With their brand new album Phases out earlier this year, Vancouver’s Dear Rouge returned home for one of the last stops on their album release tour, and they brought some friends along with them.
Starting off the night was Blonde Diamond, who have consistently been one of my favourite new bands in the last couple years (though this was actually my first time seeing them since they officially changed their name from Youngblood).
They kicked off with the sultry “Wildest Ride” from their latest EP Fantasy Love, singer Alexis Young stalking the stage. They played a quick set of a half dozen songs, including the dark “Better When You're Close” and “Easy Nothing” which closed their set erupting into a chaotic swirling of synths.
Modern Space was up next, their five members (save the drummer) clad in all-black, including leather jackets for each. Their set was full of catchy and upbeat indie-rock, with a good energy from the band, especially singer Sean Graham. But if I’m being honest, none of the songs really stood out, or stuck with me. Maybe they’re just one of those bands you have to be a bit more familiar with before seeing them live, because even so, they were a strong opener and definitely did a good job keeping the crowd hyped up for the night.
And finally, after the lights dimmed and some Purity Ring blasted through the ballroom, Dear Rouge arrived. Backlit by large LED light rig behind them, Danielle and Drew McTaggart’s silhouettes danced in the smoke on-stage as they started off with “Wicked Things”, the first track off the new album. From there, they reminded us how many singles they’ve had over the last few years with the next few songs, the crowd immediately singing along for “Live Through The Night” as they built the energy through songs like the soaring “Stolen Days” and the incredibly dancey “Motion”.
Part way through the set, Danielle donned a sparking fringe jacket for “Black To Gold”, flowing off her arms and sparkling like tinsel, blowing in the the fan at the front of the stage (or perhaps from her own radiance). They were also joined by surprise guest Steve Bays for vocals on “Flashes”, and after a bit of a cover of “Edge of Seventeen” led into “Little By Little”, the closed out the set with the frantic “Boys & Blondes”.
But of course, they were back for a couple more; once again getting everyone to sing and clap along, this time to “I Heard I Had”, before the moody “Chains”, and leaving everyone off with the raucous “Modern Shakedown”, a good hour+ after they first took the stage.
Dear Rouge is one of those bands that, every time I see them they seem to just get better and better. They have an excellent stage presence, especially Danielle who just radiates fun and excitement as she dances around stage, and I look forward to seeing where they go from here.
Live Through The Night
Kids Wanna Know
Black To Gold
Best Look Lately
Edge of Seventeen [Stevie Nicks cover] -> Little By Little
Boys & Blondes
I Heard I Had