Monday, November 21, 2005
all the girls stomp your feet like this



A very fuzzy picture of Gwen Stefani... but passable for first row of the Garage's balcony. Yes, today I left any indie pretension I might have had at home and took in Mrs. Rossdale's Harajuku Lover's Tour 2005. I believe this is the very first show I've attended that included costume changes, but that's not a dig. It was well worth the very hefty price tag. In fact, when you think about it, at least at these big pop productions you know where your money is going. I'm sure Gwen is taking home a fair chunk of change, but there's also all the costumes, a half a dozen moving video screens, and a rather elaborate looking multilevel moving stage. I've been to some really expensive rock shows, where there was a band, a stage, and some lights. But I digress...

For someone who claims that they "just wanted to make a stupid dance record," she sure rocks it live. It was more of a spectical than a concert, but it was goddamn fun... and what more do you want from pop music? The big singles were the obvious highlights, the culmination being the almost-too-obvious encore of the year's best single (yeah, I'm going to make that claim), "Hollaback Girl," but the rest of the show was nothing to scoff at either. I do have to say though, her band was pretty good, but the records so tightly produced, they did sound a little thin on occassion. Speaking of the band, I swear during the vamp half way through "Serious," the keyboardist was dropping in the opening riff from Bowie's "Ashes to Ashes." If by some chance any of you out there reading this were there and confirm I'm not just insane, that would be swell.

To top things off, rather than the Black Eyed Peas (thank god), M.I.A. opened the show. I was curious to see whether she could carry herself in such a big venue, and while I'm sure there were a lot of people there who didn't get it, quite a sizeable chunk of the floor were on their feet and moving by her set's end. Her set itself also included some tricks that Vancouver didn't get to see when Maya headlined the Commmodore last month. I wasn't all that impressed with DJ Contra last time around - he just seemed like a decent Diplo copycat - but dropping "Lose Control" into "Bucky Done Gun," and the beat to "Drop It Like It's Hot" behind the outro to "Galang" was hot.

Immediately after the show, my concert mate rushed off to do Spanish homework (thanks again for the ticket Marina... sorry I couldn't drive you home), while I booked it through the DTES and into Gastown to catch Great Lake Swimmers. I'm reviewing the show for Discorder, and know my editor is going to be upset that I narrowly missed openers, Jonathan Inc, but I've caught them three or four times previously, and they really haven't done anything for me. I'm willing to give them another chance, but I doubt today would've changed my mind at all.

This evening, Great Lake Swimmers consisted of a solo Tony Dekker, which was probably as far from the first show I saw as you could get. Dekker made his way through his sweet sounding folkpop for just over an hour, and sounded amazing. I've always felt like his voice makes up for what can sometimes be inadequacies in his straight ahead lyrics, and today was no different. Things that might be passable out of someone else's mouth, sounded like gold... And, quite a bit like the record, right down to the soft buzz from his guitar, mimicking that comforting tape hiss that creeps in the background on GLS records. There were some moments that were a cut above though. "Moving Pictures, Silent Films," which saw Jonathan from Jonathan Inc. helping out on some very tasteful lead guitar, was a definite highlight. Dekker addressed the crowd a couple of times, but mostly stayed quiet... When he did talk, he was very reserved, kinda stumbly. And that's part of the reason I didn't snap any photos; it just didn't seem right to shove a camera in his face.

now playing: The Smiths - Asleep

6 Comments:

dude, there were costume changes at the Beasties show last September...

By Blogger Graham, at 5:41 a.m.  

Gwen in costumes > MCA in costumes

By Anonymous Sean, at 5:37 p.m.  

Rogue Wave is opening that Nada Surf show in feb

By Anonymous Shea, at 8:12 p.m.  

i hate hollaback girl. i'll even take cool over it.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:40 p.m.  

Yeah, I definitely thought Gwen killed it last night. I was one of the few peeps on the floor who was actually dancing for M.I.A. Sure, it was a crazy expensive show but I thought it was worth it.

By Anonymous simon, at 1:07 a.m.  

you should give jonathan inc. another chance. (heehee) thanks for the mention tho.

signed,

jonathan inc.

ps we are playing tommorow night at the railway.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:52 p.m.  

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upcoming shows
2/8 Twin Sister, Eleanor Friedberger, and Ava Luna @ the Media Club
2/9 David Choi @ the Rio
2/10 Secret Chiefs 3 and Dengue Fever @ the Rickshaw
2/13 White Buffalo @ the Media Club
2/14 The Ballyntines and Pleasure Cruise (TT) @ the Biltmore
2/18 Grimes w/Born Gold @ Fortune (early)
2/18 Cruel Young Heart, Young Liars, the Oh Wells, and Matiation @ the Dodson Rooms (AA)
2/18 Cursive w/UME @the Media Club
2/19 The Asteroids Galaxy Tour w/Vacationer @ Venue
2/20 Veronica Falls w/Bleached @ the Media Club
2/26 DJ Krush @ Fortune
2/29 Trevor Hall @ the Media Club
3/6 Slow Club w/Signals @ the Media Club
3/7 Cloud Nothings w/Mr. Dream @ the Media Clubr
3/8 Islands @ the Rio
3/10 Memoryhouse @ the Waldorf
3/17 William Fitzsimmons @ the Biltmore (early)
3/18 Magnetic Fields @ the Vogue (AA)
3/21 Plants & Animals>/b> @ the Rickshaw
3/22 Drive-by Truckers @ the Commodore
3/23 White Rabbits @ the Biltmore
3/23 Loney Dear @ the Media Club
3/24 Sharon Van Etten and the War on Drugs @ the Biltmore (early)
3/25 Nada Surf and An Horse @ the Rickshaw
3/27 The Ting Tings @ the Commodore
4/5 House de Racket @ the Electric Owl
4/6 Chairlift w/Nite Jewel @ the Electric Owl
4/7 Heartless Bastards @ the Media Club
4/8 Metronomy @ Venue
4/8 Gotye @ the Vogue (AA)
4/9 Cults @ Venue
4/10 First Aid Kit @ Venue
4/10 Andrew Bird w/Laura Marling @ the Vogue (AA)
4/13 The Odds and the Grapes of Wrath @ the Rickshaw
4/14 The Joel Plaskett Emergency @ the Vogue (AA)
4/24 School of Seven Bells w/Exitmusic @ the Electric Owl
4/26 Justice @ the PNE Forum (AA)
4/27 M83 @ the Vogue (AA)
4/27 Yukon Blonde @ the Commodore
4/28 Neon Indian @ Venue (early)
5/6 Delta Spirit w/Waters @ the Electric Owl
5/9 Yann Tiersen @ the Rickshaw
5/11 Great Lake Swimmers w/Cold Specks @ the Commodore
5/12 The Boxer Rebellion> @ the Biltmore
5/27 Coeur de Pirate @ Venue

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DG = @damaged goods
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