Concert review: Trenchers drenched in Marianas music
As I walked into Interior Savings Centre on Saturday night (Nov. 3), it appeared as though the entire teenage-girl populace of Kamloops had decided this was the place to be.
The lineup to the merchandise table — hawking all things Anami Vice, Down With Webster and Marianas Trench — was deep and the squeals from the adolescent voices were ramping up.
It was a gloomy Saturday night in Kamloops (or, as Anami Vice incessantly called out, “Kamloooops!”) and the girls were about to have their night brightened by this trio of bands that caters to their demographic.
On the floor, a mass of youth had already formed in front of the stage, squished sardine-tight to barricades, erected to ensure space between fans and musicians.
No chairs. No assigned seating. Simply push forward and get as close as you can to the teen idols of this day.
As I navigated my way through the youngsters, I heard one girl exclaim to her friend her desire to hear Down With Webster, the second-billed act on this night, perform a song called Rich Girls.
Little did I realize, about an hour later as the band played their hit song (officially called Rich Girl$) that it was an updated version of Hall and Oates’ 1977 No. 1 hit Rich Girl.
So, as Down With Webster channelled its inner Hall and Oates, this reviewer was surprisingly taken back to the halcyon days of the late 1970s via this 2009 track that had post-2000 babies singing along with unbridled passion.
The circle remains unbroken, as is the case with many contemporary songs.
In any event, it was clear the girls at the concert were there for headliner Marianas Trench and opening act Down With Webster.
The inclusion of rapper/hip-hop artist Anami Vice was almost as colourful as the Don Johnson/Phillip Michael Thomas TV series that seems to have contributed to the rapper’s name — and served as an adequate warm-up act.
The roar that accompanied Down With Webster’s arrival was amplified when Marianas Trench started its show, with a 20-minute break bridging the two acts.
Smoke engulfed the scene as a toy box rose from beneath the stage, out of which flew — yes, flew — lead singer Josh Ramsay, a charismatic frontman very much in the Jacob Hoggard mould.
The band’s Face The Music tour showcased Trench’s latest album, Ever After, a 12-song effort designed to tell a fairytale story of a king, his daughter and an evil queen — with no breaks between the dozen tracks.
Marianas Trench made deft use of the big screen behind drummer Ian Casselman, illustrating with creativity images to mesh with the songs they performed, of which there were many, including the album’s popular singles, Ever After, Fallout and Stutter — the latter two which were made a bit more special on this night in Kamloops.
It was on Fallout and Stutter that 18 students from South Kamloops secondary and Beattie School of the Arts were positioned above the band and lent their voices to the songs.
ENCORE — Kamloops was the final stop on the cross-country Face The Music Tour.
As such, the three bands engaged in much champagne-toasting and direct-from-the-bottle swigging onstage as they mingled during the end of each other’s sets. It was harmless fun, perhaps, given these are young men barely out of their teens.
But, with six-year-olds wandering the concourse and most of the audience being teenage girls under the legal age to drink, it might be wise for the boys in the band to keep their public displays of imbibing (and their liberal use of profanity) backstage — or, conversely, consider churning out music that will attract a crowd old enough to responsibly bond with the drinking/swearing bravado.
Booking Marianas Trench was a concert coup for Bill Jaswal of Jelly Events and Promotions. Make no mistake — the band is big in Canada.
It is, after all, playing at Grey Cup 100 with no less a legend than the incomparable Gordon Lightfoot.
Following shows by Theory of a Deadman and the Tragically Hip, the next landmark concert at ISC is Eric Church on Feb. 2.
Church is one of the biggest country stars in the world. His album, Chief, was named Album of the Year at last week’s 2012 Country Music Association Awards and he was a finalist for (and should have won) Male Vocalist of the Year.