At the Forum Sports Bar on Thursday, November 18
We have been dreaming of a day when bands wearing skinny jeans, relaxed-fit jeans, and skeleton pants could put their differences aside. Cracks in the proverbial Berlin Wall seem to have formed Thursday as Beekeeper and Exit 200 opened for an impressive performance by the Light Machines. The bands hit the crowd with their contrasting styles of music for 30:Live at the Forum Sports Bar.
Vancouver’s Beekeeper opened with their fusion of postpop and math rock. Those in the crowd mainly kept to themselves and avoided the tiny dance floor, but that didn’t stop the duo, consisting of Devon Lougheed on guitar and vocals and Luke Cyca on drums, from kicking tracks off their album Be Kept up a notch. Lougheed oscillated between catchy rhythm and screaming falsetto and Tegan Ceschi-Smith joined on multiple songs, using her violin to add an Alfred Hitchcockian feel and climax the songs. It was nice to see a band that didn’t take itself too seriously, and Lougheed demonstrated this when he yelled to the crowd, “We were nominated for a Juno”¦we nominated ourselves. Hope you enjoy Metric winning.”
In the brief period between sets, the DJ played Metric’s “Dead Disco” to an increasingly energetic crowd of about 100 people. While the black-and-white sports prints on the walls don’t exactly scream “indie rock”, the Forum Sports Bar does have a pretty decent setup for live music, with long tables overlooking the small stage and a pleasant crowd. It’s nice to have a new rock venue in the downtown core again, after Richard’s closed and left us wandering to the East Side with holes in our hearts.
Exit 200 played second, sounding like an early-’90s reggae-rock group on amphetamines. The band’s sound fit the profile of the Forum best as their radio-friendly jams blasted alongside the images of snowboarding videos that flickered from screens on every wall. A small group piled onto the dance floor throughout the set and packed it with about 25 people for lead singer Nick Goy’s screaming saxophone conclusion. The group yelled for an encore, and the Abbotsford band gladly obliged.
Based on their MySpace photos, headliners the Light Machines promised to be stripped-down Interpol wannabes. Fortunately, the band’s energetic performance proved that the book doesn’t always match the cover. The lead singer, Tylor Rolyt, decked out in a tie-sweater combo and what looked like blush, performed with a soulful voice that didn’t sound like it could be coming out of his wiry frame. The frontman exuded stage presence as he summoned the moves of Ian Curtis. At one point during the show, he began crowd-surfing while singing over an audience that looked to be as young or younger than he was.
To close their set, the Light Machines played a killer cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”. The only questionable aspects of their performance were the bewildering mosh pit that formed near the end of the set and the lead singer’s skeleton pants. I think we all learned a valuable lesson, though: you can’t always judge a person by his pants.