Photos by Kurtis Toikka
I got off work at 8:30 and the show was set to start at 9, so I hopped in my car and went straight across the Lions Gate Bridge to see a packed Vogue Theatre. There were people lining the entire back wall, clogging up the isles, and hovering over the barrier that divided the audience from the soundboard. It’s been a few months since I’ve seen the Vogue as busy as it was for Angus & Julia Stone on their Snow US Tour. Within seconds of me taking my place in the audience the lights dimmed and saw only a blue light shining on the stage, and the crowd’s cheers pierced my ears.
With this tour being in support of their new album, they played Snow in almost its entirety, opening with the eleventh track on the album, “Baudelaire,” as a projection from the point of view of one submerging underwater played on the backdrop. The projections changed throughout the night and kept a steady theme of nature throughout the show, as the next projection we saw was a deer within a deer, “deer-ception” concept, depicted as a tree with the trunk as the face and branches for antlers.
Julia was showing off her versatility early in the show as she switched from a trumpet, on which she hit every note beautifully, to an electric guitar, to a bass guitar, all within the first five songs. The instruments used could’ve been an entire show on they’re own and neither Angus or Julia limited themselves to just one. There was a point where they were both on bass guitar and with three bass guitars going at once you could feel the thunderous rumble in your chest. Angus came out with a patterned acoustic guitar that embodied a mosaic flower design, broke out a cigar box guitar, and eventually hopped on a pedal slide guitar towards the end of the show, with two lead singers, they kept the stage mostly dark with an alternating spotlight switching back and forth illuminating whoever was singing, or shone on the band member who would partake in a solo.
They addressed the crowd after playing three straight songs, but they’re message was lost in the Australian accents that Vancouverites love so much. They rocketed through they first half of they’re set not addressing the crowd too much, but later had stories or something to say for nearly every one of them. The banter started at the end of they’re song “Wherever You Are,” as Julia began to break out in laughter prompting Angus to explain, “I f*ck that up every time.” From this point on it seemed as if the two became more comfortable with the crowd as they began banter with the audience and within the band. Julia told the crowd a story of an ex boyfriend to which the crowd gave an “aw” in unison prompting to reassure the crowd that it was mutual and going on to say that the next song was one she wrote for him called “For You.” After, Angus told a story of meeting a girl at a festival that prompted him to write “Big Jet Plane,” which was the next song in the setlist that brought a chorus of Vancouverites singing the chorus.
“Sounds good Vancouver,” he said as he caught the aroma of weed fill the venue, “Smells good too.”
They ended with they’re title track of they’re new album, “Snow” before returning to play two songs for the encore and finishing out they’re entire show with “Yellow Brick Road” a song they said, “We haven’t played in a while, but we thought we’d resurrect it on this tour.” Awaiting they’re return to the stage the crowd began stomping their feet shaking the entire venue.
The brother-sister duo have very different voices as Julia has a more nasally twang to her soft voice while Angus comes with a raspy mumble undertone and although they two differ, that hasn’t interfered with their success or they’re ability to harmonize beautifully at they’re live shows and provide a perfect Tuesday date night for Vancouverites. Going into the show I had the impression that the band was underrated due to how few of the people in my social life said they had heard of them, but after seeing the amount of support that Vancouver provided them with a sold out theatre, I was proved wrong in my assumption and look forward to what they have to offer next.