For the five nights before this show, I ran (and bussed and cycled) all around Vancouver to catch as many loud, obnoxious and heavy bands during Music Waste as I could. By the time Sunday rolled around, I was exhausted. I didn’t want to see another bar for a few days, and sure as hell didn’t want to see any live music. I only made it down to the Biltmore because I promised (Discorder’s RLA Editor) Al Smith that I would. What I didn’t realize, though, was that this show would be the perfect palate cleanser after a week of hard drinking and hard, noisy music.
I stumbled into the Biltmore in time to catch the last half of Dog Day’s set. The four-piece pop act hails from Halifax, but the music they play is less reminiscent of the melodious rock that the East Coast brings to mind and more akin to the big pop sound associated with Toronto and Montreal, Stars in particular—dreamy and melodious and driven by dueling girl/boy vocals.
Julie Doiron took the stage solo, playing a handful of her trademark softer numbers before welcoming her band on stage, setting the sort of quaint, intimate mood that would carry through the evening. That’s not to say the band, which featured fellow Mt. Eerie collaborator Fred Squire, was sedate though. In fact, at times they downright rocked. An amped-up version of “The Wrong Guy” segued into a fuzzy version of “No More” before returning to the former again during one of the set’s highlights. While the set-opening and set-closing solo portions of the evening were great, the full band interpretations of Doiron’s songs, especially the ones that are soft and soothing on record, were a treat for longtime fans (like me). With more than nine albums worth of studio material to potentially cover, there were some rough patches, but the creative ways that the quartet re-imagined some of Julie’s most loved songs overshadowed the odd musical misstep.