Wide Mouth Mason & Odds @ Venue -- 10/01/09

By this point, I think I have probably seen Wide Mouth Mason in the double digits. Odds, however, I had almost never seen. When they were big the first time around, I wasn't really going to many shows, so I never had a chance to see them "back in the day". I did see them play a short set before the fireworks one day, but that was more like half a show... it doesn't count. For these reasons, I think was more excited to have them on the bill than Mason. Don't get me wrong, I love me a good WMM show, but I had already seem them once (and a half, as they did a fireworks gig too) this year already, and countless times before.

Starting off the night was Jordan Carrier, and he... sounded pretty much like you'd expect a modern day Fox Seeds finalist to sound like. The first song sounded downright schizophrenic and the rest of his set, he didn't really seem to have a style of his own, just a patchwork of other bands. He, and his band mates, were not bad, musically, but not captivating at all and I pretty much forgot about the entire set as soon as Odds came on.

Odds hit the stage not too long after Carrier was off and played through the first song, which I thought was kind of muffled. Though when they hit the stage, none of the mics were on, so I thought it was just the levels... then I thought something was odd when I noticed the flashing lights were not strobe lights, but above both emergency doors. And that the high pitch whining wasn't feedback, but an alarm. Turns out the fire alarm was going off, and due to this, the PA system shut off. So, consummate professionals as they are, Odds joked and riffed on stage, about how this was now a photo shoot and such, before realizing they'd have to take a short break for things to get sorted out. Luckily, it wasn't too long of a break and they were back out soon after. They played a good mix of their older hits and the brand new material, and they still knew how to work a show, especially lead singer Craig Northey. I am so glad that I got the chance to see them in the end. It may not be the original lineup, but they're still as good as they ever were. And it was just another reminder why Pat Steward is one of my favourite drummers.

Finally, Wide Mouth Mason was up, and they were as sharp as ever. Even having seen them so many times, they never cease to amaze me with the sheer energy of their live shows. As is usual for their shows, they focused a lot on their hits and faster songs, but there were a few older ones in there, as well as two brand new songs from the upcoming (eventually) new album. One they had only played a few times before, and one they hadn't played at a show yet. The latter had the great title: Stop Yelling and Kiss Me. There were some nice jam moments as well, like during This Mourning (I think) they broke it down, and at one point during Shaun's solo-ing, he noticed someone near the front taking a video and went to play right in front of them. I've seen him do similar things before, and it's just cool to see the band interacting with the fans, not just up there to play, get paid and go home. I've met all three members before, and they are all incredibly nice, so that's no surprise there.
For the encore, they came back out with Change, which saw Pat Steward and Craig Northey take the stage to help out. Change segued into a live WMM staple, a cover of Stevie Wonder's Superstition which had Steward take over for Saf drumming and Northey on vocals. THAT then segued into a really good cover of Billie Jean, before going back to Superstition for one hell of an ending to one hell of a show.

Aside from the mediocre opening act, the disrupting fire alarm, and one other incident* it was quite the excellent night of rock and/or roll.

*of all the shows I've been to this year... hell, of all the shows I've been to ever... the one show I almost get into a fight at is a Wide Mouth Mason show??? Bizarre.