Rugged Uncle / Hank Pine / Tower of Dudes / Clunt and the Scrunts Copper Owl, Victoria BC, April 18

Rugged Uncle / Hank Pine / Tower of Dudes / Clunt and the Scrunts Copper Owl, Victoria BC, April 18
Photo: Kim Jay
The wildest of spring winds couldn't deter a near-capacity crowd from invading the Copper Owl on Thursday night (April 18) for an evening jam packed with four of Victoria's best bands. Dubiously entitled "The Zombie Jesus Dance Party," the evening featured Clunt and the Scrunts, Tower of Dudes, Hank Pine and Rugged Uncle, and offered a perfect beginning to the long weekend.

Clunt and the Scrunts kicked off the proceedings with a short set of garage rock, warming the crowd and setting the Owl's small, sunken stage for the Tower of Dudes' vibraphone-drenched, Eastern European-styled numbers. The Tower of Dudes were without their lead guitarist on Thursday night, which opened up space for lead singer Johnnie Feelings' hilarious banter.

Next up was Hank Pine who, along with his new five-piece band, immediately transformed the room into a '70s-era disco party. Transformation seems to come naturally to Pine, who has shifted from genre to genre with incredible ease throughout his career. Those who came to the show expecting to hear material from Pine's masterful recent solo release of acoustic ballads, Late Night Spirituals, were in for a surprise as Pine, standing at the helm of a synth, clad in a glittery cape and platform boots, led his band through a mind-blowing set of disco tunes.

Pine's band was in excellent form, especially considering it was their first show. Particularly captivating were backup singers Kelly Hudson and Sarah Pelzer, whose collective voices urged Pine into newfound heights of disco bliss as his band played new favorites such as "Party People" to a packed dance floor. The band also took on material from Hank and Lily's most recent release, Crank City, with splendid results. "Money" and set closer "Mirror Ball" certainly benefited from the band's airtight rhythm section.

Closing the proceedings was Rugged Uncle, whose straight-ahead rock and roll stood in stark contrast to the disco inferno that preceded them. Led by former Immaculate Machine frontman, Brooke Gallupe, Rugged Uncle finished the evening with flair, playing a set replete with rock and roll posturing that never once took itself too seriously.