Evangelicals / Glenn Nuotio Zaphod Beeblebrox, Ottawa ON September 29

Evangelicals / Glenn Nuotio Zaphod Beeblebrox, Ottawa ON September 29
Playing Monday evening at Zaphod Beeblebrox in Ottawa, a night normally reserved for showcases, Evangelicals tried their luck on the least fun night of the week in one of the least fun cities in Canada. Promoted as a joint jaunt, the original pairing of the excellent Norman Oklahoma four-piece with the almost-as-excellent Parenthetical Girls was downsized when the latter band were stuck in Oregon with engine troubles.

The handful of people in the audience (mostly guys in their mid-20s) was treated to a set courtesy of Ottawa LGBT hero Glenn Nuotio. Seated behind his ebony and ivory, Nuotio ebbed his way through a set of gentle and bombastic songs drawing comparisons to Deserter’s Songs-era Mercury Rev. Calming pacing through his songs, Nuotio gives every word and note a cinematic sheen, virtually drawing a shield between audience and performer.

A Parenthetical Girls deficiency coupled with the lack of bodies in the crowd resulted in grounds for Evangelicals to hit the stage around 9:45 pm. Looking poised and focused, the four-piece kicked the set off with a pair of tracks from their new LP, The Evening Descends. Nominally celebrated for their live energy and enthusiasm, Evangelicals put on a good face and trudged through their set. Guitarist and vocalist Josh Jones employed between embracing and attacking his guitar while demonstrating how tight and wide-ranging his songwriting skills actually are.

Regardless of their druggy image, dank attire and their skull and crossbones motifs, Evangelicals come off more Supremes than Spiritualized in a live setting, thanks to Austin Stephens’ Benny Benjamin powerhouse drumming, and Kyle Davis’ cannonball bass lines. After only 45 minutes, Evangelicals wrapped it all up into a disordered ball, culminating with a polite encore and the realization that the old adage still stands in the 21st century. No matter the situation, the show must go on.