Top Ten shows of the year 2012 Pt. 1

Top Tens seem to be all the rage, so I built this one. Some of these shows I really had to think back to what happened. Strangely enough I seem to remember the ones that I was drinking at better than the ones where I stayed sober. What is that saying?

10. Saturday, June 2nd 2012
The Hookers, Ancients, The Jolts & El Camaro
Funky Winkerbeans

We burned it down to this show early because I knew El Camaro was going to be playing first and everyone who was smart followed me. El Camaro is from the Netherlands and sound pretty much like Zeke. The singer and the guitarist were both wearing Zeke shirts, I'm guessing they had played with Zeke the night before in Seattle and when you're on tour a clean shirt is a clean shirt. So if you love Zeke you will love this band. Basically I've just put the word Zeke in this review more times than all the other bands that played combined. Now that's a feat. You've got to be a truly awful writer to pull something like that off. Anyway, Zeke didn't play. I think the Jolts were next, and from what I remember they also threw it down. The Jolts are always good at Funky's. Then Ancients took the stage and they were the odd band out being the lone metal band on the bill. It's safe to say the hair was flying. The crowd grew, and kept growing. By the time the Hookers played the people were pressed against the walls and climbing up that load bearing pole and crowd surfing. It was a total spectacle, and to be honest I was surprised to see that kind of crowd reception. Not because the Hookers don't rule, but because Vancouver audiences sometimes get the bad rep for being slightly lukewarm from time to time. This was definitely not one of those times.


I don't really get out to festival type shows anymore so any night that you get to see 7 bands in one go is always a great time. If there's something you don't like you go and party and know that something else will be coming right up. But that's also what made this show so great, I thought every band kicked ass. Typically I don't like to add shows that I performed at to these lists, but sometimes you can't help it. Trapper Jack opened up wearing mustaches, two guitars (one baritone) no bass and one drummer. A 3pc! Just not your typical 3 piece. It was jammy rock and really good. Next up was my band Frank Love doing our first ever show. Standard 5 piece, except with a girl on vocals. We always joked around at practice about how Baus Rod was gonna show up (this is our singer's male stage persona) and sure enough she did, rocking a big fake beard, wig and beer gut. It took me off guard. We played OK considering it was our first show. We've since traded in our two male guitarists for one female guitarist and added a second female singer to the roster. Things are looking up for Frank Love. The sun went down and much alcohol was consumed. There was a super soaker squirt gun full of beer. I didn't get the number on kegs, but my drummer later told me it was a big one. Next Johnny De Courcy and the Death Rangers played and tore the house down. Or more like the shed. Yes at SHD RWK the show takes place in a shed. Johnny drank from the beer gun while performing and the people got rowdy right along with him. They were climbing all over the shed, and falling off the ladder, typical party style. Rad Disaster was next and in true fashion of party rock they were as loaded as the crowd. The cops arrived when Indian Wars were on but they didn't run over and stop them from playing or anything. They didn't seem pleased though as the party was at its height of wildness. Great timing on the cops behalf. I'm not sure if Indian Wars got cut short, but something got cut. It was a rug. After a slight pause and some wondering if the last band was going to play, sure enough, Crystal Swells fires up and Merman was on bass. They took it home on their turf and anyone who wasn't in the bushes puking or had been scared away by the cops was shaking their tail feathers.

8. The summer of 90s punk.
June 15th 2012 Death By Stereo & Belvedere @ Media Club
July 19th 2012 Strung Out @ the Biltmore
Aug 4th 2012 Electric Frankenstein @ the Rickshaw
Aug 11th 2012 Down By Law @ Funky Winkerbeans
Aug 17th 2012 Guttermouth @ the Rickshaw

5 different shows sitting at the 8th spot. All bands I used to listen to and see shows of in the 90s (except for EF). Death By Stereo at the Media Club, are you kidding me? Belvedere couldn't compete with that. Strung Out at the Biltmore and the only reason I went to that was because they were performing their 2nd and 3rd albums in their entirety. And they pulled it off in a big way. It was really cool to see Electric Frankenstein, I never thought I'd get the chance, and then a couple days later they played again in Iron Road Studios, and as cool as it was to see an intimate show with these rock n roll powerhouses, the Rickshaw show with a big old mosh pit was where they exuded more energy. It had been 15 years since I had seen Down By Law so it was a long time coming. Dave Smalley was old, but still rocking. And the biggest surprise out of all these gigs was Guttermouth. They killed the Rickshaw with a perfect set-list and hilarious stage banter. When my buddy bought me a cider it was the last one they had to sell and came in a cup with some ice because it was the warm display model. Most of that ice probably ended up on the stage.

