Published Feb 17, 2009A benefit show is often a strange mix of clashing fan bases and cause-chasers. The second Rock For Insite benefit was no exception (Insite, for the unitiated, is Vancouver's safe drug injection site). The crowd intersect here was perhaps a little less eclectic (East Van meets... Easter Van?), and by the time closers the Pack A.D. took the stage, an hour behind and to a crowd of dwindling, Sunday-drunk folks, there was not much left to be wrung out of the festivities that had begun nearly ten hours before.
Expecting to see Matt Camirand (Blood Meridian, Black Mountain) before the Pack A.D., as the bill suggested, latecomers were instead treated to Orchid Highway, a bland Brit-popish foursome, before the lady blues duo settled in for their set.
Drummer Maya Miller declared that the Railway crowd was her favourite type: "Easily pleased." The pair then commenced their blues-garage rocking. Concentrating on last year's Funeral Mixtape, they mashed the sexy, sad "Oh Be Joyful," right in the set's heart, where it belonged. "We're working on new songs," promised Miller, by way of apology. She then chased her migrating kit across the stage, quipping that it must "wanna leave me, maybe cuz I keep hitting it." (Yes, she played her own rim shot.)
Singer/guitarist Becky Black, who's totally a cuter Darlene from Roseanne, kept away from banter except to say that Maya was her "best friend." Instead Black focused on distancing herself from a drunken fan up front, who soon made a "smashy" with his glass. And then, too few songs later, just as the Pack A.D. were finding their groove, the Railway turned the lights off on Black and a perturbed Miller. They bargained for two more songs, but the death knell had rung. Miller just had time to thank the crowd for supporting Insite as the lights went out once more.