BIKE with GO GHETTO TIGER, SONREAL, and 2ND FLOOR SUICIDE
10 July 2009 at the Biltmore Cabaret
Always eager to make a bad joke, I mock the large, rusty Cutlass parked outside and predict the attendance of a pirate at the concert. Much to my surprise, and to his band mates’, the lead singer and guitarist of 2nd Floor Suicide (Reggie Electric) takes the stage dressed as a pirate, sporting enough eyeliner to make Captain Jack Sparrow jealous. Bass player Mike McHolm assures me that this is not an everyday occurrence. 2nd Floor Suicide also features Derek Simpson on drums and backing vocals, a role he also plays in Quite Testy. They play a malleable punk metal, which doesn’t assault your ears and sounds a bit like Rush.
After one song, someone shouts out, “You guys are dope!” Reggie responds, “That’s because we smoke dope!” This is the atmosphere of the Biltmore Cabaret, one of family and friendship between the bands and the fans. Halfway through the set, they bring their guest singer on stage for some duets, and she is a nice layer for a slightly different sound. This is definitely a band I’d like to see on Rock Band; rocking out to 2nd Floor Suicide would be good fun. For the second-last song, they bring their friend Pamela on stage to play the trumpet and sing some backing vocals, Go Ghetto Tiger’s “Super J” to play keys, and SonReal to jump in with a verse of rap. It is a catchy song, with a chorus that is something along the lines of “Forgive them for they know not what they do.” For the final song they invite all of their guests on stage, and Go Ghetto Tiger’s lead singer and bass player Marc literally rolls on stage. Energetic, and with lots of yelling, their finale has all the fun of Smash Mouth’s “All Star.” It’s so funny! I love the camaraderie of local bands at the Biltmore. 2nd Floor Suicide is playing at The Railway Club with Quite Testy on Wednesday 22 July for $8. Backstage Vancouver will be there, let us know if you can make it!
SonReal looks like the love child of Justin Timberlake and Eminem, with a fedora. Fun and enthusiastic, he jumps around the stage in front of his DJ. Some reggae tracks mix things up. His energy gets people on their feet and dancing (albeit awkwardly), and you can tell that he loves what he does. The music isn’t completely seamless; it sounds like the DJ is playing music, and SonReal is just rapping over top of it, as an entirely separate artist. Their synchronization needs work, but SonReal’s stage presence is well developed.
All three members of Go Ghetto Tiger sport one-piece jumpsuits. Lead singer and bass player Marc brings the same stage presence as Quite Testy, and they play a solid set with a bass, keys, and an electronic drum kit. I must talk to Jason Quirk about how he plays the drums despite such dark aviators! They go with the Top Gun badge on his suit. He puts on quite a show by spinning his drumsticks, and has about six or seven next to his snare drum (an emergency supply, perhaps). They play a great song with the lyrics, “You might be dead and gone but we won’t forget about you.” At this point I notice Lengthy List of Lovers at the front of the crowd, as they are big fans of Go Ghetto Tiger. Vancouver’s music community, especially in and around Main Street, is one of friendship.
Their fourth song, featuring the lyrics, “Let’s go swimming in the sand,” has a great beat. Much like his performance in Quite Testy, Marc yells, “That’s right, f*ckers, I’m the greatest!” in the middle of the chorus. He is also known to make outrageous claims. Before the next song, for example, Marc says, “This is our last show ever, so thanks for coming.” However, after the song, he reassures the crowd that no, this is not their last show ever. His crazy comments are funny and entertaining as he commands the stage. Backstage Vancouver will feature interviews with both Quite Testy and Go Ghetto Tiger soon. Check out Go Ghetto Tiger’s upcoming shows for more live performances.
Bike is an eight-piece party band that “sounds like a good time on wheels,” according to their MySpace description. Bike is as fun and energetic as King Khan & The Shrines, bringing each member’s unique musical background to the stage, and creating such wonderfully fun music that you can’t help but groove. The concert celebrated lead singer and guitarist Mike Durrant’s birthday. All eight members are very talented, and for one song the drummer switches with one of the singers and does a rap number! They have a brass section and bongos, and you can’t go wrong with Bike’s live show. Their best songs are about bicycles. Coincidence? I think not. Unfortunately, their MySpace list of upcoming shows reveal that they only have one show left this summer. Catch them while you can!