Even though the lineup for Shindig’s second night was rumoured not to be as strong as the previous week, the Railway Club was still busy with CiTR aficionados. Hermetic, Stephanie Lang, and Mr. Chancleta & the Bitter Litter Babies provided an eclectic night, but the competition was more amusing than fierce.
Hermetic took the stage first. The two-piece relied mostly on drums and guitar, mixing in some synchronized whistling and a harmonica here and there. They played mostly simple songs with catchy riffs and soft vocals. The connection between guitarist Eric Axen and drummer Bart Newman made the set easy to enjoy, but it was the mesmerizing energy of Newman, also a member of Vancouver’s Animal Names, that made it memorable.
Stephanie Lang and her guitar quickly took the stage after Hermetic made their exit. Although the Railway Club can feel as cozy as a coffee shop, Lang’s music felt out of place. Her voice was strong and her songs were well-written, but as Shindig values the interesting, she was not received too warmly. She finished her set with a Tegan and Sara cover, disqualifying her anyway.
Mr. Chancleta & the Bitter Litter Babies were undeniably unique. The Bitter Litter Babies added an extra Macbook, guitar, bass and vocals to Mr. Chancleta’s turntables; however, whether or not they were beneficial is questionable. As one concert goer pointed out, their sound came across as “really bad international music from 40 years into the future.” Some audience members held a look of confusion for the entirety of the set, but others were dancing on-stage by the end.
At night’s close, Hermetic took first place. Perhaps their victory came as a result of Lang’s disqualification and the sheer ridiculousness of Mr. Chancleta’s set, but their performance gave hints of excellence. If they manage to build upon it, night two will not have been in vain.