For the second time, Dancing In Our Debt’s ATM lobby concert went off without a hitch, this time as part of Signal & Noise [ed. for more on this, see page 16]. At a Vancity bank machine near city hall, a ragtag group of musicians and fans gathered to hear some acoustic music.
“There’s no reason we can’t do this stuff in Vancouver,” shouted Harlan Shore, organizer of the event and lead singer of Search Parties.
The Vancity lobby worked surprisingly well as a small concert venue, being a large enough space for the audience to crowd around the performers without feeling a shoulder-to-shoulder crush.
Search Parties graciously opened with a short—but enthusiastic—acoustic rock set. Their music definitely tends toward the rock side of that spectrum, but Shore’s vocals do lend themselves to punk stylings from time to time. Search Parties are on hiatus for the summer, but be sure to check out this prolific band when they start up again in the fall.
Aaron Read’s acoustic songs are quite good and his voice is reminiscent of the nasal drawl of Neutral Milk Hotel’s Jeff Mangum. Unfortunately, I missed the entire set due to Vancity’s surprisingly effective soundproofing. You couldn’t hear a thing that was going on inside from the outside, and if your back was turned, you would have no idea that the place was crowded full of people listening to music.
Bible Belts came on after an unremarkable performance by the Rub with a bit more interactivity. Alison Therriault took the lead here, performing most of the set accompanied by an accordion and partner-in-crime Chris Alscher (a.k.a. Chris-a-riffic) who was sadly unable to bring his piano into the bank. They did manage to entice the audience to sing along with them, especially with their closing cover of the Crash Test Dummies’ “Superman”.
Finishing off the night was a couple of rare duets from Rose Melbourg and Kellarissa, who normally perform solo. The two songs they played were strong showcases of their respective vocal talents, and the final cover tune, from Robert Altman’s country music film Nashville, was a beautiful way to end the night.