THE ZOLAS with WE ARE THE CITY and HENRY AND THE NIGHTCRAWLERS at the Biltmore Cabaret

Henry and the Nightcrawlers opened the evening, sharing the stage with some local musicians who are part of the community: Zach (The Zolas) on bass, Tom (The Zolas) on piano, and Spencer (Said The Whale) on drums. What Henry lacks in stage presence is compensated with sound. Zach Gray of The Zolas has described Henry’s sound as “Elvis Costello writing the soundtrack to a Wes Anderson film.” I’d trust his musical judgement in that regard. They played a few choice songs: Daytime Friends, about shitty friends who think they are too cool to be your friends; 100 Blows, the title track of Henry’s soon-to-be-released album; and The New Guy, which Zach calls “the slowest song ever played” at the Bilmore Cabaret.

Next up was We Are The City, or “We Are The Teenagers,” as Zach called them. The number of fangirls increased by 85%, but it’s hardly surprising. This band plays with an extreme amount of energy, which means they are always entertaining to watch. They played shakers made out of chlorine bottles by Cayne’s dad, and David got personal by playing the guitar with his mouth. They introduced a new song, called “This is a Bad Mistake,” which got a much better response than Cayne’s joke: “This cappucino is so great, so amazing, it’s going to literally take my head off. It’s a decappucino!” They end with “Astronomers,” and I think this performance was as good as (if not better than) their Peak Performance Project Concert Finale set.

The Zolas (listen on MySpace), in a continuing and successful effort to be one of Vancouver’s most endearing bands, made banana chocolate chip muffins, which were strategically placed all over the stage (three atop Tom’s piano, for instance). They open their show as they did their album Tic Toc Tic, with the song “You’re Too Cool,” and the crowd loves it. It specifically mentions the Biltmore, so it’s a fitting start. For “Body Ash,” We Are The City and Ben (Said The Whale) come on stage to play shakers. The Zolas then debut a new songs, which is called “Guest.” According to Zach, “Tom named it after the worst rhyme in the song,” which matches the Limp Bizkit level of bad rhyming. Zach closed the set by bringing the microphone into the crowd for “MarlainaKamikaze,” and most were singing along. The crowd hollered until they returned for an encore, closing the evening with “Cab Driver,” true to Zach’s explanation in our interview that it’s the best song to end with because nothing can follow it.

All in all, it was an amazing show! The audience was a who’s who of the Vancouver indie music scene, so stay tuned for Backstage Vancouver indie bingo cards for cool prizes! The Zolas’ next show is on February 13th at Funky Winkerbean’s with Sweethearts Die Hard and Technomancer. And the best part of this show? I got a muffin.

HENRY AND THE NIGHTCRAWLERS SET LIST
1. Fan The Flames
2. The Fight
3. One Week A Night
4. The Fucking
5. Amberly
6. Daytime Friends
7. 100 Blows
8. The New Guy

WE ARE THE CITY SET LIST
This is a Bad Mistake
Astronomers

THE ZOLAS SET LIST
1. You’re Too Cool
2. The Great Collapse
3. Body Ash
4. No Talking
5. Guest
6. I’ve Got Leeches
7. Marionettes
8. These Days
9. Marlaina Kamikaze

ENCORE
1. Queen of Relax
2. Cab Driver

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