|Photographs by Leigh Eldridge|
David Vertesi to warm up the crowd with his deep, smooth voice and heartfelt folk-rock songs. Joined only by Andrew Rasmussen on keys and backup vocals, Vertesi had the crowd into it, from the heartwrenching "Learn To Run" that built to a grand finish, to the shoulder-shimmy-inducing "Broadcasting".
Aside from his solo material, he also hit one of his Hey Ocean! songs "Jolene", and a great cover that's been a staple of his live shows, Spice Girls' "Say You'll Be There", which had a great jazz-piano solo to end it. He wrapped up his set by inviting a surprise guest to the stage, Hannah Georgas to sing on "Mountainside", but not before making sure everyone left the theatre with a copy of his CD, offering it on a "pay-what-you-feel" system, be it money or hugs.
Gentlemen Say; Soft Skin; Jolene; Caroline! A Ghost!; All Night, All Night, All Night; Learn To Run; Broadcasting; Cardiography; Say You'll Be There [Spice Girls cover]; Epilogue; Mountainside.
Joel Plaskett Emergency, the trio kicking it off with "You're Mine" from the new album, Scrappy Happiness, for a nearly-two-hour set that spanned a good chunk of Joel's career. They came out rocking, right off the bat, with "Tough Love" and "North Star" before the Emergency band took a break for Joel to play a few songs solo, including the heartbreaking "Face of the Earth", and two of his biggest songs, "Nowhere With You" and "Love This Town"; which got a roar of applause when he, a little sheepishly, sang the infamous Kelowna verse unchanged.
Joel started into "Lightning Bolt" and the band came back out mid-song for it to build to a huge ending, and they didn't let up the energy until the end. "Work Out Fine" had everyone singing along, and Joel slipped in a few lines of other songs and played around with the song and on stage, lying down on his back for a verse. There was a huge sing along to "Through & Through & Through" and they brought it to a big finish with "Extraordinary".
But of course, the crowd was hungry for more and Joel was back out after not too long for "You're Mine" -- a nice echo to the first song of the night -- and the band joined him part way through "Rollin', Rollin', Rollin'", but not before the entire sold-out audience was clapping along, and capped off the night with "Come On Teacher"
Plaskett is a phenomenal performer and showman; effortlessly charming and funny on stage -- joking about his dancing monkey statues which he had on a foot switch, told stories about his old van, and more -- Joel managed to take a sold-out Vogue Theatre and make it seem much more like an intimate night of music. I don't think there would be many that would disagree with Joel Plaskett being one of Canada's best live acts.
You're Mine; Deny, Deny, Deny; Tough Love; Waiting To Be Discovered; Heartless, Heartless, Heartless; North Star; Harbour Boys; Let You Down; Love This Town; Face of the Earth; Nowhere With You; Lightning Bolt; Work Out Fine; Through & Through & Through; Maybe We Should Just Go Home; Extraordinary.
(encore) I'm Yours; Rollin', Rollin', Rollin'; Come On Teacher.