Adaline / In Medias Res / Rococode
Biltmore, Vancouver BC November 5
Though it was Adaline's night, as she would remind us, In Medias Res stole the show. Where Rococode exuded awkwardness, In Medias Res displayed the courage of their convictions. They had an honest and engaging stage presence, playing tight and together. The band held their united strength not only in heavier moments but in more serene pastures, which made the shifts to principal songwriter Andrew Lee's guitar thrashing and feedback dabbling all the more dynamic. Lee's slightly broken voice fits their emotive indie rock sound perfectly, lending a hint of fragility to their barely contained power. They can rock you, and they can move you.
Adaline wasted no time letting the crowd know whose party this was. Wearing a beige, sparsely sequined Dolly Parton-style dress that she originally bought for a flapper Halloween costume, Adaline claimed the night as hers, taunted the crowd for not dancing enough, and guilt-tripped everyone into going to the after-party. Granted, she did just release her sophomore album Modern Romantics, a record of grand ambition primarily recorded with Hawksley Workman on a budget many times that of her debut. One cannot fault her for being proud, but a little bit of humility goes a long way.
Certainly, Adaline has a striking voice. She boldly sang through a mostly dry mic, her natural timbre similar to Beth Gibbons of Portishead (albeit without Beth's experience). As such, her voice lends itself wonderfully to her downtempo songs, such as "Keep Me High," which reference -- if not duplicate -- the trip-hop aesthetic (i.e., a scratchy mic, orchestral instrumentation and big beats). Unfortunately, she has taken more influence from electro Goldfrapp rather than trip-hop Goldfrapp, so her songs tend to be sugary, upbeat and a little overcooked. Not helping matters, she suffered mic issues for the first few songs, crackling out into nothing every time she touched it.
Adaline was gracious to the sound guy as he fixed the faulty microphone, though, and her fans didn't seem to mind her aggressive banter, several of them reciprocating with shouts of loving adoration. Set in front of visuals plucked from Tron, anime, orchestras and cityscapes, while her band was clean, albeit thin, and her joy was undeniable.
ReviewsFeb 28, 2015
DJ Quik / Mannie Fresh / Shash'uLe Belmont, Montreal QC, February 27
One year and one day since he played in the very same club for the Red Bull Music Academy's Bass Camp, Montreal artist Shash'u commanded Le ...
ReviewsFeb 27, 2015
Jacques Greene / ANGOS.A.T., Montreal QC, February 26
The Red Bull Music Academy's Bass Camp residency in Montreal kicked off on Thursday night (February 26). After a brief meet-and-greet betwee...
ReviewsFeb 26, 2015
PRhyme / Your Old DroogTattoo, Toronto ON, February 25
When Ryan Montgomery was eight years old, his schoolteacher asked the class to rework a nursery rhyme and sketch an accompanying illustratio...
ReviewsFeb 26, 2015
Single Mothers / The Dirty Nil / TriggersGood Will Social Club, Winnipeg MB, February 25
Single Mothers is one of those bands you just have to see to believe. The London, ON quartet has released some solid recordings, but their s...