The Venue stills feels like a tacky dance club. But with big-name acts filtering in, the new room seemed like a fitting place to showcase one of Vancouver's most promising up-and-coming live acts, the Manvils.
Fronted by the jovial and boisterous lead singer/guitarist Mikey Manville, the band kicked off the night by premiering their new video for "Turpentine," which features Hollywood actor John Savage, of The Deer Hunter fame. The video was a speedy take on Pulp Fiction, in which a desperate dude beats a man to death with an ashtray. All the while, the Manvils, clad in Sgt. Pepper's-esque uniforms kept up a snarling, uniquely Canadian beat.
Following the video, there was still a lot of live rock'n'roll to be had, including a forgettable set by the Capitals, who tried desperately to evoke a dusty, rolling sound. Thankfully, the British Columbians got things back on track and, in fact, stole the show. Snarling and groovy-heavy, their undaunted set erased any sins permeated by the Capitals. With dry ice penetrating the nostrils, the band chugged through a mature, Southern-tinged set. What became immediately apparent was not how much the British Columbians wanted this opening slot, but how much they deserved it.
Finally, the Manvils took the stage, putting forth chunky rhythms and a propulsive sound. The three-piece were louder than one might expect and treated the crowd to many a high-octane number from their self-titled sophomore effort. Debuting punk-ish numbers full of bravado, the Manvils soon plowed through "Turpentine," with Mikey Manville joking about about how well the video would do on MuchMusic. Funny, seeing as how a video like "Turpentine" is exactly the kind of shot in the arm that MuchMusic needs.