It has been over four months since TayloredMyPants and I experienced our first taste of Sam Bradley. OK, not literally — well, for one of us not literally… maybe. 😉
Anyway, if you didn’t already know, Sam Bradley and Twilight’s Robert Pattinson are pretty much bff’s. It’s the reason how we discovered Sam’s music in the first place. We listened to the songs listed on his MySpace page and instantly fell in love. Without a doubt we had to see him live. Luckily, in May, he was going to play at the old Richard’s on Richards venue. It was probably one of the best live shows that I have ever seen at a small, intimate gathering (and by small I mean at a club and not at an arena). You could tell that he was nervous though and still kind of new at playing for masses of people (that night around 500 attendees). Just a couple of months previously, he remembers, only 15 folks came to see him play. You can watch him get overwhelmed in this video I taped of that night back in May HERE. It’s too cute.
Properly, word got out of his incredible musical talents. He was touring the world, dropped a self-titled EP this August, and his popularity grew.
Meanwhile, Vancouver was craving more Sam Bradley. We wanted him back.
And he answered.
Sam Bradley came back home to Vancouver and played an early show with the Men at Venue.
This time, TayloredMyPants and I brought a whole flock with us. Most everyone we knew whom we shared Sam’s music with quickly fell in love too and couldn’t wait to see a live show of his either.
But first, I wanted to do some research on the opening act to decide what I was in for. After asking around I was led his MySpace page. The guy opening was Mani Khaira and I have never heard of him before. I gave his tunes a listen and was instantly hooked. You might want to check out his MySpace page too — you will like.
Soon, Friday rolled around the corner and it was the night to bask in Sam Bradley’s glory. ApuTheFish (formally “Apu”) and I rushed home after our last lecture, got ready, and ventured towards downtown early. Doors are supposed to open at 7pm and the show was to start at 7:45. But after our experience at the 100 Monkeys show a couple of weeks ago, we did not want to experience being one of the last people in line again. People are crazy. So, we got to Venue at around 5:40pm. I guess you can label us the “crazy” ones this time, eh? There were already two groups of people in line ahead of us. The first group were some members from Sam’s fan club, The Land of Dreamers. I remembered them from the May gig. I could recognize them anywhere! Minutes after us, TayloredMyPants and her friends arrived in line with us. Before we knew it the line had stretched half a block. It was only 6:10. This night was going to be good.
We parked ourselves smack in the middle at the foot of the stage and at 7:45 on the dot, as promised (that’s a first), the show began. It was Mani! I was excited to see him knowing that only a handful of us there actually knew some of his songs. And I was right. Throughout his entire performance everyone around me was chatting it up with their friends not even paying full attention. Only then did I realize that TayloredMyPants and I were the only two people in our area singing along. I didn’t even understand why! Someone in the media (can’t remember who or where – but I give props to you) was quoted as saying Mani is “a modern day Mozart.” And I couldn’t agree more. The songs he performed displayed the fusion between his powerful voice, uplifting beats, and elaborate piano skills. It’s just a shame not too many paid that much attention. He’ll be big someday — you’ll see.
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After Mani’s set was over, sometime during the intermission, I noticed that the personal space between mine and my neighbour’s was getting more closer. This only means that Sam was about to take stage.
Sam’s bandmates took stage first, everyone started screaming, then Sam followed. I looked over at TayloredMyPants, and she looked at me. Our “giddy” faces were on. Next thing I knew, from out of no where (but probably from way at the back of the pack), a blonde way-too-drunk-to-be-in-public chick budged her way in between me and TayloredMyPants. You are in my perfect spot, missy! She started dancing like crazy. Actually, let me rephrase that… she was shaking her tittays. Repeatedly, about every 10 seconds, she would turn around, face the crowd behind her and scream out “WHY ISN’T ANYONE DANCING!?” Not that people shouldn’t be crazy-dancing at a club, but Sam was performing a slow song. Yeah. (You can watch her fix her hair repeatedly in the song It Begins in the video below.)
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When Sam Bradley & the Men performed their first song of the night, A Song Could, the crazy-drunk-chick kept dancing like crazy, turned to me and started talking with me. She said, “I’ve never heard of this song in my entire life… anywhere! Not in this world!” OK. Clearly you’re from another world. I responded, “Me neither,” just to make her feel she’s not alone. Crazy-drunk-chick continues, “I’ve never heard of him either. WHO IS HE? WHO’S SAM BRADLEY ANYWAY?!” I gave her the WTF face.
The girls to the right of me started giving me the WTF faces too. Oh no, they probably think I’m associated with her just because she talked to me. I look at them and laugh at how I’m embarrassed to be standing next to this random chick. One of the girls asked me if I was friends with her. Without hesitation I said, “NOOOO! I have no idea who the hell she is. I don’t know her.” With nods of approval all around, another girl pointed to crazy-drunk-chick and says to me, “What the f—k!” I know man, I know. Later, these girls kept screaming “Get a life!” to crazy-drunk-chick.
