While we here at LiL regularly cover shows in Toronto as well as surrounding cities, we have started in recent months to have contributors work out of Ottawa, Buffalo and now we will occasionally report on the goings on from glorious Vancouver. This is the first such post covering an event from the West Coast.
When I entered the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver for the first time to see one of my favourite bands, July Talk, I could tell they set an atmosphere like no other venue I’ve reviewed. The soft lighting, warm tones and comfortable vibes in the large hall made for a perfect venue for the energetic performance put on by the Toronto natives. In addition to the large dancefloor were several rows of elevated seating areas and two bars. Hundreds of Vancouver residents piled into the prodigious hall and began dancing on what’s called the “sprung” dance floor; lined with horsehair, the boards are able to absorb the impact of hundreds of dancers creating a sort of wave in the floor.
Opening for July Talk was Adam Baldwin, a uniquely talented musician out of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Known for being a member of Matt May’s band, he released his latest album in June entitled No Telling When (Precisely Nine Eighty-Five). Songs played off the album that night included Daylight and Reateah. His performance was somewhat politically charged as he described his travels throughout his tour and his distaste for the current American political situation. During his last song of the night he hyped the crowd for July Talk by chanting their band name and describing how overjoyed he was to work with their talent.
First to take the stage was the guitarist, Ian Docherty. The crowd cheered as he tuned his guitar and prepared for the rest of the band to enter stage. The lights dimmed, save for one single light next to the piano. Peter Dreimanis walked up to it and they both started playing their latest single, Picturing Love as Peter belted out in his signature deep-gravel voice, Leah Fay entered the stage with the rest of the band to join him. The crowd exploded with reserved anticipation as the two singers exuded aggressive energy and playful banter. Between songs they expressed just how satisfying it felt to be back in their home country during a long and exciting tour around North America. They continued with songs such as, Gentleman, Summer Dress, and Lola + Joseph. During Guns + Ammunition, Dreimanis leaned back and launched himself into the crowd while still perfectly playing guitar. Leah ran around and interacted with the crowd, throwing her hands out and connecting with some of her biggest fans attending that night.
They finished the night off with some of my personal favourite songs by them, Push + Pull and Paper Girl. As they thanked the crowd and told them it was a dream of theirs to play at this venue, the stage went black. Slowly you heard the rising chant of “One more song!” July talk returned to the stage to play their title song off of their latest album, Touch.