industrial) band Jakalope before being joined by Brandi and Luke Cyca for her "now" song.

After a brief intermission Colby Sparks kicked off the second half, being a bit of an odd man out, genre-wise but certainly not talent-wise. His old song was him playing saxophone overtop of some beatboxing, while his new was a complex series of samples that had everyone's heads bobbing and shoulders shimmying in their seats. Ma Petite came up next, first rapping(!!) a silly joke rap group she had in high school, and playing one of her first songs, a sappy love song before her newest one.
David Vertesi was up next with his new song being from his latest album, but his old song from his high school band, Touched By An Uncle, called "Sean Connery" which was a love song to the titular actor. And it was as goofy yet amazing it is sounds. Jody Glenham followed him, with her old song being "Coffee Soaked" played on guitar instead of a piano and her new song being written on a bar stool in the back of the very venue she was playing in, the Biltmore.
Finally, wrapping up the night was beekeeper, playing a full electric set. Their "then" was not an embarassing song from Devon's past, but a song from their first album, BE KEPT, and their new one was a brand new tune called "Don't Need Hope, Need Whiskey"

It was a really fun night with a great concept, and while the show never felt like it dragged -- the hosts Devon and Lana Gay did a fantastic job during the quick turnarounds, and many of the musicians had amusing stories to go with their songs -- the show ended up running three hours, with the break. Next time they put on an event like this (and I sincerely hope there is a next time) I hope they pare down the lineup a little, but not by much
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