More often than not, Granville street evokes images of barefoot drunk girls holding their heels in their hands, their arms linked in a display of inebriated camaraderie, painstakingly avoiding the futile catcalls from the packs of wild bros prowling the crowded Granville strip. Fortunately, tonight, is not one of these nights. Tonight is a Tuesday. Which means that the hordes of collar-popped frat boys and cocktail dressed sorority girls are safe in the suburbs, or their dorms, dreaming of the weekend. This absence exposes the natural state of the Granville strip: that unwielded potential to actually host events worth your time. The streets of this usually busy entertainment strip are instead almost vacant besides the army of black clad goths outside of VENUE, exposing this district’s potential to serve more than just empty weekend distractions.
I arrived at VENUE right on time to catch most of local crowd pleasers Koban’s set. Subverting the role of any opening band, the post-punk duo started with an immeasurable amount of energy, the seemingly endless bar line was compelled to the stage front and center by the pull of the quasi-devil-worshipping-pied-piper effect of their music. Koban’s sound is most easily described as what would happened if you dipped a True Romance DVD in black paint, painted a pentagram on it and played it in reverse, creating the perfect soundtrack for all your satanic drifter murder fantasies.
The cyberpunk sounds of Left Spine Down came up next, sounding like a lost track from the soundtrack of a ‘90s dystopian movie. Their performance left a strong impression. I can’t really say I’ve seen a megaphone ever used in front of a microphone as a filter (their decorative mic stand was made to look like it was made of chains, mind you) or amps adorned with “POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS” tape, but even though it was my first time experiencing it, there was something cliché about it. The energy was there and the commitment to the theatricality of the performance almost sold it to me, but unfortunately LSD’s lack of self awareness and their complete absence of a tongue in cheek self awareness, made it hard to give them more than just an A for effort for their performance.
The Soft Moon rose upon us soon after. After Killing Joke had to cancel their headlining tour spot due to health issues, one would’ve thought that The Soft Moon’s spot as a co-headliner was going to get tossed down the pipe and they were going to have to drop their ambitions of touring until something less chaotic came across for them. Instead they stood up to the situation and became the headliners of the tour. And their effort was totally rewarded, providing a landscape that felt like a punkier, faster, and harder version of a John Carpenter soundtrack. They provided an energy that hypnotized the entire venue under their command and dominated the atmosphere, while offering a primarily instrumental set, the few times that Luis Vasquez took the microphone provided an enigmatically pulling performance that was both alienating and relatable at the same time.
The crowd subsided eventually and my friends and I were able to enjoy one of the other main perks of being on Granville during a Tuesday night: it was now Wednesday and that marked the Whopperest day of the week, ending the night festering away at BK before splitting into cab squads, heading our respective way.