Real Live Action

Bend Sinister

March 04 @ Astoria

Review By Michael Barrow

Trekking to shows at the increasingly popular Main and Hastings locale has become such a disagreeable excursion for me that it has become sort of a rule avoid it whenever possible. Of course, as the old adage goes, for every rule there are exceptions. In my case, there were two: 1) the repossession of my skateboard after 3 months of separation and 2) the opportunity to check out Vancouver’s newest hype, Bend Sinister. How does the repossession of and subsequent obsession with my skateboard correlate to the Bend Sinister set on March 4th? Both are more fun than a night of blow and Supertramp records, and both possess the capability to knock one onto his or her ass.

Personal hobbies and drug references aside, the members of Bend Sinister are quickly proving themselves to be the local band to watch out for. Friday night’s show at the Asbalt remains in my mind as further proof of their ability to put on a unique, tight, and unquestionably enjoyable live show.

Bend Sinister is a band already awash with both energy and personality; seeing them play at ground level only served to heighten their already remarkably dynamic live performance. With the promise of a heavily produced album Through the Broken City within the next month or so, Bend Sinister is ensuring that what is lost production-wise at a live show is duly made up for in entertainment value.

For a band whose repertoire is not nearly fully developed, Bend Sinister is able to put together a tight set that has at once the ability to showcase their technical musicianship, while at the same time keep the crowd engaged. The sweaty Asbalt crowd had no problem responding to Bend Sinister’s energizing indie prog-rock, and likewise, Bend Sinister had no problem playing off the energy of the crowd. Bass player Dave Buck ended up standing on a table on stage-right and guitarist Naben Ruthnum, in a valiant attempt to stand up on the now infamous guard rail that separates the crowd from the band, was, well…knocked on his ass. Nobody skipped a beat.

At any rate, those who came to the Asbalt to see Bend Sinister and Black Rice, rather than Destroyer and Frog Eyes, who were playing at Wise Hall the same night, left pleased. For those who missed it: it seems as though Bend Sinister is only just beginning to pick up hard-earned momentum; don’t miss them next time, even if it means missing Destroyer or having to wander along East Hastings at ungodly hours. These days, $7 won’t buy you much better.