Sometimes you know exactly what you're going to do for an evening. And then sometimes, a band you haven't seen live in over three years announces a "secret show" at a bar five minutes from your front door.
The latter is what happened last night when earlier in the day, Brasstronaut announced a small, free show at The Lido, which is a place that I had only been to as a drinking establishment; I had not yet been to see one of their free shows and was eager to.
Since their last album, Mean Sun in 2012, the band had scattered across the country (and even the continent) and did a little bit of work on solo projects or with other bands. But in that time, they were also working on a new album, and they all happened to be in Vancouver this week, they wanted to test out some of that material for a small audience of friends and supporters.
Lead singer & keyboardist Edo Van Breemen joked it was the second (and last) show of their "2015 World Tour" as the six-piece band packed the tiny stage, in front of a screen showing distorted versions of themselves on stage. They starting off the set with the aptly named "Bounce", which builds to a rhythmic thumping, as Edo's haunting vocals (which were a little too low for parts of the set) weaved around the intense, layered sound that filled the small bar. They played mostly from the Mean Sun album, with other highlights included the punchy "Falklands" featuring some incredible drumming by Brennan Saul, and the epic, winding "Mixtapes".
Aside from the old, they teased their new album out in January, and sprinkled a few new songs throughout the set; one moody and introspective song written about a traffic jam in Paris; another quite the opposite, a really sexy tune with a bit of an R&B influence that got all the drunk girls up to the stage to do that drunk girl dance (you know the one).
They went back to their first EP to close the set with "Old World Lies", as Sam Davidson & Bryan Davies -- on clarinet & trumpet respectively -- stood at the back of the room when they came in part way through the song, leading to a beautiful ending.
But of course, the crowd was eager for more and since there wasn't really anywhere to go, the band just kinda stood next to the stage before returning for one last song, leaving the night on a more energetic note with the intense and heartbreaking "Slow Knots", building to a frantic finale.
As I mentioned above, it had been way too long since the last time I had seen Brasstronaut perform live, and it was such a treat to be able to see them in such an intimate venue. The show got be excited for the new album, and I already can't wait to see them again.