West Coast Pop w/ Yukon Blonde, Sun Wizard & Redbird @ Red Room -- 05/07/11

The penultimate instalment in the West Coast Pop! concert series, this was another one that I was really looking forward to. A band that has proven to be fantastic live and another one I have really been digging for the last couple months, it was sure to be a good one.

Kicking off the night was Redbird. Even though they don't have anything released just yet, I've been able to see them live a couple times this year (and get my hands on a few acoustic tracks) and they just keep getting better every time I see them, which makes me more and more eager for the upcoming EP.
Their too-short-set was full of energy and lots of fun, with Savannah's great voice blending really well with the folky, roots rock sound. "Oh Please My Heart" is a definite earworm of a catchy song, and "No Game", which -- despite not even being released -- has become one of my favourite songs of the year; especially with the far too relatable line "my subtlety sabotages me, so please read between the lines".

Next up was Sun Wizard, another fairly new Vancouver band, who had more of a straight ahead rock sound, with twinges of psychedelia. The four members were focused mostly on playing, with not much by way of stage banter or even too much to engage the crowd (the bassist even had the clich├ęd 'vaguely bored bass player' look). A couple of songs, most notably "World's Got A Handle", sounded great, but most of them were a little interchangeable, with the same kind of sound going on. But they put on a perfectly enjoyable set, and while I might not go too see a show of their own any time soon, I would not be against seeing them live again, and I could definitely see them getting better given time.

And finally, Yukon Blonde. I've had the fortune of seeing them a couple times before, but always as the opening band, so it was great to have them play a longer set. The band always puts on a great live show, and last night was no different. With their incredibly energetic, eardrum-melting power pop-rock and near-perfect harmonies, they had the crowd eating out of the palm of their hands, singing along to all the older songs -- with Jeff Innes even handing over the mic to the crowd for part of "Wind Blows". There were also a few new songs sprinkled throughout the set, which were quite good, but taking the cake was one called (according to the setlist) Radio, an intense rocker that I can't wait to hear again.
The only complaint would be that a couple of times, the vocals seemed to be a bit low. But it wasn't a persistent problem, and didn't take away from their set all that much.

setlist (taken from the on-stage setlist, so some new songs may be shorthand)
Rather Be With You, Brides Song, Wind Blows, Oregon Shores, Iron Fist, Water, Blood Cops, Radio, Stairway, Babies Don't Like Blue Anymore, Nico Canmore.
(encore) My Girl, Loyal Man.