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Rogue Wave

28-Oct-2007 10:54 PM Contributed by: pete Concert Reviews
Rogue Wave
The Mod Club in Toronto, Ontario
Photos and Review by: Pete Nema
Rogue Wave
Port O'Brien
October 26, 2007
Full Photo Set (14 photos)

Based out of Oakland, California, Rogue Wave is a band lead by Zach Rogue (vocals, guitar) who reportedly formed the band after losing his job in the dot-com crash. Their first full-length release entitled Out Of The Shadows was released in 2003, but I didn't find out about them until about four months after they released their second album Descended Like Vultures in October 2005. The first two songs on that album, Bird On A Wire and Publish My Love, demanded repeated listening. It turned out the whole album was excellent so I featured it as Pete's Pick in June 2006 and ultimately included it in my Top 10 of 2006 list. They passed through Toronto in 2006, a show that I was sorry to miss, but managed to get out to see them this time in support of their latest release, Asleep At Heaven's Gate.

Rogue Wave
Rogue Wave
Rogue Wave

The new album is as at least as good as the last, with the standout tracks being Chicago X 12, Lake Michigan, Lullaby, and the clincher that will have you listening all the way through the CD every time, Cheaper Than Therapy. The Mod Club was the perfect location for their style of indie-rock, with the intimate atmosphere and moody lighting. The whole night started a little late due to some complications with the opening band getting across the border in time, but The Mod Club extended the early curfew by 15 minutes to allow both the opening band to play and to give Rogue Wave a full set plus healthy four song encore.

Speaking of their set, it was a good distribution of songs from all three of their albums, and wisely included most of their best songs from throughout the years. The only songs that were conspicuously missing for me were California (from Descended Like Vultures) and Cheaper Than Therapy. But they worked their way through an excellent rendition of Chicago X 12, with Zach indicating that the song sums up everything about the band to date.

Rogue Wave
Rogue Wave
Rogue Wave

Overall their performance didn't stand out as one of the best acts of the year, but with their infectious sound, the show is definitely more about the material than mind-blowing on-stage presence. And as a fan of their material, I was smiling through the entire concert. There was one aspect to the show that stood out, though - a strong connection with the audience that just isn't always there. The Mod Club atmosphere allows for, and sometimes even encourages, audience/performer interaction and Zach took advantage of the situation. For example, there was the guy who yelled out a request, but in a slightly more aggressive tone than he probably intended, and it became a bit of a joke between him and Zach, with a couple of exchanges during the show. And there was the girl in the front row who was there on her birthday, and when her friends let Zach know about it, he thanked her for spending the night there. I still highly recommend giving Rogue Wave a listen, and now with three excellent albums in their catalogue they are proving that they are a band with some longevity.

Info: Rogue Wave | Connect: MySpace

Port O'Brien

It seems Port O'Brien had some trouble getting across the border, most likely due to congestion, but as I mentioned, Rogue Wave and The Mod Club accommodated them nicely. However, I could still hear the signs of mild stress in the voice of Van Pierszalowski (vocals, guitar). I'm sure we all the know feeling of being late and having unforgiving traffic. When they arrived, they literally went straight on stage, so I'm sure they felt a little more disorganized than normal. But, as it turns out, there was no reason to worry. They were given a good amount of time on stage, considering, and while playing the songs the signs of concern seemed to disappear. For the final song, a few members of Rogue Wave joined them on stage. The music was well matched to the main act, definitely enjoyable, and as their name suggests has a feel of small-town ocean-side life in it.

Port O'Brien
Port O'Brien
Port O'Brien

Info: Port O'Brien | Connect: MySpace

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