Hey Rosetta! @ Rio Theatre -- 03/04/11

Aside from their all-too-short opening set for Stars last year, it had been far too long since I saw Hey Rosetta! play live, so I was quite excited for their show last night. Especially at the Rio Theatre, which is a surprisingly great venue to see live shows in. Not surprising that a movie theatre has great sound, and the seats are incredibly comfortable. Which also have cupholders for your... beverage of choice. It also must be a rarity across Canada, as every show I've seen there, the band has made a comment about how odd it is to be playing a movie theatre.

Up first was Gramercy Riffs from St John's. They had a bit of a pop-rock flavour, with harmonizing male/female vocals, and were really fun to watch. The band was tight, and put on a good set, but while they weren't necessarily generic, they weren't really much of anything I hadn't heard before. A couple songs followed the 'start poppy and then explode into dense guitars and rocking drums' template, and the songs were incredibly catchy, but a bit repetitive. Ultimately, though, I quite enjoyed them and they were a pretty great pick to open for HR! and Perfectly Acceptable Music.

And then was Hey Rosetta!, taking the stage to an instrumental intro. They started the set off, appropriately enough, with "Welcome", from the set a high energy for the night. "Yer Spring" kept the energy up, as they went into some older songs. They played a good amount from their repertoire, spanning all three of their albums. They also proved how great a live band they are, as midway through "Another Pilot" all the stage lights went out and the band finished the song in the dark, without missing a single note.
Throughout the show, front man Tim Baker was oozing both charm and energy; talking between songs, joking about the movie theatre, and jumping and dancing around while playing -- even when he was on the keys, he was chair-dancing a little. Other highlights of the set were the intense "Young Glass", the beautiful "We Made A Pact" and the "closing" song "Red Heart", which got recognition applause.
For the encore, Tim came out wearing a Newfoundland (and Labrador) flag -- that someone had put on stage for them -- as a scarf, and his acoustic guitar for "Bandages", getting everyone to sing along by the end of it. Following that, Mara Pellerin from Gramercy Riffs came out for an awesome cover of "Time After Time". I always love it when bands do covers, and this was a great interpretation of the song, making it very Hey Rosetta-esque. The set wrapped up as appropriately as it began, with "New Goodbye", bringing the show to an intense and climactic ending.

There were a few songs that I was a little sad they didn't play -- "Yer Fall", "Parson Brown", "Handshake the Gangster", and "Holy Shit (What A Relief)" namely -- and at the beginning the sound mix seemed a little off, but it was fixed soon enough and the show was pretty amazing, those minor quibbles aside.

Welcome, Yer Spring, Another Pilot, There's An Arc, Bricks, Young Glass, I've Been Asleep For A Long, Long Time, We Made A Pact, Swing The Cellar Door, Seeds, Red Heart.
(encore) Bandages, Time After Time (Cyndi Lauper cover), New Goodbye.