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NXNE: Jets Overhead - Short But Sweet

10-Jun-2006 11:36 am Contributed by: pete Concert Reviews
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June 8, 2006
Toronto, Ontario
The Horseshoe Tavern
Review by: Pete Nema and Steve Okun, Photos by: Pete Nema
Enema Rating: (8/10)

You can't fault a band for playing a short set when they're jammed in between two other acts and on a strict schedule as part of the NXNE (NorthByNortheast) music festival in Toronto. What you can do is think about how well they used the time to make an impact on an unsuspecting concert goer. On the first night of NXNE at The Horseshoe Tavern, Victoria BC based Jets Overhead did more than a mere flyby.

Jets Overhead was Pete's Pick on May 1st, so if you haven't heard them yet, start there. But while you might not reach groupie status by sampling online tracks before the show, there is a reward for hearing out their latest CD Bridges before you see them live. They have a sound with a wide dynamic range that seems to grow fast on you with repeated listens. There are at least four songs on their CD that kept bringing me back for another listen, and now that I've grown attached to Bridges I was really looking forward to seeing how they presented themselves on stage.

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And the initial presentation was surprisingly neat and conservative, including both clothing and actions. Despite opening the set with This Way, which is a fairly upbeat tune with strong feeling, the band was mostly stationary and expressionless. Bridges comes in waves, with peaks of intensity and valleys of cerebral calm, and they tried to match this pattern with the set list. But despite the fact that the music varied between intense to subtle, the band members moved in a straight line from quite conservative to very loose during the course of the set.

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Actually, the changes in behaviour for most of the band members wasn't nearly as noticeable as that of Adam Kittredge (guitars, vocals) who transformed from a mild-mannered front man to a radical, guitar-wielding maniac. In other words, it took a few songs to warm-up, but once they got going and we got to see who they really were, they put on a fantastic show.

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The concert was a solid offering, providing tight renditions of a good selection of Bridges tracks. Jets Overhead is high on my current recommended listening list. See them live, buy their CD, or download songs from their website (best tracks: This Way, Life's a Song, All The People, and Where Did You Go?) - just listen to this band. Check your bags, grab your boarding pass, and get to the gate because Jets Overhead is ready for take-off.


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