RUSKIN with THE YOKO CASIONOS and THE PATIENCE PRODUCT at the Backstage Lounge

The Patience Product has got it goin’ on. Playing the best tunes from their album Change of Heart, Change of Tune, released this time last year, Justin Wong has also managed to transition to a whole new band with different members while maintaining their original sound. His new bass player Benson is entertaining to watch, especially at this particular show when he wears a mascot hat for the impending 2010 Olympics. Their latest song is called “Disarm,” and it has a bit of bounce despite its epic nature. I like this new sound! Justin gets rather sentimental when he tells us that “Soundscapes of Pandora’s Box” is the first song written with the new band members, and this is another of my favourites. For their closing song (and title track), Benson chooses an audience member to join them on stage with a shaker. They’re having a good time, and so is the crowd. You can see The Patience Product again at the Backstage Vancouver showcase at The Media Club on Tuesday, March 9th.

Yoko Casionos are clearly here to party. They’re a local rock band with a girl singer/guitarist. They have a nice, full sound, which leads me to classify them as “robust rock.” This might be because all four of them sing. I like Misty’s voice, especially the song about loving you. She is well-accompanied by the bassist and drummer on vocals. They sound like a happy version of The Stills, with dashes of Paper Moon and No Doubt. It’s an optimistic blend of music and lyrics, with rock overtones and tropical undertones. With a “less talk, more rock” attitude, their postition as Vancouver rock veterans is make very clear. Like 100.5 The Peak, “It’s about the music.” Their next show is on February 20th at Malone’s. Be there.

It’s hard to follow an act like Yoko Casionos, but Ruskin does it well. They’re prolific songwriters, which makes each performance special (you’ll never see the same set list twice). Their second song contains the lyrics, “I need to find my place,” though it’s clear they already have. Their sets are like games of musical chairs, since Corey and Keanan trade their guitar and bass like hot potatoes. One of my favourite songs is “Soul, Sex, City,” and this is one of the more classic songs they play. Corey leaps atop a speaker in front of the stage, almost crashing his head into the one above him. I guess he never read Danny Echo’s warning about this very stage! Another great song, “The End is Near,” is dedicated to the last bathroom stall on the right-hand side. They’ve never played it live before, and they should from now on. It’s very mellow, slowly building into a big song. This evolution from small to big is performed again in “Jenny,” and Corey climbs atop the kick drum at the crazy-fast end of this song. Ruskin play a heart-felt and passionate show every time, and they’re definitely in our 2010 list of bands to watch.

THE PATIENCE PRODUCT SET LIST
1. 10 Days of Messenger Names
2. …and I Must Endure Reality Soon
3. The Heinekin Song
4. Disarm
5.  Soundscapes of Pandora’s Box
6. Change of Heart, Change of Tune
7. Dead End on Impatience Street   

YOKO CASIONOS SET LIST
1. Cameras
2. Less Attractive
3. Walls
4. Some Mistake
5. New Old
6. F.N.G.
7. Moments
8. The Stars on 11
9. Over   

RUSKIN SET LIST
1. Mooks
2. My Place
3. Floor
4. Olive
5. Soul
6. Abigale
7. Mile
8. N.Y. Dogs
9. The End is Near
10. Jenny

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