Top Ten Shows of 2010 (Pt.4)


4. Friday March 19th 2010, Dangers @ La Casa Del Artista.

I sucked at seeing bands this night. I was walking as fast as I could, but when I showed up I saw the dudes from Burning Ghats sweating it up on the sidewalk and knew I blew it. After talking with them I eventually went in, paid, hung out by myself and then took off to meet up with Johnny at his jam space. Beers, Anion, some dude was taking photos, more beers and some Cursed. I think we took just too long and guess what, boom missed Congress too. Bummer, but at least things are set up to see the out of town band Dangers, who had just months previous backed up a killer first album with an even better effort. In this genre you have to respect a band for doing that because it seems to happen so rarely. I enjoy too many bands who's first album is their best album. 

And guess what? They tore the place a new one. The singer was the smallest dude with the biggest mouth. He took this stereotype to a new place and I enjoyed every second of it. What a frontman, he was it! And in between songs he would rant and rave about all kinds of shit. He had moments where he was inspiring, motivational even. He also had some pretty dark and slightly humourous things to say. I don't know if they were meant to be funny but I was laughing and cheering at points. The next day I recited back a lot of his rants to Dusty on our way to band practice, but unfortunately everything I remembered would then later disappear in a cloud of smoke that was smoked at that very band practice.   

The pit was sick. I was standing there thinking to myself 'this shit is like the 90s', but unfortunately I wasn't the same age as I was in the 90s.  No one was trying to throw no beat down, and there was none of that crazy straight edge dancing. Just a radical energy. I was really quite impressed at the lack of random violent acts in the pit, yet keeping up a radical energy through most of the show. Then the strangest thing happened and halfway through their song, 'We Broke The P.A.' the P.A. did just this and the vocals cut out. No matter, they went on to play my favourite song 'Power Chord Blues' and a P.A. was not needed as the crowd sang loudly enough for everyone to hear. It was awesome.  I talked about it with the promoter the next day and he said that their last remiaing mic chord crapped out, so they didn't indeed break the PA, but still a horribly ironic occurrence regardless. 

This was the only thing I could find on the internet from this show. I didn't own a point and shoot yet, and even if I had I don't think this was the kind of show I'd bring a camera to. And I'm sure this is the reason why I couldn't find any photos of it.

If you just watched that video, and thought, 'What the fuck was that?' I would say, 'umm, apparently that was the 4th best show I saw this year. 

3. Friday February 19th, 2010. Brand New Unit Reunion show @ The El Dorado.


When was the last time you've ever seen a good reunion show? Never. Exactly. But fear not, as I'm about to spin you a tale of such an event actually occurring! Brand New Unit or BNU as a many wife beater used to say (there was even one dude in the crowd wearing one) had not played together in ten years. This can sometimes be a disastrous thing, but for this show you could tell that they had put in some practice time and it made all the difference.

Let's take it from the beginning because this just so happened to be a show where I actually caught every band! It must have been because the Olympics were happening and the further East I went the safer it seemed. This is probably the opposite of anything anybody else has ever heard about Vancouver. So I caught the whole show! Granted Hard Feelings were playing when I walked in, but I caught most of their set and it was awesome high energy rock n roll, that had a dark edge at times. I'm guessing this was their last show ever because their drummer tragically died after suffering a brain aneurysm while performing with his other band. A damn shame. It was painfully obvious that he was a very talented drummer. 

Next was Thee Manipulators and they certainly manipulated the dance floor to move. Dudes were hammered and knocking over anybody in their way and this did not please the group (groupie?) of chicks hanging out by the stage. However for me it added another element to the entertainment value of this already highly entertaining rock n roll dance party. 

And then it happened. Brand New Unit played. I had been waiting for this for a long time. 

Ten years exactly? Who knows? Probably longer. But as a big fan of the band I had the most to lose, or be bummed out about if they tanked. About 2 notes into the first song you were quite sure that this would not be happening. They were on point, got their shit in line beforehand and came to rock the stage hard. 

When the crowd got into it I was brought back to the 90s. The mosh pit just had that feel to it. I think a lot of people showed up to see this band and their was a mutual respect in the pit because everyone had waited a long time to hear those words. All of them. The bald drummer from Gob hadn't missed a beat and that guy was always a killer punk rock drummer. The singer hadn't lost a step either and after the first song 'What do you Care for?' he let out a sigh of relief saying, 'I've waited a long time to do that.' 

At first I was hoping this information was right, and then by the power of the internet it was proven!

Then they proceeded to play everything you would have wanted to hear, tons from Diddley Squat and most of the Empty Useless Air EP and choice old cuts. Some so old I hadn't even heard them before. I wasn't living in Vancouver for their reign of terror and was only lucky enough to see them once before. They opened up for AFI in Kelowna on my birthday one year and on my way out at the end of the show they were still slangin' merch and I got a deal for both CDs. It was also this night that we finally put the pieces together to start up a band, that strangely enough would later cover 'Respect' by BNU. That show and band left a very lasting impression on me, so to be able to relive it however many years later was quite exciting to me. It's always fun to feel like a kid again. 

BNU played 'Respect' at the show, and thanks to someone filming it, and then uploading it to the internet, you can watch it! It's not quite like the real thing, but it's something.

In my mind Brand New Unit had big things to live up to. I'd spent a lot of time listening to those CDs since seeing them, and it's safe to say they did not let me down at all. They lived up to the expectations and then some! A for the dirty dank pit that the El Dorado was, it was something else on this night. They brought in a real PA, all kinds of people showed up and were milling about, and I even bumped into friends that I met when I first moved to Vancouver. And did I mention that the beer was dirt cheap? I probably got drunk. After the show I bought a T-shirt out of sheer respect for what I had just witnessed and took off. On my way home I ended up popping into a house party where a dirty punk band was covering 'Proud to be Canadian' by Dayglo and I got into the four or five person mosh. This was my way of showing my patriotism during the Olympics.    



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