Marianas Trench proves itself best in show at Vancouver's Orpheum

At The Orpheum on Saturday, December 18

If you’ve ever been to a dog show, you’ll understand the basic judging. The best dogs are determined by how close they come to the standard. If Marianas Trench’s performance last night was picked apart using the same guidelines, the Juno Award–winning Vancouver quartet would have been crowned top bitch for its brand of cookie-cutter pop.

As for the openers Jakalope, it’s hard to know what to call the band’s performance, but clusterfuck seems to fit the bill. On ”Dusk Til Dawn”, grinding feedback raped our ears and interrupted the song twice. That wasn’t the only offending moment of the set, with tinny sounding instruments barely matching up to lead singer Chrystal Leigh’s shrill voice. It was bad enough to make Metallica’s St. Anger sound like a well-recorded masterpiece. Even the rendition of ex-lead singer Katie B’s hit “Pretty Life” was a dull rehash of decidedly stale-dated mediocrity. It’s a shame that the kids in the audience were too young to afford—or obtain—the drugs needed to get through Jakalope’s industrial waste.

The absence of narcotics at a Vancouver concert wasn’t the only shocker either. We spotted a baby wearing earmuffs, a 20-something man crying and rubbing his face to the headliners, and an army of preteen Marianas’ marionettes singing along to every Trench song.

The screaming band delivered everything that the screaming fans wanted, but you got the feeling that the assembled would have cheered if the group’s members had banged on pots and pans with their frozen testicles. “Say Anything” was a crowd favourite with singer Josh Ramsay seemingly in his element as he pranced around the stage like a spastic praying mantis. The rest of the band had impeccable chops, aside from a pointless and repetitive drum solo by Ian Casselman.

Halfway through the set, Jonathan Simkin from 604 Records ambled on stage to present Marianas Trench with a garishly framed Canadian platinum record for selling 100,000 of its latest, Masterpiece Theatre. It’s no American platinum, but the band must be doing something right; after all, how many other local bands do you see headlining the Orpheum? Undoubtedly, much of that success was a result has been due to the hit, “Shake Tramp”.

It was unsettling seeing the song performed live though, mostly because of the eerie chanting of “They slap you like a bitch and you take it like a whore,” by girls that didn’t look old enough to know what a period is. What was even more fucked up was the number of oblivious moms taking it all on the chin; it’s hard to believe that there was ever a time when the Rolling Stones’ “Let’s Spend the Night Together” could cause parents to throw a shit fit. Maybe Ramsay won them all over with his pop wail or maybe it was his pursed lips, either way he had the audience’s members screeching like prepubescent teakettles.

The whole scene seemed better suited for somewhere like the Croation Cultural Centre or the PNE Forum. Having the show at the beautiful Orpheum theatre seemed like bringing a King George Highway hooker to the Four Seasons. I guess when a working girl like Marianas Trench works as hard for what she’s gotten, she deserves to dick around wherever she damn well pleases.

Watch Marianas Trench perform "Cross My Heart" at the Orpheum on December 18.

Watch Marianas Trench perform "Lover Dearest" at the Orpheum on December 18.


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Trench sucks

Dec 19, 2010 at 12:44pm

Horrible band and horrible music that could only be enjoyed by kids who don't know any better yet.
Saw them play once a few years back at Venue and Josh's wailing was so bloody shrill and annoying half of the room walked out. (including me)


Dec 20, 2010 at 2:58am

Wow, are you seriously going to hate on a band as incredible as Marianas Trench??? They can actually fucking sing, unlike most mainstream artists. Cookie cutter pop, are you shitting me? Are you fucking deaf? You should be fired!


Dec 20, 2010 at 3:05am

Well people have different taste in music, and I can say that I love Jakalope and Marianas Trench. Just because you don't doesn't mean you can write a shit article about a band and judge their fans and their music. So fuck you, and Marianas Trench is amazing.

Like a...

Dec 20, 2010 at 3:40am

I don't know what's worse, the band you're "writing about" or your awful attempt to be clever while roasting them. The similie, while being a great poetic device, is a little high school. Good to see you're putting that useless english degree to use though! Fuck bands that make tweens happy!

Amy C

Dec 20, 2010 at 3:43am

Interesting review. Gotta say, have you ever been to a large show where the fans haven't sung along to every song? And honestly, you're criticizing them for, what exactly, having young fans? or for making music that you don't personally like?

Sara N.

Dec 20, 2010 at 3:49am

With all due respect (which is far more than you have afforded MT), you clearly don't know your own ass from a teakettle, Mr. Craddock.

For starters, Marianas Trench is hardly cookie cutter pop, unless you would also have called the Beach Boys or Queen the cookie cutter pop of their generation. But I suppose that is a subjective matter of taste, and you have made it abundantly clear that this is an area in which you are sadly lacking. Taste, that is. Perhaps one day you'll learn to appreciate the finer things in life.

I hardly think it is appropriate to be close to advocating the use of narcotics to a crowd that you have pointed out is terribly underage. Didn't your mother teach you that narcotics are B.A.D. no matter what your age, anyway? Sheesh! And really? Pots and pans with frozen testicles? If wedgies are now illegal (and any sex educator will happily tell you that they are), what can this demographic possibly make of frozen testicle pot-and-pan banging? My, oh my.

If you are going to call yourself a writer, may I suggest you construct grammatically correct sentences in the future, at the very least? I mean, even a singer as sub-par as you make Ramsay out to be has the good grace to sing in tune, the equivalent professional requirement for a musical frontman. So metaphorically raping him within the confines of a sentence like, "Undoubtedly, much of the success was as a result has been due to the hit Shake Tramp" hardly sets you at the top of your own profession. I'm seeing an image of a pot and a black kettle...

Which brings us to the most glaring of your incompetencies displayed in this review.

Shake Tramp was the biggest hit off of Fix Me, yes. But you do realize, I hope, that Fix Me is an altogether different record than Masterpiece Theatre? And given that Fix Me did not go platinum, but Masterpiece Theatre did, I would assume that it is simple elementary reasoning that would bring us all to the conclusion that Shake Tramp is probably not, in fact, the sole reason for the success that nabbed them a headlining gig at the Orpheum. It may have, possibly, just maybe, had something or other to do with any of the other 5 gold and platinum singles off of the current album, rather than the one single which went gold off of the album released four years ago. But nice job doing your research. Your editor should be proud.

I, on the other hand, was proud to be sitting in the Orpheum, watching what I think is the best band I've seen in years do a bang-up job presenting some killer writing, and perform their butts off. And comparing them to a King George hooker is just downright insulting. And yes, I do understand that's how you intended it. I just think it's offensive and quite sad, actually, that you can't write less than 1000 words on something - even if it was something you didn't like - without resorting to sex and swearing. But I guess that's what sells. Wait, who is it that's the two-bit whore in this equation?


Dec 20, 2010 at 4:07am

This the most bullshit review ever. Comparing a band to hookers? Seriously?

Best Band

Dec 20, 2010 at 4:28am

Okay clearly you dont know good music. I was at that concert and it was amazing! I admit the technically stuff was bad but what can you do? And as for Marianas Trench they are an amazing band and deserve all the props they get for everything they do. So maybe you should learn good music before you tear apart the best band ever and get everything wrong!


Dec 20, 2010 at 4:29am

whoever wrote this clearly has no idea what the fuck good music is.


Dec 20, 2010 at 4:31am

WOW! For the person who commented and said 'kids who don't know any better' your an idiot. i can name like 8 adults who LOVE Marianas Trench. Marianas trench can actually sing and whoever thinks they're horrible and have no talent, you obviously don't know what the hell your talkin about.