Real Live Action

Scenic Route To Alaska

w/ Peach Pit

Media Club; October 8, 2016

Aidan Danaher
Photo Courtesy of
MRG Concerts

The Media Club is a strange fusion of half basement, half concert hall. The ceiling is adorned with plastic chandeliers, a disco ball hanging still over a dingy wood floor. On the night of October 8, wherever I looked, I saw five-panel hats, flannels, and jeans rolled at the ankles above pairs of hiking boots.

Peach Pit owned the stage the second they started playing. With an onslaught of songs, occasionally crossing chillwave with offbeat reggae dub into a fun frankenstein of surfy dream pop, their energetic performance made sure that everybody present was going to have a good time.

Their rhythm section was made up of “Mellow” Mike Pascuzzi on drums and Peter Wilton, clad in tan coveralls, on bass. Throughout the set, the drums bounded and rolled while the bass lines grooved, and they’d erupt into thunderous end-of-song breakdowns. The second the beats broke, lead guitarist, Christopher Vanderkooy, delivered furious solos with jumpy melodies that kept jaws dropped in amazement while the rest of the band convulsed around in dedication to their jamming out. Frontman Neil Smith played his Danelectro guitar with a familiar shimmering chorus effect, signature to Mac DeMarco’s brand of slacker rock.

His lyrics floated between being light-hearted and bone-chilling, but stayed intriguing nonetheless. One song in particular, “Tommy’s Party,” was a boozy ballad that perfectly emulated the unbalanced drunken shuffle home after a long night of overconsumption. Smith sang, “Now she’s knowing you / Just like I used to,” adhering even more substance to the song than just substance abuse.

It’s almost criminal that this band, which sounds like a perfect day of surfing on a sunny Californian coast, lives in the depressing weather of Vancouver. Peach Pit played together with noticeably great band chemistry that they effortlessly turned into a very well rehearsed joyride.

Admittedly, Peach Pit were a very hard act to follow. Edmonton’s Scenic Route To Alaska — the night’s headliners — played their style of danceable midwestern indie pop that more than resembled country rock at times. Some bass lines were perfect for a rodeo line-dance, to which some audience members actually obliged.

There were plenty of drawn out “Ohh, Ohh, Ohh” hollers from singer Trevor Mann, singing with unapologetic and relentless vibrato. Mann sang some awkward phrases such as, “She will let you deh-eh-own,” prolonging “down” into a three syllable word, or, “Love has brought me to my knee-ee-ees.”

Speaking of love, a lot of the lyrics were about love. A lot. “Your love is the ocean / I just can’t cross.” “Your love keeps calling me back.” “You’re loving me too / and I just can’t go on.” “One day is all it takes / to find love / to lose love.” Alright, already. “No angst involved at all,” Mann exclaimed sarcastically between songs. Ironically enough, he was right; there really was no angst at all. Regardless, you could tell Mann was having a great time, even if the other members weren’t as enthusiastic. Still, the band was given an encore that kept the crowd dancing and singing along. The audience was thrilled, and at the end of the day, that’s all that matters.