Beekeeper w/ Sandman Viper Command and 41st & Home @ Railway -- 04/10/11

Seems like it's been a busy few days for shows. After a taping for k-os and Hannah Georgas on George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight at the CBC, it was over to the Railway Club.

41st and Home started off the night, somehow cramming five members and gear onto the Railway Club's small stage. Their set consisted of mostly new songs -- I would assume from the EP they just finished recording -- which sounded pretty good. They had the same chamber-pop-ish feel as you would expect from the band, but definitely also shows how much they've expanded that sound in the last year. Among the new ones there were a few older; "Sleeper" had part of the crowd singing along, and "Eva", a perfect song to end the set; even though it seemed Thom's guitar was a bit too low during the song.
There was also a nice moment during the set where Thom needed to tune, so instead of standing there in awkward silence, Patrick played some smooth jazz on the keyboard. It was a neat way to break that potentially momentum killing pause.

Next up was the awesomely named Sandman Viper Command. They had an odd stage setup as two of them were on stage, and two of them on the floor right in front. The band a bit more of a straightforward rock sound to them, which they pulled off quite well, and well as a good stage presence, and some funny banter/chatter. But while there was nothing bad about them, there wasn't really anything all that great either. They played a Perfectly Acceptable Set, but nothing that made me need to run out and listen to more.

And wrapping up the night was Beekeeper. They won me over from the start, with a swarm of puns before launching into an incredibly energetic set, sharing the same layout, with bass and violin on the floor, but the other two on stage. Musically they were good, with some catchy pop-rock songs that were a little all over the place, at times. But what elevated the set was the energy, and especially the charisma from the band. Lead singer/guitarist Devon Lougheed had a great presence, and sense of humour, joking and telling stories between songs. And to say nothing of drummer Luke Cyca and his inexplicable puffy shirt (didn't realise he made a deal with a low talker, perhaps?). The set of fun songs included "Sudden Cuckoo", which has been getting some air on CBCR3, one that was introduced as a 40 second song (and ended up being just that) as well as some new stuff, teasing a split 7" with Sandman Viper Command later this year. As they brought the set to an end, they brought up everyone from the dance floor onto the stage to finish off with a stage full of fans.

A pretty fun show, in all, and a good way to spend a Sunday night.