Tag Archive: Alix Goolden Hall


Mike Edel started off the night with a set that was stripped down compared to what I was used to seeing from him. The theme of the night seemed to be “keep it simple” and Edel was joined by only three other musicians covering guitar/banjo, violin, and percussion. The short set contained the staples of “Two Of Us”, “Bottom Floor Apartment”, and “The Country Where I Came From”. Edel and company were fantastic as always.

The Archers were up next. They had the most elaborate set up of the evening with piano, guitar, bass, ukulele, cajone, bells, and a tiny bit of trumpet. I saw this young group at Rifflandia back in September, and while they were great back then they acted like seasoned pros now. The standout song for me was the opener “The Sun Will Rise”. (The song can be heard/bought on the band’s Bandcamp page.)  You can catch the Archers with Fir Cone and Steph Macpherson when they play my hometown of Sidney BC on April 21st 2012.

I admit: I didn’t do my homework before this show. I had no idea what to expect from Steven Page this night. Would he play alone or with a band? Would he focus on his new solo material? Would he play the old BNL favourites? If past experience has taught me anything, it’s that this is exactly how I should go into a concert. Things always seem to turn out great when I do this. This show was no exception.

Page was joined by Craig Northey of the Odds with Page on acoustic guitar and Northey switching between acoustic and electric for the night. The set started with Northey alone on stage playing one of his songs with Page making his entrance on melodica halfway through the song. From there the duo launched into a version of “Alternative Girlfriend” that made its way through “Someone Who’s Cool” before closing out where they started. (Confession: as soon as I learned that Craig Northey was playing that night I wanted to request “Someone Who’s Cool”, it’s one of my all time favourite songs. I’m so glad they played it, and that it came so early in the set too so I didn’t have to be one of those jerks who shout requests for songs not written by the headlining artist.) The remainder of the evening weaved its way through old Barenaked Ladies songs, new songs from Page’s solo albums, and a couple of songs written by Northey and the Odds. The duo received a few standing ovations that night, one came right after doing a song without the use of microphones. That is always such an amazing thing to hear done at the Alix Goolden Hall. The night finished with another one of my all time favourites, “Brian Wilson”.

I think it’s pretty safe to say that this show will be one of the best I’ll see in 2012. If that prediction is wrong, I’m fine with that because it means I have an incredibly amazing year of music ahead of me. More pictures from the night are posted on the EhBSeasides Flickr page here.

I saw Dan Mangan play to a sold out crowd at the Alix Goolden Hall in Victoria the other day. (Update:  Because I forgot to mention it when I originally posted this, and because there’s been searches from people looking, the openers that night were The Crackling from Vancouver and The Daredevil Christopher Wright from Wisconsin. Both are great – check them out.) This was one of the best concerts I’ve seen this year. To convince you of that, I’ve posted some video from the evening below. You can find my photos from the night on my Flickr page here.

 

Barenaked Ladies and Joel Plaskett with Peter Elkas at the Save On Foods Memorial Arena, April 6th 2010

Gordon was probably the first cassette tape I owned as a kid and I’m sad I wasn’t able to see BNL before Steven Page left the band. Admittedly I haven’t listened to a BNL album in years, and Gordon is probably their only album I own, but I couldn’t pass up the chance to see the band perform some of their greatest hits. Throw in the opener of Joel Plaskett accompanied by Peter Elkas, and I was sold. I’m impressed how Joel always manages to keep his show fresh. I’ve seen him live a few times now and he always brings something a little different to the mix. This time it was a stripped down set, just him on guitar and keyboard and Peter Elkas on guitar. He played a lot of material from his most recent release Three. It seemed that most of the people around me weren’t too familiar with his work (was I the only one singing along there?), but the crowd perked up when he started into his hit Nowhere With You. As for BNL, they are nothing short of seasoned pros. Like I kind of mentioned above, I’m not a big fan of the new material, but I was thoroughly entertained by their set. It’s pretty obvious that they have a lot of fun doing what they do.

