The Black Lips / The Parallels / Vancougar Richard’s On Richards, Vancouver BC January 20

As the crowd trickled in, Vancougar got the early-goers smirking with their awesome brand of party time garage pop. Playing the favourites from their now classic Losin’ It, they had people dancing right away, including a blonde, dreadlocked hippie whose frantic, out-of-place thrusting had her quickly ejected. Fellow locals the Parallels kept the party going with their cleaner approach to soulful garage. Looking sharp in collared shirts and blazers, the band were diligent about leaving no foot untapped. It was thanks to these feel-good opening bands that spirits were high for the Black Lips’ set. Surrounded by notoriety, the Black Lips had their audience buzzing weeks before the show. Known for urinating on themselves and vomiting on the crowd, they couldn’t have lived up to the hype if they performed the Puppetry of the Penis — and they didn’t. Instead, we were treated to their classic brand of muck’n’roll at its loudest. Though decidedly lo-fi on record, the Lips’ arsenal of garage jams sounded unbelievable through a club PA. From "Dirty Hands” to the night-ending "Wild Man,” the Black Lips let their songs speak for themselves. They still had their share of bizarre surprises, however. Guitarist Ian St. Pe was wearing grills that shined every time he’d smile, and there were times that the Price is Right theme blared out the speakers between songs. But at the end of the night, it was the band’s loose and rowdy performance that left the strongest impression. Opting for good times over gimmickry, the Black Lips played the kind of solid set that made everyone in attendance want to go home and memorise their records, if only they could hear.