January 19, 2011 was a special date for me, as one of my absolute favorite bands (Fighting For Ithaca) held a show at Bully’s Rehearsal Studios in New Westminster (with guests Radio For Help, The Joyride, and Seventh Rain). Only 60 tickets were available (only through presale, not at the door), and the show sold out, which is both a good thing and a bad thing. Good; because it meant that there would be lots of people for the bands to perform for. Bad; because the room that the show was held in was cramped and in need of air conditioning, a window, or some other form of ventilation. Despite the lack of air and the terrible acoustics in the room, the concert was incredible.
The Joyride opened the show, and I think that they had the most difficult time slot, as many people in the crowd did not know many of their songs, and were not yet riled up by the music. However, they have a great stage presence, and I must admit that it’s amusing to watch their drummer (or rather, his long hair…) as he plays. I enjoyed their set, and I regret not learning the songs on their EP beforehand, as I would have liked to sing along. The second band, Radio For Help, are from Edmonton, Alberta, and while they’re a good band, it was difficult to hear their lead vocalist sing. That may be because of technical difficulties (he did seem to be easier to hear closer to the end of the set), but it was sort of annoying (you can see his mouth moving, but can’t tell if words are coming out!). The third band, Seventh Rain, were an amazing band from Calgary, Alberta. It was during their set that the crowd really started to get into dancing and cheering, though it was obvious that barely anyone had heard their music before (the only time when almost everyone in the room sang along was during their cover of Airplanes by B.O.B.). More so than the previous two bands, they interacted with the crowd and each other, telling stories of the last time they were in Vancouver and other misadventures (the frontman even claiming that he had just been in Hawaii and that was why he was so tanned, not because he goes to tanning salons every week as the bassist said).
Finally, Fighting For Ithaca took the stage, and it was clear whose fans filled the room. As the opening bars of “Trial By Fire” played, a huge cheer swept the room, and tens of fans screamed/sang every word in time with Curtis (lead vocals). The band played other fan favorites such as “Cause and Effect”, and the fan-interactive “Cityscape”, as well as three newer songs (“Lights Out Baby”, “Waffles”, and another that had never before been played for fans). Among the standard stage banter and drummer jokes (“What did the drummer say when he was kicked out of the band?”“I wrote a song!”), fans were spoken to and thanked for coming out to the show, and they insisted on showing my hand-drawn poster to everyone (I’m still embarrassed!). It’s the little things like talking to fans that make a band great, and FFI have definitely got fan interaction down to a fine art. Not to mention the amazing music, of course! This show made my week for sure, and I cannot wait to see them live again. Be sure to download the Thanks For Waiting EP, and make sure you let record labels know how amazing they are! Some labels are already taking notice, and I for one am so happy for these guys who have made my life so much better!
LINKS: The Joyride: http://www.myspace.com/thejoyrideson; Radio For Help: http://www.myspace.com/radioforhelp; Seventh Rain: http://www.myspace.com/7thrain; Fighting For Ithaca: http://www.myspace.com/fightingforithaca
Please check out these amazing bands! Peace. Katy C.