One Night Stand IV @ Media Club -- 12/31/11

For the fourth year in a row (and my third in attendance), some of Vancouver's finest musicians came together to ring in the new year with nearly three hours of great covers. The night saw many familiar faces from the last couple years, as well as some new additions to the one-off band, which rotated members throughout the night, seeing people on and off stage and everyone getting at least one song of their own -- even those who are not usually front and centre.

This year, the One Night Stand band consisted of Johnny Andrews (Rococode) Andrew Braun (Rococode, Hannah Georgas) Peter Carruthers (Siskiyou) Robbie Driscoll (Hannah Georgas) Hannah Georgas herself, Brian Healy (Elias) Tariq Hussain (Brasstronaut) Ali Milner, Jasmin Parkin (Mother Mother) Laura Smith (Rococode) Rob Tornroos (Elias), "plus surprise guests"

Starting at 10, they played three sets of covers, at the top of each hour, with the obligatory midnight countdown and free champagne.

Set One
Ready To Start (Arcade Fire) - Andrew Braun
Take On Me (A Ha) - Ali Milner
Rolling in the Deep (Adele) - Laura Smith
Suffragette City (David Bowie) - Brian Healy
Dreams (Fleetwood Mac) - Ali Milner
The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (The Band) - Brasstronaut
Be My Baby (The Ronettes) - Jasmin Parkin
Born To Run (Bruce Springsteen) - Peter Carruthers
Common People (Pulp) - Tariq Hussain

They kicked off the night, appropriately enough, with Arcade Fire's "Ready To Start" and Braun on vocals (perhaps Rococode covering "Rococo" would have been too obvious) and from there Ali Milner did a great "Take On Me" and Laura Smith crushed the vocals for "Rolling in the Deep". Tariq brought out Brasstronaut band-mates Edo and Sam for a sing along toThe Band and in a rare vocal appearance, Carruthers took centre stage for "Born To Run". The first set wrapped up with a pretty cool cover of "Common People" (almost as good as Shatner's) from Tariq.

Set Two
Under Pressure (Queen) - 
You Make My Dreams (Hall & Oates) - Ali Milner
She Drives Me Crazy (Fine Young Cannibals) - Hannah Georgas
Gold Guns Girls (Metric) - Jasmin Parkin
I Might Be Wrong (Radiohead) - Laura Smith
Solsbury Hill (Peter Gabriel) - Brian Healy
Single Ladies (Beyoncé) - Smith/Milner/Parkin/Georgas

The second set [apparently] started with "Under Pressure", which I was a little crushed to learn I had missed, due to the photobooth being in the back room this year as opposed to next to the stage. The rest of the set was focused on the lovely ladies of One Night Stand, which was by no means a bad thing. Hannah took over for a great cover of one of my favourite songs from when I was a youngin', Fine Young Cannibals' "She Drives Me Crazy" and Jasmin Parkin's "Gold Guns Girls" was one of the more interesting covers to hear, by virtue of the fact that Mother Mother and Metric are fairly similar bands.
They capped off the set -- and the year -- with all four ladies; Smith, Milner, Parkin and Georgas, informing everyone that if you liked it, you should have put a ring on it.

Set Three
With Or Without You (U2) - Rob Tornroos
Live and Let Die (Paul McCartney & Wings) - Andrew Braun
Lust For Life (Iggy Pop) - Brian Healy
Dancing On My Own (Robyn) - Smith/Georgas
Use Me (Bill Withers) - Tariq Hussain
Once in a Lifetime (Talking Heads) - Robbie Driscoll
In My Place (Coldplay) - Rob Tornroos
Gz and Hustlas (Snoop Dogg) - Hannah Georgas
Say It Ain't So (Weezer) - Andrew Braun
Like A Rolling Stone (Bob Dylan) - Everyone

The first song of the year, the traditional slow dance song, saw Elias' Robbie T belting out "With or Without You", before a great sing along to "Live and Let Die" lead by Braun. Two big highlight of the night came close together, the first being Robbie Dee -- normally in the background of various bands -- channelling Taking Heads and proving he is a pretty damn energetic frontman in his own right, and the second was Gorgeous Gangsta' Hannah Georgas throwning down some Snoop Dog, which had to be seen to be believed.
And as with previous years, they ended the night with everyone coming back on stage for a giant sing along, with most of the room joining in for "Like a Rolling Stone".

I think one of the best things about this event is always how much fun is had in the room. Starting on stage, it's blatantly obvious how much the people love doing this; love playing some of their favourite songs with some of their favourite people, and that enthusiasm definitely bleeds into the crowd. Hopefully they'll keep it going for years to come -- and seeing as they always sell out well in advance, hopefully next year they can get an even bigger venue!