The Salteens / Catlow / Leeroy Stagger / My Project: Blue Victory Lounge, Edmonton AB - September 9, 2005

It was an uncharacteristically small and sedate Friday night crowd that awaited the Boompa Records Showcase tour's stop at Edmonton's Victory Lounge, and one that was likely more than a little disappointing for a line-up of bands accustomed to larger, more enthusiastic crowds. And things didn't exactly get off to an encouraging start, as a brutal head cold forced alt-country phenom Leeroy Stagger to take the stage first so he could knock off early. Stagger put forth a valiant effort, rasping his way through a few numbers off his latest disc, Beautiful House, but he only made it through five songs before clearing the way for Boompa newcomers My Project: Blue, a good but somewhat pedestrian six-piece synth-pop band who would be a lot more forgettable if not for lead-man Chad Blue's crazy, off-kilter vocal styling. Next to hit the stage to limited fanfare was former Dirtmitt Natasha Thirsk with her band Catlow, who proceeded to bust out a powerful set of hopelessly catchy, angular, guitar-driven girl pop from their debut disc, Kiss the World, a far less wussed-out album than its name would suggest. But in the end, only the unabashed AM-radio pop of the Salteens proved capable of convincing a handful of spectators to stand up and bop along. Opening with the infectiously ass-shaking "Time You Have Been Wasting," before drawing mostly off their acclaimed sophomore release, 2004's fantastic Let Go of Your Bad Days, the Vancouver quintet were obviously the band people were waiting so quietly all night to see, and the Salteens weren't in the mood to disappoint. It's a shame that those in attendance didn't try to make their tour-mates feel more welcomed.