View the entire photo set here.

 

Sam Roberts with Matt Mays at the Save On Foods Memorial Arena, June 12th 2010

This was a night of pure rock and roll. Going to this concert was a bit of a last minute decision for me. The next morning I had to get on an early flight to Texas to make it to a conference, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go out the night before I had to fly. I sucked it up and went out anyways, but I was unorganized and was still packing my bags when Matt Mays took the stage. I’m still kicking myself for missing his set. The Canadian icons 54-40 played the second slot (which I was totally surprised at – how were they not the headliners?!).  Unfortunately none of my photos of them turned out, but their set was basically a soundtrack of what I grew up listening to. Thank you dad for educating me so well in Canadian rock. Sam Roberts closed the night. He played a good mix of new and old songs. I particularly enjoyed the songs that Matt Mays joined in on. (And what a photogenic guy Matt Mays is! I’m so happy how well those shots turned out.)

View the entire photo set here.

 

Owen Pallett with Snowblink at the Alix Goolden Hall, May 10th 2010

Owen Pallett (who at the time had recently changed his stage name from Final Fantasy) hit town in support of his new album Heartland. He cancelled his last scheduled show in Victoria (his Rifflandia 2009 set) due to a bad case of the flu, and the audience seemed glad that he was able to return so soon. Heartland is a beautiful album with some gorgeous arrangements. This new album was recorded with an orchestra so I was curious to see how he would approach performing these pieces, as his stage show is normally just him on his own. He brought support, but it was only one other musician who played some guitar and some drums. It was just enough to add that extra oompf to the new work.

View the entire photo set here.

 

Sasquatch 2010!!

How can I accurately sum up one of the best weekends I’ve ever had? It turns out that I had to miss the first day and a half of Sasquatch to attend a good friend’s wedding. Even though I wish I hadn’t missed the National, Vampire Weekend, Caribou, and the Hold Steady (to name a few), I still had an amazing time. Can I pick one highlight? No. Here’s a few though: It seemed that everyone at the festival came to the main stage to see LCD Soundsystem. It was one epic, massive dance party. If I have to live with only seeing LCD Soundsystem just once before they called it quits, this wasn’t a bad show to go with. Japandroids put on an most excellent set. While waiting for Japandroids to take the stage, we met the Dan Mangan t-shirt guy (who I originally mentioned here). In the middle of MGMT’s set a bunch of large balloons were released on the hill, it was one of those great festival moments. The Seattle Rock Orchestra probably had one of the most underrated sets of the festival. I had a hard time convincing my friends to join me for this one, but I don’t regret going solo. Their entire set consisted of them covering songs from Arcade Fire’s album Funeral. Checking out the internets soon after Sasquatch last year I discovered that they have also covered David Bowie. Doing another quick internet check while writing the last bit of this post, I find that in the last year they have tackled both Queen and Radiohead. (Friends: SRO is playing Sasquatch again this year and they’re doing Radiohead covers! You’re being told now that you’re coming to see this with me.) At Sasquatch last year the band had about 20 musicians on stage ranging from strings to brass to singers to the more traditional rock band setup; they’re not called a rock orchestra for nothing. (By the way, does anyone want to start a band like this? I would totally get behind a project like that. It looked like it would be a lot of fun.) I absolutely CANNOT wait for Sasquatch 2011!

View the entire photo set here.

 

I have lots more photos still to upload, so you can expect a Flickr Pics Round Three… well… eventually.

New Flickr Pics Round One

I finally got around to pulling a bunch of photos off my computer and getting them posted up on the EhBSeasides Flickr page.

 

Roger Waters at Rogers Arena, December 10th 2010

Roger Waters performed the entire album of the Wall from front to back. The visuals at this show were nothing short of amazing. This was definitely one of my favourite concerts of 2010.

View the entire photo set here.

