Chad VanGaalen / Julie Doiron / Azeda Booth / Women / Ghostkeeper / Pale Air Singers The No. 1 Legion, Calgary AB May 16
Published May 19, 2009Lovingly called the Flemish Eye Ball, May 16 was a night to celebrate five-and-a-half years of Calgary's pre-eminent indie imprint Flemish Eye. The fact that it was at the No. 1 Legion added another dimension with its ageless décor, rugged staff, and upstairs / downstairs stage set-up that served to promote a party atmosphere. After locals No More Shapes opened the night on the upstairs stage, everyone migrated downstairs to check out recent Flemish signees Pale Air Singers (pictured above). The inter-provincial group, who are comprised of members of the Cape May, Run Chico Run, and Women, performed a set of dense, lush indie rock from their recent self-titled debut. Up next were bluesy quartet Ghostkeeper, who were certainly talented as players, but a little unfocused, exploring blues solos atop standard indie rock. Everyone quickly packed the main stage area downstairs for much-buzzed rock dudes Women. Months of constant touring have rendered the band a super tight, professional live unit in terms of playing, but their sombre, reverb-drenched tunes leave little room for stage presence, making them better to hear than to watch. Soon, concert-goers marched upstairs to the smaller stage for a set from the electronic-tinged Azeda Booth, which was cramped to say the least. Leading up to a headline spot from Chad VanGaalen, the pseudo-surprise guest Julie Doiron kicked off a brief set of songs from her latest long-player. Backed by Chad VanGaalen on drums, a slightly tipsy Doiron was playful with her stage time, joking around and performing songs she wrote that day. Also made up of mostly new material, VanGaalen's set had him cracking jokes and inciting grins. Musically, there was nothing to blow minds, but the whole evening carried a "good times" feeling that made for a fitting celebration of an excellent record label.