The Darcys “Rule My Life,” along with Amos the Transparent and The Junction
The Darcys were up first. After spending an abnormal amount of time listening to their tunes on CBC Radio 3 for a week prior to the show, I had pretty high expectations. To my delight, I was not disappointed.
They began their set with “Don’t Bleed Me,” to a nearly empty floor. As they were the first band performing, this was to be expected. But by their third song, “House Built Around Your Voice,” it was at least half full. People who had been standing around the bar earlier – probably here to see the Junction, who have been receiving decent airtime on 102.1 the Edge – made their way closer to the stage.
The Darcys played an eight-song set, and looked like gentlemen all the way through it. They may not have been rambunctious or bursting with buoyancy, but their performance – as a whole –was haunting in an ineffable sort of way. But of course, they had their energetic songs balancing things out as well: they concluded the set with “Edmonton to Purgatory” and had people dancing and tossing their heads along.
Afterwards, I spoke briefly to Branko Scekic, of Dinosaur Bones, who was in the audience; he told me enthusiastically “The Darcys rule my life!” I also checked out their facebook page the next day, which was filled with comments like “Your set was the highlight of the night” and “never heard you guys before, but saw u lastnight – amazing!” Apparently the band played a free show at Supermarket with Dinosaur Bones two days later, and I’m still grieving that I missed it.
Amos the Transparent was on next. I had heard good things about the band from Ottawa several times and was looking forward to seeing them live. Again, I was not disappointed. With 6 members, the group dynamic was exceptional; the band seemed to work like a team onstage.
What’s more, they had plenty of memorable moments during their performance. There were additional guests up onstage adding to the exceptional energy; bass player James Nicol jumped off’ve the stage and starting rocking out on the floor; there was guitarist Dan Hay’s lion-like mane flying about. And these are just a few examples.
Amos the Transparent started their nine-song set with “You Were So Right” and ended with “Catch and Release”; appropriate, considering that they had definitely caught the audience’s tightly throughout their performance and likely had a more difficult time releasing it afterwards.
Then, it was time for the big draw of the night: the Junction. By this time the floor was filled with people, right up to the edge of the stage. When the Junction walked out, they were greeted with whistles and enthusiastic cheers. After ten years of playing together – this show was their tenth anniversary! – their music was fresh as ever.
When they played their anthem-esque hits like “No Road” and “Out of Here”, the response was incredible. At one point, bass player Matt Jameson tossed a tambourine to Branco (of Dinosaur Bones), who was in the audience; he ran up and joined them onstage enthusiastically. It was planned (Branco told me afterwards) but came across as one of those appreciable moments of spontaneity in a live performance.
The Junction ended their set with a cover of Pink Floyd’s “Breathe” to a fulfilled audience. “The show was amazing. I’ve seen them before, but this was wicked!” Nick, a longtime fan, told me. “His friend Derek chimed in with “I fucking love this band.” They, along with several other fans –both old and new– then joined the line-up to talk to Junction singer Brent Jackson.
– REVIEW AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY SAKINA
View more photos here.