Brasstronaut @ Performance Works -- 06/27/11

It's that time of year when Vancouver International Jazz Festival is in full swing. And while I have missed more of the shows than I would have liked to, one of the two shows I knew I didn't want to miss Brasstronaut at Performance Works on Granville Island. (The other is The Tom Fun Orchestra at David Lam Park, this coming Sunday at 8:45. It's free, and you need to be there.)

They took the stage as the emcee asked us to "give a warm welcome to... the... brass-tronaut" and launched into "Requiem for a Scene". It was their second of two back-to-back shows of the night, but that just means the band had a longer chance to warm up. Any kinks they may have had were worked out, and they sounded better than ever. The songs were all very tight; the fast ones pounding through you, the slow washing over you, and everything in between. Some of them got longer and cooler intros, like "Hearts Trompet" which got a spacey, ethereal intro -- fitting since it was played on the Space Clarinet.
There were also a few new songs thrown in; one that they introduced as unnamed (but was "Hollow" on the setlist) sounded very dark, both musically and with the echoing vocals. They sounded really cool, and I am definitely looking forward to their next release.
The whole band also seemed a lot looser on stage, as there was more banter and joking around than any of their other shows, which was great. They engaged the audience (sometimes individually) and had a few funny stories. That, combined with the great sound at Performance Works, culminated to probably the best show I have seen them play yet.

setlist (as stolen from the scrap of paper on stage)
requiem for a scene, hand behind, six toes, hollow, hearts trompet, bounce, insects, lo hi hopes, Fan, JT.
(encore) old world lies, slow knots.