‘Twas a mild Sunday evening in early October and Vancouver was just starting to boast the full canvas of its fall colours, the perfect backdrop for a night of indie rock out-of-towners at the Biltmore.
Rah Rahs, hailing from Regina, warmed the stage with an energetic set. Always impressive when it seems the entire band can play every instrument and pound out the vocals, nonetheless so when there are seven bodies on stage—bravo!
Suuns (formerly Zeroes), bearing their new appellation and armed with an LP of freshly sharpened ditties, never hesitate to take the night to darker places. Their sound varies: hard garagey riffing, ghostly synth-infused build-ups and frantic metal crashes—all wonderfully ferried along by Ben Shemie’s melancholic and often downright demented anthems. No, he did not actually kill a man when was he was eleven years old.
The fun for the Suuns didn’t end with their set—Land of Talk’s ringleader Lizzie Powell had her fellow Montreal buddies working overtime on this tour. The members of Suuns crowded around Powell on stage, backing her up on the new whack of hymns from Cloak & Cipher, which is more instrumentally diverse than her earlier work. Powell belted out the numbers, new and old; her voice is dusky and autumnal and it shook the leaves off the trees on this starry night.