41st & Home @ Biltmore -- 01/07/11

After releasing a split magazine last month, Vancouver is Awesome and Discorder teamed up for a show at the Biltmore with some local talent.

The first band up was Facts (formerly knows as Armadillatantes) which is kind of a great name, just for the pun potential alone. They had a very electro-dance-punk sound to them that, on a couple occasions, reminded me of LCD Soundsystem-lite. Especially when one of singers attempted the James Murphy Yell, with middling success. They put on a fun dance party, but a few of their songs were a bit repetitive and their set went on for a shade too long.

Second was The Oh Wells, with dual female vocals providing a more folk sound. They weren't bad by any means, but maybe a touch bland with not much variation between the songs. Even their cover of Coldplay's "Yellow" was in the same vein as the rest of their own material. Completely inoffensive and Perfectly Acceptable Music.

Oh No! Yoko was third up -- another great band name. I had heard lots of hype around them leading up, and while I don't know if they are going to be the next big thing right now, as a few have suggested, they were damn enjoyable to watch. Very catchy tunes and a great energy on stage made for a really fun set, and especially considering all the members of the band are under 19. They, too, had a cover song thrown in, with "Everybody Wants To Rule The World", originally by Tears For Fears.
They also had a projection screen in the back, which was playing Fantasia for the whole set -- which made for a slightly awkward moment when their [underage] drummer took off his shirt and had Mickey Mouse projected on his chest. I am definitely interested in seeing them again, and seeing how they progress, because even if they don't break through now, they will soon enough.

Closing out the night was 41st & Home. They started out with just Garth on stage drumming, then one by one came out for the incredibly energetic opening song. They kept up the energy through the set, despite some technical difficulties early on. After first song, Thom's power bar went dead; after the second song, he had a broken string. But both times they were saved by some smooth jazz, so as not to have an awkward lull between songs while things were getting fixed. They played a mix of their album, Left In Places, and some new stuff, with the new material being quite compelling.
There wasn't much in the way of banter, but still a few times they joked around, like with George playing the "Floor Thom" (complete with Thom's grinning face taped on). The set came to a climax, sans encore, with their grandiose song "Eva", a great ending song.
It's always interesting seeing a band evolve, and 41st & Home has definitely grown and matured, as a band, since the first time I saw them last year.

This was a great week in music, as I was fortunate enough to see, over the course of the last three nights, nine pretty damn good local(ish) bands.