Do Make Say Think/ Jetplanes of Abraham Maverick’s, Ottawa ON October 18

A mystifying last-minute venue change (from the 480 person Capital Music Hall to the 150 of Mavericks), allowed advance ticket holders and those who arrived early an opportunity to witness one of Canada’s most celebrated ensembles perform in an intimate setting. Ottawa’s Jetplanes of Abraham, the lone supporting act and perhaps the most logical option, exploited the 16 by 21-foot stage tremendously well, using the close quarters of the stage to affectionately exchange vocals with ease while ultimately tangling their instrument cords around each other. The seven-piece’s set reminded the audience just how evolved their songwriting skills have become, creating blossoming melodies harmonised with composite song structures. Their affinity for overused Canadian indie rock stereotypes like en mass handclaps and shouted vocals could be forgiven with a promise of greater things on the horizon from this band. After an extended delay, courtesy of what seemed like eternal technical problems (redeemed by bassist Charles Spearing’s rehash of Mitch Hedberg material), Do Make Say Think rocketed into a set sounding melodically sophisticated and structurally firm. Relying on material from their latest recordings, 2007’s You, You’re A History In Rust and 2003’s Winter Hymn Country Hymn Secret Hymn, DMST demonstrated a surprisingly menacing sound while melding several songs into extensive compositions. A flawless performance of "Fredericia” and "The Landlord Is Dead” proved to be highlights in the set thanks to guitarists Ohad Benchetrit and Justin Small interlocking melodies, as well as Small’s mid-song foray into the crowd. The band’s encore was delivered with comparable dynamism with faithful renditions of "Reitschule” and "Executioner’s Blues,” leaving the audience with a performance that was rollicking, unswerving and contrary to the definition of post-rock, resembled something that was undeniably rock’n’roll.