with special guests Gramercy Riffs
The Rio Theatre – Vancouver, BC
March 5th, 2011
Newfoundland’s own Hey Rosetta! returned to Vancouver to play two sold-out shows at the Rio Theatre. Belle (aka my music savvy chemist friend) and I were lucky enough to snag tickets to the second night of the sold-out concerts. I have been a huge and loyal fan of theirs since 2007 and between the two of us, we have seen the indie East Coast band play live five times.
The crowd ambience was a little bit different than I am used to seeing at most “indie” concerts. Instead of the usual annoying, drunken hipster dudes and gals screaming at everything seen and heard, the sell-out crowd mostly consisted of a more mellow, mature bunch (many donning suit jackets and cocktail dresses). I liked it.
Fellow Newfies, Gramercy Riffs, opened the evening. I never heard of them prior to that night so I didn’t know what to expect out of the five-piece band. We all stayed put in our movie theatre seats and listened devotedly to the rockers. Throughout their performance, the paired male and female lead singers belted out catchy tunes. At the end of their set, the band received great reception from the mostly newly-exposed fans.
Before Hey Rosetta! could even fully form out onto the stage, the anticipation of the headliners quickly turned the crowd from being attentive listeners into engaged hollering foot-stompers. The usual six-membered band, bathed under purple and blue lights, was joined by a second female violinist. Their opening number, Welcome, from their brand-new album Seeds brought everyone up to their feet. An appropriate choice to begin the night.
Frontman, Tim Baker, expressed on several occasions his love for being out here on the West Coast, especially Vancouver. The feelings were mutual. Ladies (and some men) in the crowd professed their love for Tim in his crisp blue-grey shirt – many even shouting out marriage proposals. I may or may not have been one of those ladies. But what I can tell you is that for a few seconds, Tim and I had a moment (watch the Red Heart video below from 0:55 to 1:02). I’m pretty sure he was licking his lips because of his lust for me (haha *snorts*). Anyway, I digress.
The three-piece strings arrangement (two violinists and Rakesh on cello) gave the band an even more orchestral sound than usual. It provided just that little extra juice to keep both the band and the crowd involved. As a whole, the vocals combined with guitar, bass, piano, drums, violins, and cello create a colossal sound, oscillating between intense reverberations and soft poetic-like melodies.
Hey Rosetta! stimulated us by going between their newest album Seeds and their critically acclaimed 2008 album Into Your Lungs. Much to our delight, they brought back Mara Pellerin from Gramercy Riffs for a beautiful rendition of Cyndi Lauper’s Time After Time (see video below). Everyone was having fun singing along to the 1980’s hit. Unfortunately, the band didn’t dip into their EP Plan Your Escape. Throughout the show, Belle and I requested (read: begged and pleaded) that their song Yes! Yes! Yes! be played. After all, it was the song that made us fall in love with them many years ago. Alas, no such luck. Out of the five shows we’ve seen, they only played it once.
Although we have seen the band on numerous occasions before, we keep going back to their shows wanting more. Hey Rosetta! are always keeping their songs fresh by making adjustments where need be. From this show, to the one I saw last year, to years before, the arrangements in their songs have been tweaked to almost perfection. Their live performances don’t sound like a song from the record; they evolve record to record, show to show. This is a good thing. It’s refreshing. It’s not something that I can explain on paper. It’s something that you need to experience for yourself. Once you see them live just once, you’ll want to see them again and again. You can bet when Hey Rosetta! returns to Vancouver once more, expect us to be there again… hoping that they will play Yes! Yes! Yes!
[[ VIDEOS ]]
Red Heart – Hey Rosetta! live at the Rio Theatre (3/05/11)
Filmed by canucklehead07
Time After Time (Cyndi Lauper cover) – Hey Rosetta! ft. Mara Pellerin
live at the Rio Theatre (3/05/11)
Filmed by canucklehead07