Show Review – David Vertesi
The Media Club, Vancouver BC
Friday October 15, 2010
by Jade Sperry
It was a cool night here in Vancouver as my friend Denis and I made our way to The Media Club to check out 3 Canadian bands – David Vertesi of the brilliant indie band Hey Ocean! whose debut solo CD Cardiography is set to be released on October 26, Vancouver band Run River and Edmonton artist Northcote (formerly of Means and The Emerson Letters) who debut EP Borrowed Chords, Tired Eyes has done well in Canada.
I was there specifically to cover David Vertesi’s show and although we arrived a bit late, the club was in fine form with many people there for David’s show. Shortly after getting a beer and drinking that down, David started his 45 minute set with “Gentlemen Say” which is the second song on his upcoming CD. As I began taking photos of him onstage, I noticed that the 100+ people were really into his songs from the first notes he strummed on his acoustic guitar. About 50 people began approaching the stage and sat down on the floor to enjoy themselves and listen to some fine music.
To start with, David is very musically inclined and really knows how to tell a story within a song. At times, the crowd clapped and got into the songs, but at all times people were listening to the songs. That is a high compliment from any crowd. He was joined onstage with a keytar and David Joseph (from By Divine Right) to accompany him with his songs. Every song was performed well and these two guys played flawlessly together. David’s storytelling within a song really reminded me of three artists whose elements I find in David’s music, especially live – Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits and Sid Barrett (of the early incarnation of Pink Floyd). With his deep baritone voice, David could mesmerize anyone. He sang “Mountainside” and “Jolene” with the raw emotions of pain and confusion and powerful vocals mixed into the songs. David ended his set with the song “All Night All Night All Night” which got a loud round of applause, whistles and shouting from the crowd. I managed to capture that final song on video which turned out very well. With that brilliant start to the night by David, the stage was set for the other two bands performing.
Vancouver band Run River came onstage afterwards. I wasn’t familiar with their music, but I really enjoyed their songs and how they performed generally speaking. In many of their melodies and some chord structures, they remind me of Radiohead but with their own stamp on it. I did manage to get up and dance a bit and had some fun.
Northcote was the last and headlining artist on the bill and although I’m not familiar with Americana Folk/Roots music, I totally enjoyed his full sound with other musicians backing him from the previous band Run River. I thought they all played well together, and for this writer, I enjoyed the fact that different band members played with other musicians on the same bill. That is the spirit of the independent music in a vibrant scene such as Vancouver.
As I left the venue, I had and still have the vague feeling that something is brewing out here in the city of Vancouver, musically speaking. And I will wait and see if that feeling comes to fruition in the near future.