Another busy night in Vancouver, with three people that I wanted to see playing shows. I chose using a very complex series of algorithms (read: which cost less), and decided upon seeing Zach Gray at the Rickshaw, followed by David Vertesi at Cafe Deuz Soleil. (The third was Aidan Knight at the Jon & Roy Holiday Extravaganza)
First stop was the Little Mountain Gallery Fun-Raiser at the Richshaw for Zachary Gray, of The Zolas, doing a solo set. After the first band, World Peace, he said he needed a better name to be able to yell, and jokingly dubbed himself “Lesbian Kissing” for the show. He did a set of mostly Zolas songs, but an older Lotus Child and a cover of (Talking Heads), and like last time, the songs were really cool to see done solo, but did seem kind of missing the “rest” of the song. Maybe I'm just too used to the full band. Zach also went off on a few stories between the songs, which is always cool to see. Well, only if you have a good storyteller on stage, which Zach was, luckily.
And as an aside, I am still no fan of the sound at the Rickshaw. Zach didn't sound too bad, cos it was just him, but the more people you get on stage, the more terrible the sound is. I absolutely hated it my first show there, and I don't think I am going to catch too many more shows there in the future.
After that it was off to Cafe Deuz Soleil for the Megaphone Magazine fundraiser. Vertesi was headlining, but first was the aptly named Julia & Her Piano and also Andrew Lee, of 41st & Home. Very nice & pleasant sound and a good voice, despite mentioning she was a bit under the weather and Lee's trumpet and backup vocals helped round out the sound. It was a bit chatty in the room, as is wont for shows in places like this, so I wouldn't mind seeing her again in a more ideal setting.
Next up was Ladner and they, too, fit their name, as they were kind of flat and boring. All of their songs ran together and sounded pretty similar, like the same, long song.
And finally, David Vertesi. He was again joined by Dave Joseph helping out on bass, and a wicked keytar. The aformentioned chatter continued through his set as well, but despite that, Vertesi managed to capture the crowds attention with his songs, which he admitted were all about love, for better or worse. And the more I see him play – and listen to his album, for that matter – the more I think the former, as his raw lyrics bring give his [damn catchy] songs relevance amongst all the other songs about love. I think he mentioned, after the set, that the next time he plays (this Friday at the Biltmore) will be with a full band, and that has me very intrigued, as each time I've seen him so far he has been more or less solo.