The Zolas with The Liptonians and Hannah Epperson @ St James Hall -- 10/24/11

On the heels of the release of their split 7", The Zolas and The Liptonians have brought their western Canadian tour to an end with a pair of shows here in Vancouver. St James Hall was the site of their second show -- the first happening while I was otherwise occupied -- and was all ages, which meant a lot of teenage girls there to see The Zolas.
(If you even want to feel old, just go to an all ages Zolas or Said the Whale show)

First up was Hannah Epperson, armed with only her violin, loop pedal and soft, beautiful voice. I've seen her a few times before, but I am always taken by her masterful loops, building layer upon layer with just her violin. A few of her songs were just instrumental -- and were captivating on their own -- and when she added vocals, her voice matched the mood perfectly. She had the crowd completely enthralled, with dead silence for her while she was playing, breaking into cheers only when she was done each song.

The Liptonians were up next, launching into "You Know I Did", and their fantastic contribution to the split 7", "Destroy Destroy Destroy". Right off the bat they proved why their live shows have such a great reputation, with their incredibly tight sound and solid harmonies, and the show just got better from there. "Perfect Swimmers" was one of the highlights, a soft song that fit the venue perfectly, and had everyone golf-clapping along in lieu of their forgotten shaker, and one of my favourites, "Growing Old in the City", featured a garbage can lid and a cacophony of sound that swells to an insane climax. I am fairly certain that if I ever go mad, I want that song playing at the time.
After what seemed like not nearly long enough, they drew to a close with "March Back Into the Sea", starting soft and swelling to a great ending for the set. And I already can't wait to see them live again.

Terrell's Dream; You Know I Did; Destroy, Destroy, Destroy; Lesage; The Privatest Parts; Perfect Swimmers; Float On By; Growing Old in the City; Hey! Hey! Help is on the Way!; March Back Into The Sea.

And wrapping up the night was The Zolas. Or rather, The Zoliptonias, as Zach Gray's partner in crime Tom Dobrzanski couldn't make the tour, so Grey was backed by the five members of The Liptonians. It was really interesting seeing Zach with a completely different band, especially up to six members from the usual four, since it really rounded out songs; they had a great chemistry and the sounded fantastic.
Starting off the set with the dense and moody "Guest" "Cultured Man", the other song from the split 7", before getting a nice bout of recognition applause (or, shrieks given the demographic at an all ages show) for "You're Too Cool". The set featured mostly older songs, prompting lots of clapping and singing along, but also another new song, "Strange Girl", and after a raucous ending with "Marlaina Kamikaze" Grey came back out alone for just one more song, the soft "These Days", backing off the mic a few times, really taking advantage of the quiet crowd.
I feel a little weird saying it it was a fantastic set from The Zolas, given that really only one Zola was there, but it really was a great show, and was pretty cool to see the collaboration, and I kind of with The Zolas played as a six-piece more often.

Cultured Man; You're Too Cool; The Great Collapse; Marionettes; I've Got Leeches; Body Ash; Strange Girl; Marlaina Kamikaze.
(encore) These Days.