The Hidden Cameras / Gentleman Reg The Biltmore Cabaret, Vancouver, BC November 25
Published Nov 26, 2009Both Gentleman Reg and the Hidden Cameras present a similar aesthetic: they write tunes that appeal to listeners on both a cerebral and visceral level. But could each artist put on a memorable live show? Those in attendance at their Vancouver stop would find out soon enough.
Breaking out horn-laden new tracks, Gentleman Reg sang of lost loves and finding solace in a bottle. He was seducing, with his groovy, swaying brand of folk pop. And he captivated the audience, keeping his head down but pulling the crowd in with lyrics that likely had everyone doing a little mid-week contemplating.
After closing with his emphatic "Boyfriend Song," Gentleman Reg gave way to the Hidden Cameras, appearing in medieval hoods. Opening with the spooky but rolling "Ratify the New," the Hidden Cameras took flight with a set of epic proportions.
In a live setting, the band's motive is clear: they aim to shed their skin. With grandiose songs meant to inspire as much as reach great heights, the band possessed an undeniable swagger and the set soon evolved into a redeeming, chamber pop sensation. With deft use of strings and charming onstage presence, they soon liberated the crowd. It was, as front-man Joel Gibb proclaimed, "a party set."
Gentleman Reg appeared late in the set to join the Hidden Cameras in the joyous rapture. Reg and the Cameras are a perfect fit, what with their soulful vibes and innate ability to captivate a crowd with alarming ease. They even coerced a normally stoic Vancouver crowd into a makeshift "Macarena."
There's no doubt that both Gentleman Reg and the Hidden Cameras are talented artists, but their show still stood out, becoming one that was meant to be seen, heard, felt but most importantly, experienced.