This was the second time I have seen a show at Joe's Apartment, and I'm starting to form an opinion on the place. The sound is decent enough, but what really bugged me was the TVs. It was cool before the bands were playing, when Indiana Jones was on, but then they didn't turn the movie/screens off when the music starts. And then when they switch to dumb comedies after Indy? It's hard to keep focused on the bands when there is slapstick comedy and nudity and Borat happening on screens right next to the stage, right next to performers heads sometimes. It actually seems a little disrespectful to the bands.
But I digress, on to said bands.
Starting off the night was Jean-Paul De Roover. He took the stage alone but was soon joined by himself, with liberal use of looping. At first I thought it would get a bit much, but used more than just the guitar, adding elements like synth and even some vocal work as well. It's always cool to see people looping that masterful, so it was a fun set to watch, and his songs were pretty catchy. While I wasn't necessarily blown away, I wouldn't mind seeing him again next time he's through town.
Next up was Rococode, and I was a little surprised to see the full band, as I was under the impression it was an acoustic set (see above poster). But I was in no way disappointed; I've seen them a few times in the last few months, and am continually impressed. There was a bit more banter and chatting in between songs than previous sets, but they were still content to let most of their songs do the talking, including the incredibly infectious "Empire" -- which always gets stuck in my head -- the haunting "Dreams" and the first single from the upcoming album, "Weapon", which is already getting some radio play. They brought the set to an end with a song I didn't catch the name up, but came to a bombastic finish, for a great ending to the set. I am definitely looking forward to the new album with each time I see them live.
And finally, it was time for The Liptonians. The first thing I noticed was no actual horn section, but they had it covered with canned horns. The second thing was all the hype about them being a fantastic live band was completely true. They played a sort of condensed version of their album, started off with their lead single "You Know I Did" before going into two of my other favourite songs on the album, one being the raucous "Growing Old In The City", a fantastic song live, which included a garbage can lid being played. The combination of the band's great chemistry, nailing the harmonies, and stage presence, getting the crowd to clap along for "Perfect Swimmers", helped them command the stage from beginning to end.
The set came to a close with the beautiful "Lesage" and the album closer, "Let's March back Into The Sea", as they played right up to the curfew with no encore.
Which leads me to my only complaint, other than the lack of live horns, which would be that the set was way too short! They only played for about half an hour before getting cut off by the curfew so the shiny shirts could take over the place. I can only hope that sooner rather than later (and at a better venue) they will march back into Vancouver.
You Know I Did, Hey! Hey! Help Is On The Way!, Growing Old In The City, The Privatest Parts, Perfect Swimmers, Lesage, March Back Into The Sea.