Young Pacific, Henry & The Nightcrawlers and Guilty About Girls @ The Forum -- 10/14/10

Now this is a pretty cool . 30:Live seems to have the modus operandi of hosting a weekly concert series focusing on local musicians. I am all for things spotlighting the local music scene and bringing bands together... especially when they are bands as good as they had this night.

The night kicked off with Guilty About Girls, a Vancouver pair comprised of two of the members of Pure. With Jordy Birch on Vocals & Guitar and Mark Henning on keys & laptop, they had a bit of an indie-pop-rock sound, with a hint of electronica, giving them somewhat of an 80s vibe. In a good way. Definitely got some people moving. Though they seemed a little stiff on stage. Not much by way of banter, either and there were a few lulls between songs, but in all a good set, and someone I would probably want to catch again. They ended with Candy Candy, with Isabelle Dunlop (I think) coming out of nowhere to help out with the vocals -- seriously, she seemed to just pop out of the crowd, and at first I thought she was just a fan.

Second for the night was Henry & The Nightcrawlers. I realized last night that each time I've seen them play, there has been a different lineup. Of course, Henry has always been Henry Alcock-White, but The Nightcrawlers has consisted of various musicians, usually members of The Zolas or Said The Whale. Tonight they consisted of Zach from The Zolas on bass and Andy & Cayne from We Are The City on drums and keys (respectively). They slid in perfectly with the indie-rock-with-a-side-of-funk sound Henry has, and you never would have guessed they hadn't played together before. Henry also seems to be more comfortable as frontman, and while he's still quiet and maybe a little stoic, there are the occasional moment of dry wit that comes through. He has good chemistry with Zach, too, and more than a couple times in this band, or the Zolas, the two of them have had amusing back & forths. A great set, and really cool to see Andy & Cayne in the band, even if it is just a one-off.

Young Pacific wrapped up the night with their energetic indie pop sound. They were incredibly catchy and really enthusiastic, though there were a couple times a couple times you could tell the band was young (both as a band, and the members). It sounds like an odd criticism, but it seemed like they were playing more to their friends in the crowd than anything, while made for a loose set... though maybe a bit too loose. Other than that minor quibble, the set was quite enjoyable, with the band having a good energy and rapport with the crowd -- though I would be interested to see if they can maintain that with a crowd of strangers. For their "encore" they broke out a cover of "Kids" by MGMT, and did a pretty decent job of it, then they were called back for yet another last song. I can see them being very good with a few years under their collective belts, but they're off to a damn good start so far.

This show in general, and Henry's set in particular, is just more proof for how great Vancouver's current music scene is, and how cool it is to see bands that support and play with their friends, rather than just a bunch of bands that never interact with each other.