Bend Sinister w/ We Are The City @ Venue -- 12/10/09

Finally, my Bend Sinister bad luck streak is over! I had previously only seen them either opening or doing otherwise short sets; it seemed every time that they came for a show of their own, there was something conflicting. But finally, thanks to the first of the two Christmas parties sponsored by The Peak, I got to see them. All three bands of the night are bands from the Peak Performance Project, a 20 band contest to help nourish local talent. Being a fan of Bend Sinister from before, they are my top pick to win, but We Are The City has definitely impressed me as well, so I was glad that my two favourites from the PPP were playing a show together.

We Are the City was first up, and holy damn! Had I seen them and not known anything about them, I would never have guessed that they have only been a band for a few years... and are so young. Not only did they have a great energy on stage, but they were incredibly tight & seamless, and -- if their stage banter and joking is any indication -- they seemed incredibly comfortable and at home on stage. I certainly wasn't expecting them to be bad or anything, but I have seem bands that have been around for way longer be much sloppier on stage. It was pretty amazing. They hit most of the songs off In A Quiet World throwing in a new one, This Is A Bad Mistake. The highlight of the set was my favourite song off the album, Astronomers, which even had a nifty space theme on the giant LED screen behind them.

Next was Run The Red Light, whose stage setup was quite opposite of WATC's, with a smoky atmosphere, small towers of LED lights back-lighting them. They, too, had a good stage presence, but not so much banter or talk between songs. When they started, their sound reminded me somewhat of Mute Math, and through the show there were more than a few times where the similarities were reinforced. They were not bad, but seemed to lack variety. A lot of their songs, even the cover of Sarah McLaughlin's Possession (yeah, that's right), sounded a little similar. I'd probably check them out again if they were part of a good bill, but probably wouldn't on their own.

And finally, Bend Sinister. Even after seeing them opening for Young Galaxy about a month and a half ago, I was still absolutely blown away. These guys are absolutely amazing live and seem to get better every time I am able to see them. They started off with Things Will Get Better, which they most certainly did, since right after was one of my favourite songs, Julianna. I am pretty sure I had never see them do that live before, so that was pretty damn awesome. CT, and a few other songs through the night, showed off Jason Dana's intense drumming and after a new song (which I didn't catch the name of, but will dub Cruel Joke because why not) and bringing things down with Give In To The Night, they launched into Brothers Of Humankind, which absolutely brought down the house with its incredible intensity and power. And I've said it before, and I am sure I will say it again, but Dan Moxon is an animal on the keyboard. They ended the night in the best possibly way, by announcing they had a cover song they've been working on for a while, and it was time to bust it out. After a familiar opening, you better believe they had everyone in the place singing along to the opening lines "Just a small town girl..." That's right, Don't Stop Believin'. Epic!
Even though they played for about an hour, it still seemed too short of a set and I already can't wait until they come back.

An awesome night of music, with my two top picks for the Peak Performance Project sharing the stage. If one, or both, of these bands doesn't make it into at least the top three of the Peak Performance Project, I think I will lose a little bit of faith in the station.

setlist, with what seems to be the new norm of me getting all but one song.
Things Will Get Better, Julianna, CT, New Song (which I dub Cruel Joke), Careless, Give In To The Night (w/ reprise), Brothers of Humankind, Dr Lee, [mystery song], Don't Stop Believin' (Journey cover)