Mother Mother with Born Ruffians at the Alix Goolden Hall, June 8th 2010

Born Ruffians released one of my favourite albums of 2008. The last time they passed through town I was stuck in bed with the worst flu I’ve had in years, so you can imagine how happy I was when I heard that they would open for Mother Mother at this show. I hope they walked away from this set with a lot of new fans. Of course Mother Mother, the band everyone came to see, was no disappointment.

View the entire photo set here.

Dan Mangan with Meaghan Smith at Sugar, May 7th 2010

The crowd at this show was just… weird. From the drunk girl who kept yelling “Dan Mangan is a sexy bitch!”, to the guy who screamed “stand up bass!!!” every five seconds, this was the strangest audience I’ve seen in a long time. (My friends and I still yell “stand up bass!!” whenever we see one. See crazy guy? You started something there.) Sorry there’s no photos of Meaghan, I didn’t get a good spot until the crowd cleared between sets. I can assure you that she’s lovely. (And congrats on the recent Juno win Meaghan!)

View the entire photo set here.

Stand Up Bass!!!

Hawksley Workman at the Alix Goolden Hall, March 6th 2010

Sigh… I love Hawksley. He can really do no wrong in my books. I haven’t counted, but I have a good feeling that he’s the artist I’ve seen live the most times. (It might be a close race with Said the Whale, Aidan Knight, the Weakerthans, and Joel Plaskett, but that’s not bad company to be in!) Hawksley was in Victoria to support his two new albums Meat and Milk… he’s a busy guy.

View the entire photo set here.

 

Round 2 of my recently uploaded Flickr photos coming soon…

OK, the guilt is really setting in. It’s been two months and I still have to report on two more days of the Rifflandia festival. Stupid work and life getting in the way. Anyways, here goes:

Day 2 of the Rifflandia festival started off early by checking out Treelines at the Victoria Events Centre. Their new EP Young Man received some heavy play on my stereo this summer, so this was one of the sets I was most looking forward to at Rifflandia. The first song I caught from them, Summer Song, had just that morning been awarded the title of the CBC Radio 3 Song of Summer for 2010. The fool that I am, I showed up a few minutes into the set and ended up missing my favourite song, Ghost Towns. That’s just one more reason for Treelines to make a quick return to Victoria I guess. This was actually the first show I had been to at the Victoria Events Centre, and let me just say that this venue has really got some potential. It was a pretty good space to see music, with some good sightlines, and it had a bar even though it was an all ages venue (a double win!). Back to the music though. Treelines put on one rocking set chock-full of energy. I think the almost full venue of people would have agreed with me on that. The band did not disappoint my high expectations for this show; I can’t wait to see Treelines again.

Treelines at the Victoria Events Centre

Up next at the Victoria Events Centre was a local band, The Wicks, who played some laid back country. It was nice to hear a local band I hadn’t heard before, but after that rocking set by Treelines I couldn’t sit down and give the Wicks the attention they deserved so I decided to move on. I did pick up their EP before I left though, so I’m looking forward to giving it a listen through.

The Wicks at the Victoria Events Centre

At this point I moved over to see another local band, Maurice, at Market Square. This was clearly where the party was going on, with the beer garden lineup growing by the second. The whole set culminated with one unforgettable moment of the festival in which the bass player Mark leaped off a stack of speakers. The next day it was revealed that he sprained his ankle – ouch! As proof, the band posted some photos up on their Facebook page of a pretty bruised and swollen foot.

