Gig review – DARK STONE and WISE YOUNGBLOOD at Venue in Vancouver, September 9, 2017

It’s been a while since I got my act together and headed out for a live gig, but this Saturday I finally hopped on the Skytrain and headed into Vancouver for a show at Venue on Granville Street.

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Granville Street, Vancouver – at dusk.

Local band Flub The Duck had the opening spot, but I missed most of their set, unfortunately. They play rock and roll and rap, and seemed to have a high-energy vibe from what I saw, before they headed off stage.

WISE YOUNGBLOOD

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Wise Youngblood is a band from Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, and I had not listened to them before this gig. The band’s Facebook bio describes their music like this: “An appreciation of old school 90’s rock with a fresh twist to keep it rolling on.” On stage, they were very impressive: fantastic, power-house vocals from front-man Kyle Stephen, and some serious guitar-magic from Andrew Harper, with rock-solid backup from Dave Buchanan on bass and Myles Nowik on drums.

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This band also impressed me with their stage presence: they grabbed my attention and held it, even though I hadn’t listened to their music before.

The music has a great hard rock edge with a bluesy, soulful undertow that gives the music terrific depth. I will definitely be keeping my ears and eyes on this band from now on: they showed some fantastic talent in their performance at Venue.

Wise Youngblood’s official website / Facebook / Twitter


DARK STONE

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I’ve been wanting to see Dark Stone live for quite a while now, but something always got in the way. My expectations were pretty high because Dark Stone has released a string of fantastic tunes over the last few years, and they did not disappoint.

Once they hit the stage at Venue, they literally shook the floor with an instrumental intro that definitely started things off nicely before they ripped through an awesome set of tunes.

The band had a powerful and commanding presence on stage with a heavy, tight set, and a blistering hot sound. These guys know what they’re about, and they definitely delivered the musical goods at this gig.

Dark Stone plays hard, heavy rock with a distinct metal vibe – and with a gritty blues heart beating somewhere in the middle of it all. Every track was fantastic, and I was struck by the confidence and swagger this band has, all of it backed up by some terrific skills.

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Front-man Matt Mintenko has an awesome set of pipes – and manages to convey so much emotion, not just raw vocal power (though he’s got plenty of that, too!). There was a drum solo by drummer Stefan Grabowski that blew me away, and the guitar-work by Jason Mintenko was a revelation to see and hear in a live setting – so much feeling and heart in addition to some rip-roaring, brute riff-force (and hey, he’s got a terrific voice as well!).

It’s hard to pick a favourite track from the performance – it was just that good! – but ‘Why’ and ‘Look To The Sky’ were standouts, and so was the new track ‘What Your Worth’ towards the end. It was a terrific set and I’ll definitely try to go see this band again.

The new tune will be released soon and I’ll be all over that when it’s out.

Setlist:

  • Wake Up!
  • Why
  • Look To The Sky
  • Take Me Higher / Without U
  • We Will Fight
  • Streets of Gold
  • W.I.F.L.
  • What Your Worth
  • Another Round

Dark Stone official website / Facebook / Bandcamp / Twitter

 

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