Throughout the first 10 minutes of Sam’s performance, crazy-drunk-chick was ruining what was supposed to be a magical night. Her insane and inappropriate dancing made her knock down and spill other people’s beer bottles and cocktail glasses — mostly on me. I started smelling like a giant cocktail. Her response: “Not my fault! They’re not even mine!” Thanks crazy-drunk-chick. Thanks. I had enough. Along the way, I traded places with people and ended up next to my real friends again. If I’m going to have a magical night with Sam Bradley, it was going to be without crazy-drunk-chick.
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Sam introduced us to his bandmates — The Men. First guitarist, Dave Meszaros, who according to Sam has “a big penis“. Drummer, Mark Kerrey is “newly single and also has a big penis.” Finally, Sam introduces to us bassist Jeff Riedlinger who “is so good looking that he doesn’t need a big penis.” HAHA. Judge for yourselves ladies.
Sam Bradley & the Men played a 16 song set list varying from slow rock to upbeat funk. The song list is below:
- A Song Could
- Watching Over You
- It Begins
- Wide Open
- That’s How Strong My Love Is
- Sea Blue
- Go Back
- Sugar Mama
- Too Far Gone
- Is Love Enough
- Our Love
- Even Thought of Leaving
All of my favourite songs were played including Scared, Whiskey, Passport, and Sea Blue. Naturally, Sam performed Too Far Gone, the song that he and buddy RPattz co-wrote together. Of course, most everyone sang along. It was pretty breathtaking.
Before the show, TayloredMyPants, ApuTheFish, and I planned to scream to the top of our lungs when Sam sang the lyric “And I’ve conquered the land of dreams” during Derek. We did it. And we were so successful that Sam looked and smiled at us upon our screaming. Yeah, we had a moment. (See that moment in the Derek video below from 1:09-1:11.)
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Introducing Our Love, Sam informed us that there was something that he wanted to do ever since he was 18-years-old. He wanted to be one of those rockstars where he’d get to reach out and touch hands with his fans in the crowd. I thought that was too adorable. Immediately, everyone raised their arms up towards the stage. He laughed, “Not yet!” Finally, he serenaded us and people reached their arms out including me and TayloredMyPants, but he never got to us. It was the saddest thing ever! We tried again when he went to the other side of his mic stand. He touched TayloredMyPants’ hand and then mine. I swear, I’m not trying to be a fan-girl, but it totally felt like an eternity. It’s no wonder this was a dream of his since he was 18.
After his last song, he said the night was over and then winked. Of course not. Minutes later, Sam Bradley & the Men returned for their encore. They covered Sam & Dave’s Hold On I’m Coming. Here, Sam showcased his dance moves. It was the most epic thing I’ve ever witnessed in my life (view for yourselves in the video below). He danced along to Hold On I’m Coming in May and I was sorry that I didn’t capture footage of it. I’m glad I did it this time because if you watch carefully at 2:22, he screams “Hold On” into my camera. (This is another reason why I like shows at intimate venues). His last encore song was another one of my favourites, Soho Whores, a fast-paced tongue-twister of a song.
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The show ended and my friends and I were on a Sam Bradley high. When the crowds left, TayloredMyPants reached her hand out by the mic stand and stole Sam’s song list that was on the stage. Yes, you heard me. It was probably the greatest idea of the night. We then found a lounge area in the corner to rest our heads and feet. We had to replenish our energy if we were going to stand in the Sam Bradley meet-and-greet line-up. @RobbedMyHeart and I saw each other again and we chilled until it was time to meet with Sam.
We noticed that the line wasn’t getting shorter, so we lined up before it was too late. In the line I finally got to meet @MaliciousMandy1. Finally, after many failed attempts! It was so good meeting new and familiar faces that night.
It was then our turn to meet Sam. TayloredMyPants was up first and she told him that she stole his song list. He laughed, autographed it, and said, “I’m glad somebody did!”
When it was my turn I asked for a hug and we posed for pictures. We chatted for a little bit. I told him how I came to see him in May and thought that I’d come back again. He asked me how I thought he was doing. If he improved, better, worse, or what. Not gonna lie, of course he was a lot better. He’s now a seasoned pro compared to his last gig here.
ApuTheFish went up after me and she told him that she came all the way from Malaysia. He believed her and suddenly gave her a huge bear hug. Half truth, half lie. Yes, she did come all the way from Malaysia, but she’s been living in vancity for years. Nice one. Nonetheless, I am still jealous.
We hung out for awhile near Sam and the bar before leaving when Mani Khaira recognized ApuTheFish. Because of Facebook, he thought she was me, and I was her. TayloredMyPants, ApuTheFish, and I chatted with him and took a photo.
By the end, my voice was already gone. It was a pretty epic night for sure when you could only communicate by whispering.
///WATCH THE VIDEOS BELOW.
(filming credit to canucklehead07, ApuTheFish, & TayloredMyPants)
***PLEASE NOTE: SOME VIDEOS BEST LISTENED ON LOW VOLUME***
Ocean – Mani Khaira
It Begins – Sam Bradley & the Men
Whiskey – Sam Bradley & the Men
Sea Blue – Sam Bradley & the Men
Derek – Sam Bradley & the Men
Too Far Gone (Never Think) – Sam Bradley & the Men
Our Love – Sam Bradley & the Men
Even Thought of Leaving – Sam Bradley & the Men
Encore: Hold On I’m Coming (cover) and Soho Whores – Sam Bradley & the Men