The A-Team / The Summerlad / Andy Sparacino Marquee Room, Calgary AB - February 14

Simply walking into the Marquee Room was enough to bring back memories of school dances, sweaty palms and the hopes of swaying with the boy of your dreams on the gym floor. Decorated like a junior high Valentine’s Day dance with red flood lights, red streamers and balloons, the mood shifted the moment a fog machine finished turning the air into a Loveless pink. Armed with an arsenal of specifically tuned guitars, the Summerlad dove into a breathtaking hour-long My Bloody Valentine tribute set. Joined by guest vocalists Liz Collins (duplicating the pitch-bending magic on a micro-Korg) and Jamie Fooks, the six-piece floated through four years of the seminal quartet’s mesmerizing history. Lovingly recreating everything from "To Here Knows When” to "You Made Me Realise” to the stellar "Soon,” their note-perfect tribute strongly demonstrated a sacred respect for the sorely missed shoegazers. A grateful audience included two members of Hot Little Rocket, who unabashedly played air guitar from the front row. The evening ended much like it began — with the unassumingly charming Andy Sparacino (FUBAR’s Tron) on the mic. Sparacino opened the show with his one-man Casio band (guest vocals by Lee Livingston), sounding like a cross between an ’80s arcade game and a carnival. He closed the night with the rest of the A-Team, who casually buzzed through an electrically diverse set of catchy pop rock, cool twang and hypnotic beat-heavy songs lead by guitars with a Southern drawl. It was a winning mishmash of a Valentine’s Day line-up, but one that was able to even send the singles home with a satisfied grin on their faces.