Wednesday, July 04, 2007
the spree were great. awesome even.
just before we left for Montreal I found out that the show was moving from the Metropolis to the Spectrum. I wasn't sure if this was a good thing or a bad thing.
When we arrived at the club, there was a tiny little line up to get in. St Catherines street was closed in front of the club because of the Jazz Festival so it was a strange environment. It was pleasant though, we stood around watching people wander by, en masse toward the festival stages. Not having to deal with cars was a nice change too.
The doors were supposed to open at 7 but I don't think we got into the club until close to 8. When we walked in, we discovered that the Spectrum is about half the size of the Metropolis. Not good, not for the band anyway. I wandered upstairs to find the ladies room and saw that the balcony area was closed off so the club wasn't expecting it to be too busy.
Mark and I were able to get a table very close to the stage. When the show started, it was very easy for me to get down to the front of the crowd and take some photos. I really wish that I had taken my Nikon with me. I was worried that they may be checking bags at the door so I left it at the hotel. I was worried for nothing, they didn't check anyone. Of course, had I brought it with me, they would have. Oh well, some of the shots I got were okay. My Olympus isn't great in low light conditions.
Despite the smaller crowd, the show was amazing. really amazing. A lovely young lady from California opened the show. Her name is Jesca Hoop and she sang with an acoustic guitar. I thought that her voice was absolutely lovely and I look forward to hearing her album when it's out this September.
Jesca stood at the very front of the stage, in front of a piece of red fabric which had been stretched to cover the entire stage. After she was finished and the spree were ready to start, the lyrics to "Gimme Some Truth" were flashed across the red fabric as the song played on the PA. At the end of the song, you could see scissors cutting away at the fabric, making a heart shape. Eventually, the fabric was cut into two pieces, revealing the band on stage. It was a great start to their set!
Personally, I thought that the sound in the club was a little too loud (my ears are still ringing right now) and the mix wasn't great. Having said that, the joy, enthusiasm and energy that the Polyphonic Spree displayed, and the frenzy they were able to work the 400+ crowd into was authentic. Having seen them before only in a festival type environment, where they played an abbreviated set, I wasn't quite sure what to expect for a full-on spree show. It was just plain fun. They are a joy to watch, they played all of my favourites (including Soldier Girl!) and they definitely left me feeling satisfied.
I think it's a shame that the place wasn't packed to the rafters... or that the Metropolis wasn't packed to the rafters. Perhaps it was having to compete with the Jazz festival that made for the low numbers. I'm not sure. What I know is that a lot folks missed out on an experience. Sound issues aside, this was a musical extravaganza that I know I won't soon forget and I don't think anyone else who was in that room last night will either.