Yukon Blonde were up next at Market Square and to put it bluntly, they rocked the joint. I was impressed that the band’s great harmonies transferred so well from the album to the stage. At this point Market Square was almost at capacity, and everyone seemed really into the show. I would not be surprised if Yukon Blonde walked away with more than a few new fans that night. Near the end of the set Aidan Knight and the boys of We Are the City joined the band on stage for a song.

with Aidan Knight and We Are The City

Yukon Blonde at Market Square

At this point the night was in full swing and I went from one capacity crowd to another to see Aidan Knight at the Metro. Even with my media pass I got stuck waiting out in the hall for this massively popular show. Luckily I was able to make it in partway through first song so all worked out. For this set Aidan and his band played a mix of  old songs, new songs, and songs from his most recent release Versicolour. After catching him a few times this summer with the Malahat Revue it was nice to see him play such a well rounded collection of material. Partway through the set Aidan asked how many of us saw him at last year’s Rifflandia festival. Considering this was such a breakout performance for him, I was surprised that the answering applause was so quiet. I guess this just goes to show how the love for Aidan Knight has spread so much in the past year. This evening Aidan was joined by a five piece band which was a nice expansion from his solo set at last year’s Rifflandia festival. The band grew even more for the song Knitting Something Nice For You when they were joined by the boys of We Are The City and by Matt Kelly of Treelines. The crowd leaped to their feet for this number, and they even got the clapping part of the song down without any prompting. To finish off the night Aidan asked the crowd to have a seat, at which point he expressed how genuinely happy he is to just be playing music. He also gave the Rifflandia organizers a heartfelt thanks for bringing something so great to our city, and mentioned some of the amazing shows he had seen so far. The band finished the night off with Jasper, and though the crowd started off sitting it didn’t last long. By the end of the song everyone was on their feet singing along, and Aidan finished the whole thing off from somewhere in the middle of the crowd.

Aidan Knight at the Metro

When I left the Metro there was a long line to see Men Without Hats. I grossly underestimated how popular that show would be and I’m quite interested to hear how that it went. Since I was in the area I decided to make a quick stop at the Alix Goolden Hall for Great Lake Swimmers. There was a long, long lineup to get in. Before the show the crowd was a little on the rowdy, restless side which made me think this show would be a disaster, but everyone quieted down as soon as the band took the stage. Unfortunately, things were running about 15 minutes late so I decided to only stay for two songs: She Comes To Me In Dreams and Everything Is Moving So Fast. If I had to hear only two songs from the Great Lake Swimmers, those are two pretty good choices.

Great Lake Swimmers at the Alix Goolden

To finish off the night I headed over to Sugar to catch the last half of Shout Out Out Out Out’s set. Once I got inside the club I was greeted with one sweaty dance party that was well underway. The whole crowd was basically jumping up and down for the entire show. Somehow or another I managed to navigate through the mass of people to get up to the front row where my friends were camped out. This was such a great way to wrap up the evening and get out all my extra energy from seeing so many hours of amazing music this weekend. Shout Out Out Out Out’s show was another one of my most anticipated sets of the festival and with two drummers and three bass players (insert double rainbow joke here), you can surely imagine that they did not let me down. In fact, the band said that it was probably their best show in Victoria so far. The crowd was so riled up by the end when they demanded an encore that the band decided to play Forever Indebted, a song that they claimed to have not played in a long time. This is one of my favourites from them, and it was such a great way to end the night.

Shout Out Out Out Out at Sugar

Now, I know this is supposed to be a music review, but after the show we wandered down to West Coast Waffles on Broad Street. I only found out that weekend that they have late night hours. They served up some amazing after show food that was such a nice change from the old standby of pizza, and they even had a mix CD of Rifflandia artists on the stereo! En route to West Coast Waffles my group ran into Zach from the Zolas and members of Treelines. I must say, it’s been a real treat so have so many musicians in town, and to have them hang around after their shows are over without needing to rush for the ferry, giving us the chance to chat with them while wandering the streets. Also spotted throughout the weekend were members of We Are the City and Aidan Knight.

Shout Out Out Out Out at Sugar

Up next in Day 3: Rich Aucoin, Diamond Rings, (a failed attempt to see) Times Neue Roman, Michael Bernard Fitzgerald, Hey Rosetta, The Dodos.