Wil w/ Shaun Verreault @ Media Club -- 11/19/10

I am no stranger to seeing either Wil or Shaun Verreault live, and they're definitely no strangers to each other. I first discovered (and fell in love with, musically) Wil when he opened for Wide Mouth Mason, and I saw a pair of shows at UBC's Pit Pub with the two of them playing acoustically. So when I found out Shaun would be opening for Wil at his show at the Media Club, I was more than a little excited. Like those two previous shows, the two each came out to play acoustic sets. Or as Shaun put it: "Thanks for coming to see two men, naked on stage... holding wood."

Shaun Verreault, who you may know from Wide Mouth Mason, kicked off the night playing a set of his own material. Opening with "Too Much for Too Little", he covered material from both of his solo albums, as well as a brand new one written that day (as per a bet with Wil) and what I think was a new Wide Mouth Mason tune -- he prefaced it by saying the band will be recording, with Gordie Johnson on bass, soon. Verreault is a great storyteller in his songs, and that translates really well to his stage banter. He wove a few tales between songs, including the hilarious story of when he opened for the Beach Boys and had a bit of a verbal altercation with one of the members, who wasn't quite a fan of Shaun's set. He brought the set to an close with "Catch My Death", which was essentially a five minute guitar clinic. I always seem to forget just how incredible a musician Verreault is until I see him live, and he never fails to amaze me. I really hope I get the chance to see him perform again soon, and I really hope that the new Wide Mouth Mason incarnation, with Johnson, plays here soon as well.

And then there was Wil, who lived up to his reputation by breaking at least one, of not two, strings during the set. I've mentioned before how much I absolutely love watching Wil play live, and he was as good as ever. Like Shaun, his set was rather loose and intimate with a good amount of stories and joking between the songs. The size of the Media Club helped for sure, but a couple times he even played a song that was randomly yelled out from the crowd -- both older songs from his first album -- adding to the intimacy. Aside from those, he held up his end of the bet by playing a brand new song called "Angry Dog" and joked (I hope!) that it was so new it would never get played again. "Cooder Mountain" grew to an amazing intensity and "Honey Pie" -- one of my favourite songs -- was just mindblowing, as usual. After closing the set with the tender "Big Life" he came back out for one more, despite the mounting snow. The song was one that he has had for a while, but remains unreleased; I hope that changes soon, as it was quite good.

My only disappointment from the show was that they didn't jam together for the encore. The shows they played together both featured that, but not so much this time. Even if it were just for a song or two, it would have been cool to see. But despite that, both men put on amazing sets, and anyone who has the opportunity to see either one live would be a fool not to take it.

Long Kiss Goodnight, Wedding Dress, Mama, Angry Dog, Both Hands, Cooder Mountain, The Deal, Honey Pie, Big Life.
[encore] Shipwreck.