Michael Rault - From Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (via Toronto) comes this fine guitarist/singer songwriter complete with band. They performed an excellent cosine set, or rather a strong opening and closing with a lesser but still decent middle. They could really let it rip in both a classic rock style, a catchy garage hook oriented approach, and even a touch of post punk. The constant was a warm vocal approach that reminded me of the pop approach of the Nils. This was helpful as the instrumental moves shifted in so many interesting directions. I think a good tour like this will sharpen up the band and as they add to their arsenal of core songs, they could be a very sharp act in time. For now, it's a lot of fun and the crowd definitely dug it. And the ferocious closing number has me eager to see what they come up with next time around.
Happyness - Ostensibly the headliners tonight although going on second of the three bands as they are sharing equipment with the opener, this British trio hits the stage. From very early on until set's end, they had that certain ability to create a sound that seemed familiar but just was not quite something you could pinpoint. And to a seasoned listener, this is a compliment as it is not easy finding new sounds. At least in this case, there are many familiar songs combined in an interesting and engaging manner. The rhythm is rolling throughout with relaxed on point drumming at the core. The bass is quite steady and the lead vocals come from the bassist although both he and the guitarist harmonize a lot in a catchy power pop manner. The guitar churns out hooks, although he can wildly solo one moment and move into deep distorted territory the next. This was one of those sets you try to pick apart for a bit, then you just move on and enjoy it awaiting the subtle surprises that await. Fascinating band.
Apologies to Heavy Breathing, but I was too spent to catch their set.
Quote of the Night: The Happyness bassist after explaining they arrived on our shores after a long trip in their yacht across the Atantic fielded this question...
"Where's the yacht?"
"We sold it for $500 of Taco Bell vouchers... so if you are hungry, see us after the show."