Last Friday night (September 24), the legendary Commodore Ballroom played host to an assembly of home-grown Canadian talent.
Victoria’s very own Hot Hot Heat headlined the festivities, but my concert-partner-in-crime, ApuTheFish, and I had no intentions on seeing them perform as we were not huge fans. Instead, we solely intended on seeing our favourite band from The Rock, Hey Rosetta! who were one of the three opening acts for HHH.
Little did we know, we were about to be blown into the most random (crazy good and really, really terrible) opening gigs we have ever encountered.
First up was Vancouver-based punk-rock, puke-rawk (I didn’t make this up) band, Fake Shark – Real Zombie. My mother always told me, “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Well, my mom doesn’t write this blog, I do. So, I’m gonna say whatever the heck I want about this band. They were just not my thing.
I’ve never even heard of these kids, but the crowd surrounding me sure did. Either that or they were too inebriated to care who was on stage; they just wanted to party. In the midst of the unintelligible screaming — I mean, singing — the indie-rock crowd at the foot of the stage (why was I by the stage for this band, I will never know) head-banged and danced about as if they were all having seizures. Well, at least they enjoyed themselves. The lead singer kept reminding us that all the boring people who aren’t dancing along or those who are sitting down at the tables can go “F@¢K themselves”. Hmm, okay. Partway through their set, he consumed water from his bottle then spewed it into the crowd. Yes, from his mouth. (The girl standing next to me then proceeded to tell me a story about her friend who contracted Hepatitis because of a stint like this at a previous concert. “Greeeeaaat,” I said.). Undoubtedly, that was not alright and the boys had to end their set without even getting to finish. Boo-hoo.
At this point, I was dying for Hey Rosetta! to come on stage, but there was still one more opening act to go. Nova Scotia’s Rich Aucoin came to save the day. I was unfamiliar with Aucoin’s talents mostly because I wouldn’t normally go out and see his type of pop genre. However, I was blown away and unusually impressed. Rich Aucoin is dance-party experimental pop whilst getting a Skittles sugar high (yeah, it was so epic, the use of ‘whilst’ is necessary here). And I wanted more of it.
Aucoin was dressed in all white and taped coloured glow sticks to his belly. He threw out colourful finger lights, tambourines, and Rich Aucoin-edition 3D glasses for the 3D visuals on the background screen. It wasn’t before long he threw down a giant rainbow-coloured parachute into the crowd and got down to the floor to dance with all of us. It felt like Kindergarten all over again – drunken adults style. Aucoin definitely got the crowd fired up and in the right mood, letting us forget about the previous act.
Hailing from Newfoundland, our favourite, Hey Rosetta! was up next. As their set-time neared, the dance floor grew and we were all packed in a little tighter. The six-piece East coast band (which includes a violin and cello) rocked out with the appreciative crowd. It didn’t take long before lead singer, Tim Baker, had everyone under his spell.
The band played songs from both their old albums and their new EP. Most of the crowd sang along and hung on to Tim’s every word. Unfortunately, they didn’t play enough of the old stuff and my favourites, so I was kind of disappointed. Understandably, they were only the opening act and there are only so many songs they can play. Regardless of what they played, I was content with the genius that is Tim Baker.
After their set ended, they left the stage, and the crowd chanted “One more song!” The band clearly made an impression on the crowd; some of which were exposed to them for the first time. Sadly, they only returned to the stage to pack up their equipment.
ApuTheFish and I decided to call it a night after Hey Rosetta! left. It seemed like we weren’t the only ones. The dance floor thinned out immensely. That could not have been good news for Hot Hot Heat. Let’s just say it was a fabulous night for Hey Rosetta! and Rich Aucoin fans alike.