Concert · Review · That's neat

Tumbleweed Wanderers and Angus Stone at the Electric Owl-16/09

I’m actually pretty late in term of concert reviews. Not that tons of people are loosing their sleep over it, but I like to keep track of these. It’s a good way to remember how it was. I’m still amazed at how many shows I am able to go here in Vancouver. When I’m back home, it’s generally summer so I cannot really see many bands even though I live in the second biggest city in France. The two other concerts I need to talk about are a bit special because neither of them happened in Canada and occurred quite a long time ago. 

But I’d like to write about last night before it fades away too much. Because it was truly, a great concert.

Part I- The great ticket Race

When I learned that Angus Stone was coming to Vancouver, I was only starting to really like the songs his sister and him made. I was not even aware that they are now touring solo and that they came quite often in France. So I started listening to some of his songs and quite liked them. When I found out that he would be playing Big Jet PlaneI realized I really wanted to go.

Problem was, I still don’t have a credit card and all the record store were sold out on physical tickets. And when I asked my mom if she could buy one for me, the online tickets also sold out. After calling the venue (twice), mailing one of the record store and the producer, I ended up learning that they would sell around 20 tickets on the day of the concert but they might run out.

So  I showed up early. And I was not alone. So we all waited from 6h30 to 8h00. The bouncer was a bit confused and told us he would only allow us in at 8h00. Finally, he told us we would totally get in because they had around 25 extra tickets and we were at the top of the line. After we got in, we still had to wait one more hour to see the opening band.

I was alone once again so I pulled out a book and tried to read while people started seating all around me, asking if I could save their spots. An elderly couple sat in front of me and then inquired on my field of vision (which was considerably reduced by their presence) but since I was going to go stand up for the show, I did not mind much. The lady was very nice and she started knitting. I wish I could be a cool older woman like her in the future.

People started to get pissed at me for saving spots for people I did not know so a group just sat there and told me they will tell the others that they stole the seats while I was away. I felt bad nonetheless.  Just before 9h00, the opening band started to play so I stood up closer to the stage.

Part II- Interlude: A word on opening bands in general

It might make me sound like the meanest person in the world but I have little patience for opening bands. The idea of opening bands just annoy me. It’s just awkward for them and for us. They are generally trying very hard but not a lot of people move or cheer and I feel bad for them. They know that people are here to see what’s coming after and are only stating there because they want a nice spot for the next act.

I don’t hate on people, no. But I hate the idea itself. It’s like trailers in cinema: they always show you movies that you might like based on the movie you choose to come and see. If it’s a family oriented movie, you can be sure that you’ll have a bunch of animated movies trailers coming along. Super heroes movies get you blockbusters and other super heroes films, horror movies work in the same way and that just pisses me off so much. It’s like having someone scream in your face: ” YOU MIGHT LIKE THIS TOO.” No, I don’t. At least, trailers are short. Opening bands aren’t.

But last night, the opening band was actually really really good.

Part III- Opening Band: The Tumbleweed Wanderers

I will pass on the fact that the tallest guy in the world decided to stand next to the stage and just go into the show. The Tumbleweed Wanderers are a really nice band from Oakland and this was their first tour date outside of the states. Not only were they super enthusiastic, they played very nicely and their songs were catchy. They also interacted with the audience and made us sing, clap and snap our fingers.

They keyboard player was really really REALLY good. And I was impressed by how versatile  the band members are. Three of them sang on different part and they had a lot of different instrument including a banjo and an harmonica.
At one point,  the lead singer talked about shooting a music video in old prisoner garb not unlike Oh Brother Where Art thou and they do remind me of the film in a way.

When we were lining up outside, some of the band members came out and they seemed genuinely happy to see so many people! They even tweeted a picture they took of the queue.

At the very end of the night, I got their Cd (and got some stickers!) and apparently they will come back again so I’ll make sure to go again, now that I know their songs better! Seriously made me rethink about opening bands, not all of them are bad!

Part IV- Angus Stone

The concert was really good! The crowd was a bit weird (people kept screaming weird stuff and pushing around) but I really enjoyed learning more about some of the back story of some of his songs:

Bella– A song about one of his friend who died due to an overdose. It was quite emotional (“I’m not crying, it’s sweat!”)

Bird on a Buffalo– Did I get that correctly? Is that a song about being high on weed?

The Wolf and the Butler– His dog passed away while he was on tour so he wrote about him at a big feast after his death, giving advises to his son. I really liked the song before and after hearing about the meaning, I like it even better as I can relate to the feelings of loosing a pet while far away 😦

I also liked how he mentioned his sister by saying she was his big sister and he was the little brother, it was really sweet.

We also got introduced to his moose!

I liked how casual the whole thing seemed to be. They obviously were all enjoying themselves and at some point, he asked us which song we wanted and said: “Oh yeah, let’s play that!” when someone shouted something. Like the opening band, they had a whole range of instruments (particularly pretty guitars). And Angus said Thank You at the end of each song. Which was often followed by a loud: ” We love you Angus!” from a girl in the back (“I Love you too! Actually, I love all of you.”)

Draw Your Sword live was really intense. There is something strange in hearing an audience sing loudly “Let’s not fuck around.”

There is something magical about live music that makes you feel so happy inside. But when you know the lyrics to a song and the whole room just join in, it is just incredible.
Big Jet Plane was the last song before the encore and everyone sang from the very beginning, not missing a bit. I wish it could have last longer.

Overall:

Venue: Friendly staff, nice food (smelled nice at least!), room was a bit small.

Crowd: I overheard some guy outside complaining about the lack of moment of the crowd. People at the front were moving quite a bit and it was fun but you had to be careful not to bump into people. Some girl asked me if she could stand in front of me and I said no. I felt bad after but since she was roughly my size, I don’t know why I should have let her pass. At least she asked. Some people just pushed their way through. Some people also dropped their  glass on the floor! It was so stupid the number of people who just decided to dumped their glass like that. Not only it’s super rude for the staff but it’s dangerous for the rest of the crowd! I heard people complained about how hot the room was. Thought it was ok

Music: Excellent! Both of them, I had a great time!

Angus and Julia Stone- Big jet Plane

ThTumbleweed Wanderers-Roll With the Times

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