Savvie Album Release @ Hindenburg -- 02/13/15

About four and a half years ago was the first time I saw Savannah Leigh Wellman performing live, under the moniker Redbird. It wasn't long after that when she released the EP We're All Friends and Lovers Until It Falls Apart, which I was quite taken by -- especially thanks to her strong voice and lyrics.
Flash forward a few years, and now Savannah has scrapped her folksy singer-songwriter sound in favour of a decidedly more rock & roll direction, with something that she has tongue-in-cheek dubbed "Sex Rock". Her brand new album, Night Eyes, was released just last week, and she took to one of Vancouver's newest venues, the Hindenburg, to celebrate.

Unfortunately, thanks to another show happening on the same night I missed both opening acts, Jody Glenham and Black River Killers, arriving just as the latter wrapped up.

Joining Savvie on stage was a band that consisted of a few familiar faces; Nick Petrowich (of Willhorse), Joseph Blood (of Bend Sinister), Jody Glenham (of, uh, Jody Glenham), and Brendan Krieg (who I believe was part of Savannah's old old band), and to celebrate the album's release, they played it in its entirety, front to back.

The tone was set right off the bat with "Break You In", which teases "I could be the one to break you... in" and the mood continued on with the crunchy guitars and reverb-drenched vocals of the first single "Without You", as Savannah owned the stage with a confidence and presence fitting to the term "sex rock".

Other highlights of the set included the catchy, gritty-pop of "Gravity" and the smoother "I Fall Again" which, like many of her songs, simultaneously makes you want to drown your sorrows in whiskey, and get right back out there -- or as Savannah put it between songs, lamenting on the fact that the next day was Valentine's Day: "don't sit at home feeling fucking sad, sit at home feeling fucking sexy"

But my favourite of the night (which is, unsurprisingly, a favourite from the album as well) came exactly halfway through with a heartwrenching and passionate song of a doomed romance called "Dreams of Surrender". Savannah's soaring voice wailing in the choruses literally gave me chills, as the song built to a huge ending with Jason Blood letting loose on guitar. 

They ended the set with "The Tower", the only song released as Redbird reworked for her new sound, with Savannah warning that "nostalgia is a fool's addiction", and which once more saw Blood shred on the guitar for its explosive climax.
But, seeing as they were playing the full album, Savannah came back out alone, guitar in hand, for the hidden track on the album as an encore. It was a beautiful, stripped down song that was a great ending to the set, both sonically and emotionally.

As someone that had stated before that the whole "folk singer-songwriter" thing is starting to wear out its welcome, I have been really digging the new direction Wellman has taken. I quite like the album, and this was a great debut show. If I'm not mistaken, it was only the second or third time the band had done a show together, and aside from a couple small things, they seemed to be working pretty well together.
Plus, it was my first time at the Hindenburg, and I really liked the venue. It had a nice layout, and sounded really good. Hopefully there will be more shows there worth checking out in the near future.

Break You In, Without You, Trust the In Between, Gravity, It's OK, Dreams of Surrender, Beautiful Pain, I Fall Again, Where We Wanna Be, A Blur and A Haze, The Tower.
(encore) [secret song]