Asteroids Galaxy Tour lights up Vancouver
At Venue on Thursday, October 25
The big question, especially considering Halloween is just around the corner, was this: who would be showing up?
Would it be the well-fed Euro cowboy dude with the craziest facial hair this side of Williamsburg? The archduke with the eye-patch and enough war-medal finery to impress George S. Patton? The back-in-black Asian karate master with more moves than Bruce Lee, not to mention Mick Jagger?
Or would it be the Most Interesting Man in the World who, after wrestling a North Van cougar with his bare hands and swan-diving from Venue’s wrap-around balcony, would then cap things off by screeching “Stay thirsty, my friends”? Oh, wait, that dude is from the wrong beer commercial.
There was no mistaking which suds-hawking clip Denmark’s the Asteroids Galaxy Tour was from. Indeed, most of North America still only knows the group as the house band from “The Entrance”, the Heineken beer commercial where a stubble-sporting supermodel arrives at the kind of mega-cool mansion house-party you’ll never get invited to. Look for the recognition level to change sooner rather than later, as the good-times sextet, led by blond dynamo Mette Lindberg, proved that it’s gunning for more than 15 minutes (or, more accurately, 30 seconds) of ad-campaign fame.
Venue was only half full on a rainy school night, and the band, according to Lindberg, had rushed downtown after clearing customs at the Blaine border crossing. It was perhaps to be expected, then, that things took a while to get going.
Dressed in shiny silver leggings, accented by glittering hot pants and entirely unnecessary sunglasses, Lindberg tried gamely to get the party started with the organ-shimmered opener “Dollars in the Night”. She’d have a little more success with the funk-blasted follow-up, “The Sun Ain’t Shining No More”, but it wasn’t until about four songs in that things finally started to begin to catch fire.
Proving that everyone loves the soundtrack to an iPod commercial, the crowd went semi-apeshit for “Around the Bend”, Lindberg responding by swinging her mike stand around while launching her own one-woman dance party. Tower of Power horns came courtesy of trumpeter Julien Quinet and trombonist Tony Rinaldi, while bassist Lars Iversen grounded everything with his steady bass work.
The Asteroids Galaxy Tour offers up a strange, but nonetheless party-starting mix. The band dropped a lethal shot of calypso into the extraterrestrial lullaby “Suburban Space Invader”, did rat-a-tat-tat rawk with effortless aplomb on “Heart Attack”, and gave vintage new wave the Lee Hazlewood treatment on “When It Comes to Us”. (The latter track was propelled by perhaps the night’s best 30 seconds, namely an epic drum break courtesy of timekeeper Birk Nevel).
A show that started out slowly, but ended up looking like a sans-mansion party version of “The Entrance” ended, predictably, with the Heineken-approved hit “The Golden Age”. Unfortunately, there was no portly Euro cowboy, Bruce Lee look-alike, or archduke to be seen. Instead all you got was a dude who may or may not have been dressed up as a bong-blasted, tree-planting hippie, said fellow doing the world’s most unsightly Bonnaroo boogie at the foot of the stage. In fact, he was just crazy-looking enough that, with a long shower and a quick makeover, he would have right into “The Entrance”.