Mia Moth w/ Lucas Field & Annie Stela @ Biltmore -- 08/28/10

I should curse PastKirk for almost balking on the show. I was waffling on going to the show up until pretty much the last minute, but I am sure glad I ended up going. I really liked Low vs Diamond when I saw them open for Ben Lee, so I was interested to see what Lucas Field was like solo, and not only had I had my interest piqued from streaming the Mia Moth album from the interwebs, I had actually been invited to attend.

It was an early show, so when Annie Stela took the stage, the room was kind of sparse. It has to take guts to be able to come on stage, especially alone, and play to a room like that, but her confidence didn't falter and she almost immediately wowed those there with her voice, which silenced (almost) everyone. Said voice combined with her beautiful piano playing for a kind of indie-folk-pop sound and her too-short set seemed to be mostly love songs, but they were not without an edge to them. She ended with Lucas Field coming out to provide backup vocals on a Billy Idol cover, "Eyes Without A Face", from her William EP (where she covers artists named William/Will/Bill/Billy etc). I always love it when bands throw in cover songs, and it was a really cool version of the song, so it was a bonus to an already great set. She definitely gained a fan, as I would see her again without hesitation and grabbed her album, which had the coolest packaging that she handmade herself.

Then -- in what was quite possibly the shortest turnaround I have ever seen at a show -- they switched places, with Lucas Field (better known as lead singer of Low vs Diamond) taking a seat at the keyboard and starting his set. The first song had Annie help with backup vocals, then he went on solo for most of the set. He also played a short-ish set, which was quite different from his work with Low Vs Diamond. It was a pleasant surprise, however, as he too had a softer set of keyboard driven songs. And I don't really remember from when I saw them before, but he had a great sense of humour, which was especially evident in the final song. After calls for one more, he went on to play the greatest and most ridiculous (in a good way) sexual song ever, which can't even be described. I wish I could find a video of it, but think of the most sensual song you can imagine, double it, add some cheese, and you would be close.

Then after a break Vancouver's Mia Moth was up, who were actually quite a bit different than the openers. The band started with a high energy, and never looked back. I don't think I saw the lead singer standing still for more than 5 seconds at a time; she had a crazy energy to her, as she seductively stalked the stage. They were more of a straight up rocking band, with a bit of a dark and gothic (not "goth", gothic.) edge to them, and her voice fit the music really well. Though, every once in a while it would peak over that threshold into piercing, and while it didn't happen often, and wasn't really annoying, it was noticeable. And even though she, and the rest of the band, had a great stage presence, there wasn't much by way of talking; a quiet thank you between songs, and a call for another drink for the drummer was all we got. Those minor squabbles aside, Mia Moth really knows how to put on a hell of a show.

I would be curious to know how the bands ended up playing the show together. It was obvious that Annie Stela & Lucas Field were touring together, from the States, but both of their sounds were just so different than Mia Moth. Not that that detracted from the show in any way, mind you, it was just an interesting pairing of acts.