HEALTH / Nü Sensae / MYTHS Biltmore Cabaret, Vancouver, BC February 4

HEALTH / Nü Sensae / MYTHS Biltmore Cabaret, Vancouver, BC February 4
If you've seen HEALTH play a show or two, you know their shows are viscerally exciting and brutally energetic, which made the low turnout at this one a little odd. In any case, those who did show up to Vancouver's Biltmore were treated to the usual onslaught, ably supported by a couple of homegrown acts.

Following MYTHS' stunning performance the other month at Pat's Pub, opening for an equally experimental band gave the duo the benefit of a more receptive audience. These concertgoers were already expecting some degree of sonic assault, and MYTHS' dark, squalling electro/noise turned a few heads. As for Nü Sensae, they turned in their usual strong performance, with bassist/vocalist Andrea Lukic's bellowing sounding extra-throaty on this particular night.

If you haven't seen HEALTH live, you should probably make a point of it next time you get a chance. Some critics have written off the L.A. band as little more than a hipster fashion statement. This is plain wrong, though - they're consummate musicians and performers, and can make a more legitimate claim to musical innovation than just about any high-profile band out there.

Bassist John Famiglietti was a dynamo on stage, manipulating a large array of electronics and jabbing a microphone toward a large speaker cabinet to create feedback, while his band-mates brought forth eerie, wailing vocals and synth lines. Meanwhile, drummer B.J. Miller flailed like a larger, faster, more violent John Bonham, especially during the galloping "Crimewave," HEALTH's break-though 2007 split-single with Crystal Castles, which was, surprisingly, the second song of the set. This had the effect of whipping the crowd into a frenzy, which slowly ebbed and flowed over the rest of the evening.