Wachu 7 w/ Dominique Fricot & Sidney York @ Electric Owl -- 10/14/11

A while back at New Years Eve's One Night Stand, a tall gentleman by the name of Dominique Fricot won my over with his voice and presence, and since then I had been meaning to see one of his shows, but there were always conflicts. Then along came the seventh show in the Wachu concert series, with not only Fricot on the bill, but also one of my favourite new artists, Sidney York -- who I've only seen once, at a venue with sub-par sound. So how could I resist?

First up, though, was David Ward, a co-organiser of the Wachu series who plays all the shows. He and his band were incredibly tight, with a good stage presence and a pretty eclectic mix of songs, but never being too directionless. The set including a pretty cool cover of "Helter Skelter" and a funked-up number called "Pace", which got a few people singing, and at one point he was joined by Fricot & the lovely ladies of Sidney York for a song. They ended with a gospel-inspired song, which filled the till-then empty dance floor with people clapping along.
It was a fun set, and while I may not be clamouring to see them live again, I will definitely be keeping an eye out for the next Wachu show, especially if it has this good a bill.

Next up was Sidney York, with six-piece band that including an oboe (Sheryl Reindhardt), bassoon (Krista Wodelet), a couple beekeepers, Devon and Luke, and Brandi Sidoryk going from guitar to keys to ukulele and even french horn. Starting with the kind of dark "Math and Fractions", the set exploded with "Cold In Here" and "Roll With Me", both showcasing Brandi's amazing presence on stage, as she was just bubbling over with energy the whole set.
After the building intensity of the title track to, Apocalyptic Radio Cynic, the guys on stage taking a break for "Go Home, Atticus Jones" with Sheryl & Krista staying out for the haunting song. The crazy infectious "Dick & Jane" not only got everyone clapping along, but also whistling (or attempting to), and after the steamy "Doctor, Doctor" they wrapped the set up with one of my favourites, "Mile High Love", with Fricot and Ward up to help with backup vocals. 
The sound was definitely better than last time, but the Electric Owl is still new and learning (hopefully) so there were a few moments of feedback, but other than that it was a great set, and I already can't wait to see her again (which will come soon enough)

And finally, rounding out the night was Dominique Fricot, who was joined by Caleb from Parlour Steps and Rococode's Johnny Andrews & Shaun Huberts as his band. Starting with a pretty rocking and catchy song, his sound and voice initially gave me a bit of a 90s vibe (but not in a stale way), and both grew in depth as the set went on. Fricot had a really good presence, and even though there were a couple lulls between songs, it was never really enough to kill momentum.
Part way through the set, former Painted Birds bandmate Shawn Berke joined them on keys for one song, which I didn't catch the name of, but was a really intense, building song and probably my favourite of the set. The band took a break for a newer song, from his upcoming album, "Haven't Seen Me Dance" before coming back for a really heartwrenching song (which, again I missed the name of) and then the stage filling with David Ward and everyone from Sidney York joining in for the last song -- with some fantastic backup vocals from Brandi -- for a great end to the night.
Hopefully it won't be another nine and a half months before I am able to see Fricot live again.