Today's Song of the Day is a remix by newcomer RAEKO, who happens to be the synth player for Sir Sly (and previously went by the name Polaris At Noon). Clearly the combination is wholly appropriate, given that I attended their joint show in Vancouver last Saturday.
In my opinion, these bands are two of the best up-and-coming American groups (and Indie Shuffle heavyweights), so to say I was excited to see them live would be an understatement. The two were sharing a stage in a venue (literally called 'Venue') that felt just intimate enough to build a casual familiarity with the bands, while at the same time big enough to get my dance on with a couple thousand fellow fans.
Sir Sly took the stage in a timely fashion while the crowd was still filtering in. A few hundred showed up early, many of whom had high expectations, having likely heard Sir Sly through the Indie Shuffle grapevine, as we have premiered many of their tracks. (Brushes dirt off shoulder, or rather, Jason's shoulder.)
Sly launched into old faves "Where I'm Going," "Found You Out" and "Miracle," while the lead singer explained to the crowd he'd woken up that morning unable to speak. It took him a couple songs to find his voice, but once he did, the band began to stir up their catchy tunes with some stellar live energy into an unforgettable experience for the early comers. Sir Sly followed up those familiar tracks with three new ones that seemed to have enough catchy hooks to keep pace with their current online offerings, leaving me desperate for their release, before finishing with favorites "Ghost" and "Gold" to big applause from their fast growing Canadian fan base.
Next, St. Lucia (pronounced saint loo-sha, not Saint loo-see-ah, for all you ignoramuses like myself who were flip-flopping between the two when telling friends about them) took the stage, playing for the 2,000+ crowd. They played a long set covering most of their repertoire, including a rousing cover of Chaka Khan's "Ain't Nobody Loves Me Better" and favorites like "Elevate" and "Closer Than This."
Lead singer Jean-Philip Grobler was as friendly and exuberant as you'd expect from the sunny disposition of his voice and pop sensibilities. He smiled often as his hair blew in the wind from a fan at his feet. (Fortunately he didn't unbutton his shirt -- that might've been a bit much.) He managed to keep the crowd's energy high throughout the show by not taking too much time to talk, but still showing his appreciation for the fans who came out. While the live versions of St. Lucia's songs didn't add much in terms of variety to the recordings, each track from When the Night is a dancey anthem in its own right, and that makes for a good party.
Great fun was had by all, and that was all that was expected. St. Lucia capped their set with "When The Night," which translated amazingly well as a raucous nightcap. If you get a chance to see either of these bands, especially in a smaller atmosphere, don't miss out!!