Top Ten Shows of 2010. (Pt.1)

10. Saturday June 5th 2010, The Rock Shot and Pop Art Show @ The Chapel. 

Coming in hot at # 10. This show wins major points on atmosphere alone. There was too much going on to take in all the bands that played, and there were a lot of them. The upstairs portion of The Chapel featured all kinds of poster art, rock photography, a small stage, a bar, and even a room showcasing some of the coolest pieces in the art show; diorama art boxes by Mad Dog that all featured a more realistic and darker look at Vancouver.

Downstairs was more spectacular rock photography supplied by tons of talented photographers from around the city. Great pictures, new and old and also another bar down there. All kinds of characters were milling about sipping drinks and studiously looking at all the great photos. There was seriously so much to see that it could have easily taken over an hour to take it all in. And then finally venturing into the main room where the stage was set up and band's were playing, and possibly even another bar was featured. We watched Glorywhore who put on a dirty punk rock n rollish type show with a female singer, a heavily tattooed drummer and a guitarist wearing a Turbonegro t-shirt under his denim. While all this was going on there were some projectors projecting crazy kaleidoscope colours onto the wall, and monitors on the side that were showing the band playing, but a much more tripped out hippie looking version. Sometimes I would catch myself gapping out on the screen rather than watching the action right in front of me!

Then it was on through another door into what might be considered the garage of the place. There was a giant winnebago that apparently had a shooter bar in it, and also in the garage they had a video screen in which Clay (bartender of The Cobalt) was projecting the latest issue of Eargoggles, his music and variety DVD. There were some technical difficulties, but not as bad as the ones suffered by Thee Manipulators who were unable to play. One of their members had gotten sick and hopefully for the rest of the guys it was bad, because they looked like they were pretty bummed out about not being able to rock. Later in the night I checked out The Living Deadbeats. Another female fronted punk band, and where this singer lacked in the same stage presence that the last singer brought, she made up for by looking like she was genuinely enjoying every minute of being up there. The smile on her face was putting a smile on mine. They also boasted the same guitarist as Dirty & The Derelicts, and that guys rocks. Somehow a shopping cart found its way into the mosh pit and this just made for even more hilarious shenanigans. Maybe this was why their singer was smiling!

Once I caught wind that they had ran out of beer I bolted. My friend was having a birthday party across town, and this just helped make the night even more memorable.

9. Friday May 28th 2010, Knucklehead, Vicious Cycles & The Tranzmitors @ The Rickshaw. 

Going to this show was a bit of an after thought. My mum was in town and staying with me so I thought I was going to have to skip it, but once I knew she didn't mind that I pop out for a beer and a show, I set her up with a DVD to watch and took off. First I stopped at Pat's Pub for a drink and a visit with Zoe, and then moved onto The Rickshaw, missing the first band in the process.

My main reason for going to this was because The Rickshaw is a big room, and I figured they were going to need the bodies there. I was pleasantly surprised that they indeed did not need the bodies there as the show was pretty packed and still filing them in the door when I got there. Punk rock in Vancouver doesn't always bring out the most lucrative crowds so it was great to see that these bands had pulled out a crowd of this size! I was able to catch the end of The Tranzmitors set, but I think they were missing their manic keyboard player that night, and he's always entertaining to watch. Still a good performance though, wish I had caught more.

Next up was The Vicious Cycles and they got the crowd revved up into a frenzy. They were dancing like crazy people (the crowd, not the band) and chucking their beer cans in the direction of the stage non stop. It was a great performance from both band AND crowd! The Vicious Cycles are rock n roll at its greasiest, thanks to the motor oil. Not sure if it was motor oil the guitarist used to slick back his hair, but he lost focus when he was combing it back with his switchblade comb and was nailed by a can of beer. I totally didn't throw it. The one I threw later in the show missed the guy who ran out onto the stage with a tambourine by an inch. He totally had it coming! Not sure why the crowd was throwing so many beer cans, I took it as a sign of endearment, because these cycles of viciousness were really kicking some ass up there, and hopefully the band took it the same way.

Then Knucklehead graced the stage, and I probably would have given the singer a hard time for seeming like he had his feet nailed to the stage and hand taped to the mic stand, but it was their 15 year anniversary, so he must be old now. At least he could still sing great, and towards the end of the set he even took off his leather jacket! I felt like the intensity did drop a bit from The Vicious Cycles set, but that was just sheer madness when they were playing. I've never really gotten into Knucklehead, but they have a sound that I can truly get behind. And it's not even a throwback to 90s punk, because they were there in the 90s, so it really IS 90s punk. Great chants amongst some good time catchy songs, this is some good drinking music. They also had some funny stage banter where they made fun of one another to get some cheap laughs (mine included) and topped off a pretty spectacular night. They also made a music video for one of their songs with live footage from this very show!

This show made the list because I wasn't expecting too much coming in, and it delivered in a big way. Way more people than I expected, way more rockin' than I expected, thus equalling way more fun than I expected. And it also seemed I couldn't turn around without bumping into someone I knew, and a bunch of which were people I hadn't seen in a long while, so it was a great get together of punks in the city, and all the bands played dynamite sets.



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