Concert Review: Broken Social Scene, The Stills, Sebastien Grainger @ The Verge Music Awards
|28-Sep-2008 06:00 pm||Contributed by: pete||Concert Reviews|
For the first annual Verge Music Awards, presented by XM Satellite Radio, $50,000 was split between two Canadian artists for two separate awards: Artist Of The Year and and Album Of The Year. With only two awards to give away, the night was light on ceremony and big on music. The two awards were framed by performances from Sebastien Grainger, The Stills, and headliners Broken Social Scene. Not a bad line-up of Canadian talent for the relatively intimate Tattoo Rock Parlour.
AwardsBefore I get to the performances, congratulations to the award winners:
Sebastien GraingerI had heard the name Sebastien Grainger before, but wasn't sure why, which means I didn't really know anything about this group. For some reason, I thought it was a band name not someone's actual name, like Max Webster or Jethro Tull. But if I had been paying attention in Indie School, I would've already known that Sebastien Grainger is an actual person and was one half of the duo Death From Above 1979 in which he played drums and provided the vocals. For his self-named band, he is out from behind the drum kit and placed in front, singing with guitar in hand. His vocals remind me quite a bit of Hot Hot Heat. It was a pretty big set, with the music regularly bringing both Sebastien and the bass player to their knees.
Info: Sebastien Grainger | Connect: MySpace, Facebook
The StillsImmediately after the first award of the night was handed out, The Stills took the stage. They recently joined the Arts & Crafts family prior to releasing their latest album, Oceans Will Rise, on August 19th of this year. I just realized, while writing this, that I already have this album in my collection, but haven't actually listened to it yet. From the set at Tattoo Rock Parlour, I heard lots of chiming guitars blended with competent vocals that were handed off between Tim Fletcher (vocals, guitar) and Dave Hamelin (vocals, guitar). The variety in vocals along with an eye-catching performance kept it interesting even if the music didn't grab me in every song. However, their performance of the final song in the set, entitled Rooibos, was pretty incredible, and is likely the track I'm going head for first when I go to listen to their album.
Info: The Stills | Connect: MySpace, Facebook
Broken Social SceneHere is something I want to tell you even though it is not directly related this event: When I first started blogging about music, it is fair to say that my major influences were Alan Cross (The Ongoing History Of New Music) and Grant Lawrence (CBC Radio 3 Podcast). However, it was at a Broken Social Scene concert in January 2006 where it hit me that I should start blogging about concerts as well, which ultimately turned into photographing concerts too. It was something Kevin Drew said during that show in 2006 that made me think to do it, so in a way, Kevin Drew is responsible for these photos of Kevin Drew.
For this awards show, Broken Social Scene was playing to an audience filled with people from the music industry, including many musicians, and other people who work in the industry. They played casually, the way a band might play when they are among many friends. And with the 10 or so people on stage (at points), there were likely a lot of friends in the audience. Aside from a musical intro that included lots of brass and wandering guitars, the set started out with Cause = Time, without a doubt my favourite Broken Social Scene song. The set also included a few songs from the recently released solo album by Brendan Canning (bass, vocals), including Churches Under The Stairs and Love Is New.
From about mid-way through the set, Dave Hamelin from The Stills could be seen right up at the stage enjoying the music, and it wasn't long before he was invited up to join in. Although he didn't accept the first offer, he did eventually join the band closer to the end of the set. Although I think the last number of the set did actually start out as a song, it slowly degraded into something else... quite possibly a competition to see who would play the longest. If you're interested, Brendan Canning was the winner, still plucking away at his bass guitar even as the closing remarks were being made by the host of the awards.
Info: Broken Social Scene | Connect: MySpace, Facebook
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