Side note: I was also supposed to see Bouncing Souls play at Venue but after the bouncer turned a girl away with college ID he was just looking for an excuse to turn the next person in line around. "This ID is expired! Nope not letting you in!" He called out loudly for everyone to hear. I was like 'what?' It had been expired for a while and only once had anyone brought it to my attention. The old lady working at the post office. She still gave me the package and I'd never thought about it being expired since, right up until this asshole reminded me. I tried to talk my way in and be nice about it, but eventually I just turned around and sold my ticket to Squirt cause I knew she didn't have one. The line-up was jam packed, I guess I was holding up the show for everyone while the bouncer strutted around with his chest puffed out and head growing by the second. I could have turned around and pushed by everyone behind me that was waiting to get into the show, but I wasn't taking that walk of shame. All I had to do was just move a couple of his precious velvet ropes and get out quickly. I got by the first rope, now in his area and when I was grabbing for the second rope he noticed me and freaked out. He was all trying to grab me so I got loud. I yelled, 'if you're not gonna let me in at least let me out! I don't want to stand around here and look at your ugly face all night.' Thankfully nobody eww'd and he didn't break me in half. Then I hung out on the sidewalk in front of the venue bumping into people I knew, it was kind of fun. Except when Zach came outside to ask me what was going on, I told him the story and he showed me the ID he used to get in. It was at least 3 years expired and held together with masking tape. This made me hate that bouncer and Venue a little more as it was now obvious there was no method to who got in and who didn't. But by this point I had also come to terms with not getting in and was just happy to have the money back that I spent on a ticket. Venue sucks dick anyway. In a city that keeps selling and tearing down its venues I hope they continue the trend with that shitty place. Pretty sure no one would complain if that happened.

7. Wednesday, Aug 1st 2012
Night Birds & The Jolts
Iron Road Studios

Night Birds from Joisey at Iron Road! Loved it. They just might be the most hardcore surf punk influenced band going and how could that ever be a bad thing? It couldn't. The Jolts played a killer set that night, they turned out a couple brand new songs that sounded like they hadn't lost their touch no matter which members were still around. I may have missed a band after that. That's the problem with having your own room at a show, it's like you're hanging out in the green room, but it isn't even your show! Lame. Night Birds were everything I needed them to be. A rambunctious pit started up and beer was swilled onto the already slippery floor. There was definitely a few slip and falls, and then just falls when the stage divers started up. Nice to see the folks getting down on a Wednesday night. There were some technical difficulties with the bass amp but the promoter of the show was on top of things fast and brought an alternate head out. The guitarist and singer had some pretty good banter going while they waited, and I think they even turned out a little surfy jam as well. Unfortunately they were playing my favourite song when the bass amp conked out and they decided not to pick it back up again when the bass was up and running. Dear Night Birds, you owe me one performance of your hit single Midnight Movies. Signed, Vancouver.

6. Monday, June 18th 2012
Burning Love, Baptists & Depressing
The Biltmore Cabaret

The Biltmore on a Monday night. This bar always seems to keep it heavy on this night. Is this because hardcore kids and metal heads are the only ones hardcore enough to be out then? Depressing opened up with their brand of grungy punk stuff. I'm digging it, but I had just seen them a week or so earlier opening for Trash Talk and that was the superior performance. Then Baptists played and their superior performance is always their next one cause you don't wanna miss it. This is one of the most exciting live bands in the city. Burning Love played, I knew it would be great, and it was. The only bad part was that their brand new album came out the next day. So I hadn't heard it yet, and they played a lot of it. Somewhere back in the furthest recesses of my mind there is a long haired hippie who ends up on stage banging his head until the song finished. The singer from Burning Love encouraged him to have a good time. Then he may have shown his wiener. I don't think he went as far as dropping his pants, but things got awkward there for a bit. He was yelling out some hilarious shit though. Nobody was drunker than that guy. He obviously didn't know what day of the week it was.


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