I thought I knew how good Vintage Trouble is, but oh lord, I was not fully prepared for the revelation and revelry of seeing this band on stage, and the kind of sweaty, groovy, bluesy, funky, love-in that took place at The Rickshaw in downtown Vancouver this particular Sunday.
Vintage Trouble’s latest album, ‘1 Hopeful Rd’ (read my review), is a sweet and savoury masterpiece, so I knew they were spectacular, but on stage, this band just turns into another level of absolute awesome. Ty Taylor is quite literally a force of nature. I mean, seriously, beyond delivering smooth as silk, grab-you-by-the-heart-and-soul voice, he was doing handstands, surfing on the audience’s adoring hands, and working the room from the stage and the floor and at one point even from the balcony. All this in a three-piece suit (!), while the rest of us were sweating, dancing, singing along, and loving every single second of it.
The band played a set full of their best tunes, including ‘Pelvis Pusher’, ‘Blues Hand Me Down’, ‘Nobody Told Me’, ‘Run Like The River’ (with Taylor threading his way through the audience while singing), ‘Knock Me Out’, and the divine ‘Doing What You Were Doing’ (my current go-to song when I need a song to make everything better). Every tune was a full-on body and soul experience (I confess I was in tears during ‘Doing What You Were Doing’), demonstrating the power of music to fill you up with all that is good in this world.
Taylor is a masterful front-man, vocalist, and entertainer – he had the audience in the palm of his hand from the moment he came out on stage. But beyond his fabulous presence, it’s the whole band that makes the experience what it is. There was an extended, all instrumental jam-session (with Taylor off stage) about midway through the set, and it turned out to be one of the highlights of the evening, with Nalle Colt (guitar), Rick Barrio Dill (bass), and Richard Danielson (drums), giving us a show of absolute musical perfection, while looking as if they were having the time of their lives.
This band is so good, so tight, so fun to watch that the set just flew by way too fast. Once the encore was done, I wanted more. Come back to Vancouver, guys, I think you’ll fill the house again!
Opening act Desi Valentine was a new acquaintance for me, but oh boy, did he impress the hell out of me! Fabulous vocals, old-school charm, and tunes and stage presence that was the perfect appetizer for what was to come.
If you haven’t checked out this awesomely talented man, you should remedy that immediately. His new single “My Worst Enemy” (which closed out his set) is a real treat. It’s available now from Spotify and iTunes:
Valentine was also up on stage singing with Vintage Trouble for one of the tunes, and it was an inspired moment on a wonderful night.