Pink Mountaintops / Frog Eyes / Amber & Josh Sugar, Victoria BC - April 7, 2006

Just as the musical tone of the evening was slow to start yet quick to pay off, it took some time for Sugar to fill up. However, by the end of the evening, heads in attendance were a little more enlightened. Starting out the night was the mellow and pleasant keyboard and acoustic guitar plucking of Amber & Josh (Amber Webber and Josh Wells of Black Mountain). The duo, who would also later hop on stage with Pink Mountaintops, were joined by Victoria man-about-town and Carolyn Mark accomplice Tolan McNeil for their final song. McNeil wasn’t done for the night, as he became the fourth member of Frog Eyes for their full set, providing some atmospheric weirdness to Frog Eyes’ already strange sounds. Their histrionic pop was punctured with engaging melodies and highlighted by a few new songs, one of which may or may not be called "Caravan Breakers.” Though Pink Mountaintops are regarded as Steve McBean’s baby, in a live setting Pink Mountaintops cram the stage with seven members, including several of his Black Mountaineers, hopping from instrument to instrument and turning that energy into dense psychedelic layers. Songs such as "Cold Criminals,” "Bad Boogie Ballin’” and "Sweet 69” were revved up and stomping, and though this sacrificed some of their recorded swagger, exuberance made up for what was lost. Even more so than the version from their debut record, Pink Mountaintops shook life into the plaintive dirge of Joy Division’s "Atmosphere” and made it into an anxious and pleading sing-along. Just as it is the blissed-out core of Axis Of Evol, "Slaves” was the definite transcendent centrepiece of the evening. The only problem was a bit of strange pacing towards the end where the band lost some of the incredible momentum they had built up over the last hour. Regardless, the dizzying highs outshone any minor lows.