Twin Sister / Eleanor Friedberger / Ava Luna

Media Club, Vancouver BC February 8

BY Alex HudsonPublished Feb 9, 2012

Despite playing the headlining slot, Twin Sister got the short end of the stick on this double bill with Eleanor Friedberger. The band didn't take the stage until close to midnight, by which time the crowd that had filled the Media Club had noticeably thinned out, meaning that more than a few ticket holders missed out on what was by far the night's strongest performance.

Openers Ava Luna reaped the benefits of the early-bird audience, as the six-piece hit the stage in front of a packed house for a spazzy and disorienting set of avant R&B that recalled an unfocused Dirty Projectors.

Next up, Friedberger offered a far more straight-laced counterpoint to the openers' experimentalism. Clad in jeans and a denim jacket, and with a seafoam Stratocaster strapped to her chest, the Fiery Furnaces member led her three backing musicians (one of whom bore an uncanny resemblance to the titular star of the TV show Beakman's World) through a selection of densely lyrical pop rock tunes that were frequently tuneful, but offered little in the way of thrills or surprises. Her material was hit-or-miss, but she made up for sluggish stinkers like "Glitter Gold Year" with the upbeat highlight "Stare at the Sun."

Many of the crowd members filed out after Friedberger's set, but those who stuck around were rewarded for their patience, with Twin Sister's early set highlight "Bad Street" showcasing the band's infectious blend of snappy funk and expansive dream pop. From there, the group played a selection of cuts from last year's In Heaven, in addition to some new tracks, but the show stealer was the disco-dazzled "All Around and Away We Go," culled from the 2010 EP Color Your Life. This offered the night's most booty-shaking rhythms and cosmogonic synth work, and magnetic frontwoman Andrea Estella gasped and cooed while peering out from underneath her messy beehive hairdo. It's just a shame that more concertgoers weren't there to witness the spectacle.

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