Said The Whale @ LiveCity Downtown -- 03/12/10 (Paralympic Shenanigans)

It's time for round two of the free shows! Last night was the opening of the Paralympic Games, and while there may not be nearly as many free shows as the Olympics, Livecity Downtown is open again and has some great bands playing this weekend and next. To kick things off? Said The Whale! I somehow managed to miss all their shows during the Olympic break, so I certainly wasn't going to miss seeing them this time.

Even though it's my fourth time seeing the band, I am still amazed by their live show. The energy and enthusiasm they put into playing, it's obvious that they love what they're doing. And even though they're still a relatively young band, everything just comes together so well that you would think they have been playing together for decades.

They kicked off their set with their newest single, "Emerald Lake, AB", an older one which had most of the crowd singing along, "This City's A Mess" and "Love is Art/Sleep Through The Fire", which almost overshadows the recorded version with how ridiculously good it is live. It was kind of strange to hear "BC Orienteering" without Hannah Georgas (even when I've seen the song live, she's always been there to sing her part) but it was still great nonetheless. "Holly, Ontario" started off with some cool "chest percussion" -- which I kind of wish the crowd joined along to instead of just clapping -- and went from a soft start to a crazy climactic ending as it sort of segued into "Dear Elkhorn". They broke out a brand new song, which I think was called "New Brighton", and was pretty cool.
Regular readers (both of you) know how much I love "Goodnight Moon", and it's always great to hear live, with it's soft beginning that turns into the whole band (and the crowd) going nuts for an insanely joyous ending. Plus it's always fun to see someone rocking out on a ukulele. They "ended" with "Camillo (The Magician)" and everyone in the crowd just went crazy, but came back for a one song encore, since they only had four minutes left. A brief poll of the crowd had "Curse the Current" win out over "Gift of a Black Heart", and they asked everyone to sing along to close out the night. It may not have been quite as awesome as the unamplified rendition from their show at St James Hall, but it is a great song to close out a show with.

Even though they played for an hour, it didn't seem like nearly enough and I can't wait to see them again at the Commodore on May 5th, opening for the awesome Plants & Animals. That is bound to be an amazing show.

Emerald Lake, AB; This City's A Mess; Love is Art/Sleep Through Fire; The Banks of the English Bay; BC Orienteering; Black Day In December; The Light is You; My Government Heart; Holly, Ontario -> Dear Elkhorn; New Brighton; Out On The Shield; False Creek Change; Howe Sounds; Goodnight Moon; Camillo (The Magician). [encore] Curse The Currents.