Sunday, December 6, 2009
Evening Hymns CD Release w/ The Harbour Coats @ the Tranzac, Dec. 4. 2009
My experiences Thursday and Friday night really couldn't've been a whole lot different. While Thursday night was primarily and friends and family sort of thing, Friday night was a real scenester sort of... scene. I don't go to a ton of shows, but I recognized at least two dozen or so people from other pretty awesome bands. This may have been because there were, according to the National Post, 16 or so of Jonas Bonnetta (Evening Hymns)'s closests friends (I assume) that appeared on his new, and excellent, album Spirit Guides.
When Paul found out that the Harbour Coats were opening for Evening Hymns, who I was really interested in seeing, he suggested/insisted that we get there early. After the first few bars of the first song I figured out why... and everyone else did too, I guess, because the packed main room at the Tranzac went from being a-buzz to library quiet (note: not the Weldon Library @ Western). So, after the first song I turn to Paul and say something like, "Wow, that guy sounds a lot like Springsteen"; to which Paul replies something like, "Yeah, he's the lead singer of the Constantines, people have been calling him an angry Springsteen for years". Me, "Oh" (if that exchange made Paul sound like a dick, he wasn't, he was very nice about my Constantines ignorance).
I thought the Harbour Coats set was outstanding, so I'm pretty anxious to start listening to some old Constantines records, while I anxiously await a release from the Harbour Coats.
As I mentioned on Friday morning Evening Hymns is the project of Jonas Bonnetta w/ a little help from his friends. On stage Friday night he brought out a pile of friends. I can remember seeing: Mike Dugay, a guy from Ohbijou, the guy from the Wooden Sky, a girl from the Magic, and others, I suspect. They weren't out there with him all the time, the Evening Hymns set fluxtuated between singer-songwriter and big orchestral band type music, but the highlights of the night for me all involved the full band. Especially live, from 5 feet away no less, songs like "Cedars" "Broken Rifle" and especially "Mountain Song" -- the ones with the choral parts -- sounded, for lack of a better word, awesome.
The only thing I wonder, given how busy all the parts of Evening Hymns are, is whether people outside the GTA are going to get to see this band. I won't speculate, because I have no idea what the plan with the band is, but it'd be a real shame if some form of this band didn't get across the country. In part, because they put together a helluva show, but also because Spirit Guides deserves to be in the discussion for next year's Polaris Prize, and I feel like bands without a strong national following (see: basically everyone I wanted to win the Polaris) aren't able to capture a broad enough spectrum of voters to end up being short listed.
[mp3] Evening Hymns - Cedars
[mp3] Evening Hymns - Broken Rifle
The Harbour Coats (or, Bryan Webb)
A video by Colin Medley
Another video, also by Colin Medley.