Young Galaxy w/ Bend Sinister @ The Biltmore -- 10/28/09

I think I mentioned this previously, but I am gonna start out by complaining... why oh why, Biltmore, do you put curfews on your weekend shows, so they and at or before 11... and yet your weekday shows go on all night?! I know they end early Saturdays for club nights after, but I'm an old man now (apparently)!! I have to get up early (and in this case, write a midterm the next day)!! But I digress. Last night was one hell of a bill at the Biltmore with Bend Sinister opening for Young Galaxy. As much as I love Young Galaxy, I think I was going as much, if not more, to see Bend Sinister. They are definitely one of my favourite local bands, yet I always seem to have bad luck seeing them live. Every time they had a show, something else was going on. But I've broken my Bend Sinister Bad Luck Streak, even if it wasn't a headlining show. Which I hope they do soon.

On to their set itself. Bend Sinister hit the stage a little after 10 (see!) and started with The News and followed with a couple more from their newest album, Stories of Lovers, Tales of Brothers. The set focused mostly on that, with a new song and a few older ones thrown in, and greatest of all, a cover song. I have mentioned before how much I like live covers, and when they started talking about the Peak Performance Project (perhaps click right here and give them your vote?) they mentioned one of the "challenges" they were given was to learn a cover of a classic Canadian song. While talking about it, Dan Moxon hit the first few notes on the keyboard, and immediately everyone knew what it was and cheered. Their cover was the Guess Who classic, These Eyes. And it was a pretty glorious cover. It was a pretty straight cover, with the end a littler Bend Sinister-ized.
The whole set, all five members of the band had an insane energy, with guitarists Joseph Blood & Henry White and bassist Joel Meyers all over the stage, at the front and almost in the crowd. Even Jason Dana and Moxon, when stuck behind the drums and keyboard (respectively) had crazy levels of energy. And damn, is Moxon an animal on the keys. it's one thing to hear him playing on the album, but to actually see him play, it's mind boggling.
The only thing I was disappointed by from the set was they didn't play Julianna, which is my favourite of theirs, but seeing as the set was pretty short to begin with, being the opening band, I guess I can't expect everything. And I suppose they more than made up for itwith their sheer awesomeness. At that point I would have been satisfied to go home, but there was still more to come!

After not too long of a break, the curtains pulled back to reveal a stage of smoke, and a few silhouetted figures started to play. The smoke started to dissipate -- but not before the lasers! came on -- and revealed Young Galaxy looking surprisingly glam-y, with hooded robes, gold face paint and crazy hats. The smoke would return every few songs, completely enveloping the stage and band members before dissipating again and again. It was cool the first time, but I they may have went a little overboard on it -- a notion that co-lead singer Stephen Ramsay seemed to echo at one point, with smoke swirling around him.
Musically, though, they were pretty damn solid. Songs came mostly from the new album, with a few older ones thrown in for good measure. Swing Your Heartache was definitely one of the highlights of the set, as well as Long Live The Fallen World, from the new album. Despite being the first track, it turned out to be a great closer. The end of the song saw them go absolutely batshit insane and build up to a chaotic climax for the show. The encore saw only part of the band come back out, with other lead singer Catherine McCandless taking lead for a really light and mellow tune before departing. It was a nice contrast to the crazy conclusion of the "main" set, almost a denouement to the show. The set, overall, seemed a lot shorter than it was.
It was a good, solid show and I have few complaints, but something about it just didn't seem to click for me. Maybe it was Bend Sinister being so (too?) awesome, maybe it was just it was kind of late, I dunno what it was, but everything seemed a bit... off. I'm sure it was me, though, and not by any fault of Young Galaxy, and I would snatch up tickets in a heartbeat next time they come back.