The Rosebuds / Land of Talk / Love and Mathematics The Media Club, Vancouver BC June 9

With Night of the Furies, the Rosebuds threw a bit of curveball. On it, the Raleigh duo dropped the crunchy indie rock of earlier albums in favour of a more mature, synth-based sound, lathered in clicking drum machines, spooky guitars and a whole lot of boy/girl melodrama. But as surprising as this shift was, it hardly compares to how the Rosebuds have overhauled their live show. Gone is the meek, almost awkward, stage demeanour the band showed Vancouver a few years earlier; in its place is a commanding presence that grabs an audience’s attention. With a confidence previously unseen, the Rosebuds fired through an energetic set of songs, igniting a whole lot of motion inside a packed West coast club. Concertgoers could regularly be seen throwing up hands, shaking hips and shouting a barrage of backing vocals — a polar opposite reaction to the band’s last visit. Expanding the group’s live show from two members to five, duelling vocalists Ivan Howard and Kelly Crisp kept the night moving at a brisk pace, turning many of the new album’s stark, atmospheric songs — as well as a few older ones — into full-on dance-party numbers. Songs such as "Get Up Get Out,” "When the Lights Went Out” and "Back to Boston” gained a thick, beat-driven sound, which the band delivered with — and were met by — ear-to-ear grins. As far as the openers went, the dense arrangements of Vancouver’s Love and Mathematics left a melodramatic urgency in the air, setting up the night well. However, this was undone by Montreal’s Land of Talk, who had some border problems, leaving vocalist Elizabeth Powell to play a poorly received solo set. Opening snags aside, the Rosebuds proved they have matured not only in the studio, but the stage as well.