Review by P. Freako
Photography by Rodney Gitzel
Vancouver expatriates the Rattled Roosters were a late addition to the bill and, having made the trek from their new digs in Los Angeles, they brought with them all their flair and charisma and had the kids up and dancing in the aisles -- literally! The Roosters transfixed our ears and eyes with 50's rockabilly sounds and fashions. Singer Rick Royale held the gathering in his grasp, strutting about stage and pouring his heart into the mic. I was ready to swoon myself. They were all stellar performers and carried the crowd through an empowering set, highlighted by Royale's introductions of his band mates, who responded with dazzling solos showcasing their distinct sense of showmanship and performance. The Roosters left us feeling young and modern.
Goldfinger were next, rocking the house the second they stepped on stage. This was another band which aimed to entertain and please the crowd, and Goldfinger could do no wrong. Drummer Darrin Pfeiffer came on stage sporting Alex Mogilny's #89 Canucks jersey. John Feldmann was running amok on stage, jumping and going crazy at every opportunity when, all of a sudden, security started escorting a guy out of the building for the crime of crowd surfing. What a joke! Goldfinger to the rescue. They immediately stopped in mid-song, and three of them jumped off stage, went into the crowd and rescued the young lad. Cool! John Feldmann was like, "What? You can't kick this guy out, no!" Indiana Jones would have been proud.
Going full bore from the start with "Mind's Eye" and "Stay," Goldfinger built the momentum until they played their MTV and MuchMusic hit, "Here in Your Bedroom," sending the Vogue crowd into mad surfing and stage diving ecstasy. Everything they did, they did for the crowd, for the sheer purpose of entertaining everybody in the room. Upon leaving everybody dripping with joy, their mission was complete.
Now, a brief rant. You probably know Punk Show Rule #1: You need a pit. The promoters ignored this and didn't take any of the front seats out to accommodate the moshing hordes, so the kids just did it for them during the Goldfinger show, quietly dismantling and passing pieces overhead to security folk at the front of the stage. (The security crew fortunately had the good sense to quietly stack the pieces up and not make an issue of it.) A lesson for next time. If the Vogue ever has another punk show...
Anyway, we were now two-for-two in totally impressive, entertaining bands -- but could we complete the rare hat trick? There was absolutely No Doubt in my mind all night long.
Like the previous two bands, No Doubt were entertaining and captivating inside and out. Charismatic vocalist Gwen Stefani staked out her territory immediately, holding the total attention of the crowd in her power and then throwing them back out to surf with such favourites as "Excuse Me Mr." and "Happy Now." The horn section was a world unto itself with the two dreadlocked members bounding about and feeding off of each other's moves, creating a dancing sideshow. There was just so much happening on stage.
Looking about the crowd, one could definitely tell that Stefani has become an inspiration for young women, as they were glued to her every move, entranced by her powerful voice and demeanour, and it was equally as nice to see the guys feel the same way. This melding of both genders was awesome.
And then, finally, Stefani walked up to the front of the stage and posed the question, "Are there any girls in the audience?" The thunderous response came back and empowered her: "Good, 'cause this song is for chicks." Launching into their single, "Just a Girl," No Doubt sent the joint a-jumpin'. They left us bedazzled with their set and hey, they even played the Star Wars theme. Their set was stunningly brilliant.
All three bands tonight kicked and left us dizzied with their talents and shining performances. One of the most entertaining shows of the year. Hey man, hold my seat, will ya?
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