The Golden Filter / LA Riots / Junior Boys Great Northern Way Campus, Vancouver, BC February 6


Upon hearing that LA Riots, the Golden Filter and a special DJ set from Junior Boys were all on the same bill, who would expect it could be a disappointment? With less than a week to go before the 2010 Olympics, the Vancouver live music scene has exploded with a multitude of events, but Saturday's show proved to be a less-than-perfect operation.

Taking place at Great Northern Way Campus, a technology school located in the heart of Vancouver's industrial playground, the sense of estranged abandonment carried through in the performances. As concertgoers got stuck waiting in the confusing maze of drink line-ups, chances are most missed the chance to catch the set from Jeremy Greenspan, who took to the decks without his fellow Junior Boy and laid out songs that sounded nothing like the duo's recorded work. Instead of an expected synth-funkiness, the venue throbbed with a sexed-up, generic club sound you'd expect to find everywhere else on a Saturday night. The beat-heavy DJ set from LA Riots didn't fare much better, but did get a few hands in the air.

Thankfully, the New York-based Golden Filter put out a decent performance. Aussie vocalist Penelope Trappes was alluring and thought-provoking, and the blonde bombshell dressed in a way that reminded us of the best of the 1980s. Full of energy and electro-eccentricity, the Golden Filter were by far the standout act of the evening, as they offered up quirky and intelligent tracks from their upcoming album Völupsá, a record based on the Nordic poem about the creation and impending end of the world.

This concert was part of a series called the Cultural Olympiad's Digital Edition (CODE). Originally intended as a means of showcasing Canada's talented DJ culture, the event itself came across as more of a shmoozefest than an actual concert experience. Here's hoping the next CODE event will be times better spent.