One of my favourite things about going to see an indie band live is watching them set up their own gear. While Matthew Layzell from The Matinee simply states it’s because “We just can’t afford to pay someone else to do it,” I feel this is an intimate behind the scenes moment fans can experience. I find it fascinating watching each member rush around plugging in, passing out set lists, getting settled, checking their sound, checking on other band members all in a frantic race against time.
It wasn’t until after I had moved from Vancouver back home to Hamilton that I discovered Said the Whale. I had heard rumblings while I was out west but never had the chance to check them out until Supercrawl 2011. I dragged a friend telling her they were friends with Hey Ocean so how could they suck?!! They didn’t and over the next two years I watched them open for Our Lady Peace, play at Edgefest and made the trek back west to see them at Squamish Valley Music Festival. They have played Supercrawl three years in a row, to which i am assuming is because they are signed to Hamilton’s own Hidden Pony Records.
Their set list constantly changes. Its exciting for fans to wonder what songs they are going to get that night and I’m sure it keeps things interesting for the band not having to crank out the same songs year after year. I am always surprised to hear what songs made the cut and which one of my favourites will have to wait until next time!
Last week was the first of the “Jingle Bell Concert Series” put on by Toronto radio station 102.1 The Edge. The Kopecky Family Band & The Mowgli’s opened and were fantastic, new fan of both. Said the Whale had the crowd at The Opera House dancing and I was happy to finally have a full concert set from the headliners and to see Nathan finally get behind a microphone!
What I did notice was that my fav indie band from BC did not set up their gear. It was done and ready for them to start playing the moment they stepped on stage. Said the Whale has also upgraded their ride for the Western leg of their tour. Gone is the typical band white cube van, in its place, a giant glitzy tour bus. I’m also hearing their music played on mainstream radio stations when previously I’d resort to indie stations or my ipod in the car. This can be attributed to a shift in popular music being indie artists or a fact that this west coast indie band has finally crossed the line. They are making it. They aren’t just well known and loved in their hometown of Vancouver but people across the country are starting to recognize, request and show up to support this band.
I’m going to miss watching these whales get themselves sorted on stage or milling around the bar before their set but my heart is so proud and filled with so much love for their successes.
(Post Title – Said The Whale “Love is Art”)