June 18, 2009

Toronto’s Gentleman Reg gives me dancing feet

Gentleman Reg by blurasis on Flickr
Photo by blurasis via Flickr at the band’s Ottawa show, April 22nd, 2009

Last Wednesday night saw the return of Toronto-based 5-piece Gentleman Reg, barely a month after their previous Vancouver date at the Commodore. This time, touring more suitably with A Camp (the last tour was with The Stills), they brought their infectious pop to the ill-fated Richard’s on Richards. I had expected a crowd even more keen on dancing than the passionate group at last month’s show, simply because of the difference in the headliners’ genres (A Camp, I expected, would draw a different crowd with music considerably more “dancy” than The Stills). I wound up disappointed with the lack of dancing, although the two girls in the front near me were rocking out pretty hard. (Frontman Reg Vermue enjoyed that so I tried to be less self-conscious about my own moves.)

The set included a stirring cover of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game” that showcased guitarist François’s talent. They ended the evening with the catchy, sing- or clap-along “Boyfriend Song” for which Reg put away his gorgeous black guitar to tap out the beat with a tambourine. If you’re not bouncing to that one, there’s something wrong with you.

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November 2, 2008

Those Finns sure rock!

I’ve been to many a great concert, and I’m considering ranking this one the best EVER. And it has nothing to do with theatrics like lasers or massive yellow balloons or even hi-tech video screens. In fact, the show had none of the above… but I didn’t even notice their absence. The lighting component was elegantly simple and effective. Between the white lights and grey and black set, predominantly black clothing and greyscale backdrop, the scene would have been almost devoid of colour were it not for the musicians’ elegant cellos and some deliciously bright blonde hair. No, this time it was their impressive musicianship and unique style if not genre unto itself that made the concert so exceptional and captivating.

I am speaking, of course, of Finnish band Apocalyptica, who returned last Saturday night for a sold-out show at Vancouver’s historic Vogue Theatre.

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