A few months ahead of the release of their brand new album, Royal Canoe hit the road, with the first Canadian stop of the tour happening in Vancouver, at the Fox Cabaret.
Opening the night was fellow Winnipegger Begonia, who instantly captivated the room with her stellar vocals. She ranged from the soft and heartfelt “Hot Dog Stand” to the intense power on “Fear”, the title track for her upcoming album, and my favourite of the set.
Between songs, she was funny, charming, and a little self deprecating while chatting with the crowd, telling stories about the songs and how they came to be (especially before the aforementioned “Hot Dog Stand”). Other highlights included the infectious bass groove of “Juniper” and the soaring “Out Of My Head”, which ended the set.
If the crowd reaction was any indication, just about every single person in that room that did not know her before was an instant fan -- I overheard more than a few people around me as soon as it was over.
Not long after, the members of Royal Canoe took the stage one at a time to kick off with the distorted vocals and slow groove of "Nightcrawlin’”, for a set featuring old favourites and a preview of new tunes. “Rayz” -- the lead single from the upcoming album Waver – spotlighted the groups stellar harmonies, and another new one, “What’s Left In The River” built to an insane and chaotic ending.
They snuck a little bit of Nirvana’s “Lithium” into “Love You Like That”, and most of the packed theatre was singing along to the contemplative “Exodus of the Year” and the bombastic “Bathtubs”.
The set came to an end with “Lies”, another song that built to a swirling cacophonous finale. But they weren’t gone for long before returning, inviting Begonia back on stage for the song they released together last year, the funky dance-jam “Fussin’” to cap off the night.
I’ve said before (repeatedly) how Royal Canoe is one of my favourite bands to watch live, and even with the loss of one of their two drummers, they haven’t missed a beat. Their interesting and unique blend of influences create a sonic force that is unmatched.
Walk Out On The Water,
Love You Like That (w/ Lithium [Nirvana cover]),
I Am Collapsing So Slowly,
What’s Left In The River,
Exodus Of The Year,
Living A Lie.