Plants, and Animals and Whales

Plants and Animals with Said the Whale

Starlite Room, April 30, 2010

Said the Whale kicked off Friday evening at the Starlite Room with a solid forty minute set.  They opened with “Emerald Lake, AB” and proved that they had a lot of fans in the audience when everyone joined in for the chorus.  The crowd received compliments for their clapping skills on “False Creek Change”.  We got to hear several of the standards – including “This City’s a Mess” and “B.C. Orienteering” – as well as some new material that I really liked.  Their sound wasn’t as polished as I had hoped for, but some of that could be put down to bad balance between the vocals and instruments. 

While I enjoyed Said the Whale, I have to admit that I really showed up to hear Plants and Animals.  I was impressed by their show – watching a band work so hard to produce such an intense, focused sound while clearly enjoying themselves makes for a stellar concert.  I didn’t expect three musicians to be able to produce all the sound from their many-layered record in a live show, but P+A pulled out all the stops.  They kicked things off with “New Kind of Love” to the delight of the crowd, and other hits from the Parc Avenue record got everyone moving.

Plants and Animals are touring to support the release of their new album, but since La La Land only came out ten days before the show, most of the audience didn’t know those tunes.  That was a shame.  There’s a lot of great material on it but the crowd was a little distracted during these less familiar tunes.  The annoying girl behind me kept spilling her beer down my back, and every time P+A switched to a song from the new album she started talking loudly about how great her boyfriend’s band was.  I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only one who wanted to send her packing.

We got to hear more than half of the new album, and even if they didn’t know the words the audience was still got into the groove of a few songs like “American Idol” and “Undone Melody”.  Some of my favourite tracks didn’t get any stage time, but other tunes I often skip on La La Land suddenly made more sense when I heard them live.  Next time I listen to the album I’ll hold off on the skip button and listen with different ears.

I want Plants and Animals to do another Edmonton show in six months after everyone has had more time to get to know their new album.  The energy from the crowd was good but the band deserved more attention for the great music they were producing.  It’s time to put La La Land on repeat so we can all sing along when they come back to town.


more in Music Feature     |     posted May 4th, 2010 at 2:40pm     

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