Filastine / Basketball / Caving Rickshaw Theatre, Vancouver, BC August 21

Filastine / Basketball / Caving Rickshaw Theatre, Vancouver, BC August 21
Although Filastine is undoubtedly a well-established performer, the big draw here was the return of prodigal sons Basketball from an extended European sojourn. Having officially released only a split seven-inch, the Vancouver band became a hometown favourite last summer on the strength of their almost indescribable live performances.

First, Vancouver's man of a thousand projects, Andy Dixon, opened the show as Craving, playing booty-shaking, dub-inflected electronica from a laptop. Now, the Rickshaw is a big place, but Caving still managed to get a sizable contingent of people dancing in front of the stage, as others milled about the foyer and theatre seats.

Next up was Basketball, and to everyone's delight, they are basically the same band that left Vancouver a year ago. Vocalist Tome Jozic howled in Croatian and English above a bed of Euro-disco-influenced electronica and live drumming provided by multi-instrumentalists Davoud Rogria and Luka Rogers. The floor became a writhing mass of bodies, and venturing into this was Jozic, handing out percussion instruments to audience members, rapturously flinging handfuls of feathers into the air and inciting the general chaos that unfolded. It sounds schlocky, which it might have been if it wasn't so good.

As for Barcelona-based beatmaker Filastine, he commanded the attention of a more mainstream electronic music fan. Rolling his gear onstage in a shopping cart (which later became a percussion instrument), Filastine started well, with pulsing beats and a projected visual display that synced up well with the music. The set was soon derailed, however, by a malfunctioning subwoofer, which brought the show to a grinding halt twice during the evening.

Filastine is a strong performer, and his blend of esoteric percussion instruments with programmed electronica is innovative and works well. Unfortunately, the show never really picked up momentum, although some of the ecstatically dancing fans might have disagreed. Still, it's not much of a stretch to say that this night belonged to the previous act, with Vancouver welcoming Basketball back to town, and Basketball reminding Vancouver why we missed them.