Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Grapes of Wrath w/ Julie Doiron at the Mod Club, Oct. 30th 2012

It seems like fate as IKvsDK and Tuco took to the streets on a rainy October evening for some eats at The Lakeview and a show at The Mod Club. It has been 20 years since the "last" show of The Grapes of Wrath in Vancouver but the healing power of music (and money) has conspired to bring the star-crossed talents of Kevin Kane and Tom Hooper back together again. And we fans of music, particularly Canadian music, are very very grateful for this.

According to the Grapes of Wrath site, the night promised to bring out some classic GOW tunes and a few new ones from their upcoming effort. On hand were a number of guest stars, some kept as surprises, and all skillfully captured by a CBC media truck.

I have to admit, I was stoked as I'd never seen the Grapes of Wrath and You May Be Right has turned into a sort of "comfort song" (think along the lines of comfort food) for me. Back in the days when I had all the free time and hope of a student, I, like many others, had picked out the tune for All The Things I Wasn't on the guitar and a few other GOW melodic signature tunes; these guys can write a song.

So after a pint and some victuals at the Lakeview, IKvsDK and Tuco sallied forth and made it to the Mod Club at a few minutes past 8pm. There was a back table set up with some CDs from the opener and the latest compilation from GOW entitled Singles. Unfortunately, a gaggle of fans obstructing access to the table and a lack of signage dissuaded a purchase.

The venue was about a third full. I snagged a 416 and whiled away the minutes chatting with IKvsDK and a hot young lady who happened to live in the same building as me. Small place, Toronto.

9pm strikes and Julie Doiron, (of Eric's Trip - somehow IKvsDK knew this without googling) took to the stage with a drummer and bass player. Eric's Trip has the distinction of being the first Canadian act to sign to 90s label SubPop. Doiron was a little chatty but took the audience through a 45 minute set - part rock, part dreamy acoustic. The dreamy parts are the kind that separates Live from Studio. It takes a very special audience that can appreciate these kinds of passages live.

After about a rather long interlude, Buck 65 did a short introduction and was not seen or heard from again. Tom, Chris and Kevin bounded on stage along with a keyboardist and guitarist and started off with, I think, Misunderstanding. Sorry, but I did not have my act together and figured someone else would have a setlist. After the opening two songs, Ron Sexsmith joined for a few.

Other guests included two guys from Great Lake Swimmers, two from White Horse (on Do You Want To Tell Me), two guys from Hayden and Sam Roberts. GOW sure have some recognition/pull in the world of folk rock. I think these weren't just label-mates. As Ron Sexsmith quipped, he had toured with BOTH Kevin Kane and Tom Hooper when they were feuding. Small place, the world.

They did try out a few new numbers and they were good. The great thing about folk rock and melodic pieces is that they do have a timeless quality about them. I always cringe a little when hearing a legend of rock coming back after a number of years trying to recapture that fire of youth (e.g. Van Halen's last effort Tattoo). Doesn't happen with the mellower genres.

My lone technical complaint on a night with so many changes on stage was that Kevin's guitar wasn't nearly loud enough, particularly on the guitar solos.

Will post a propert setlist when one surfaces.

You May Be Right w/ Sam Roberts

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