Canadian Music Week day two: Levon, BOATS!, The Beards and Boy
After the mildly lackluster performances of the first day, the expectations for the second day were low.
This was not made better by the first band of the night, Levon. The only impressive aspect of Levon’s set was the club they performed at. The Bovine Sex Club was a small, intimate venue curiously almost solely filled with large bearded men. Brightly lit Christmas lights covered the entire ceiling with the occasional cow skull or bone also hanging. Levon seems like they would be the go-to band for people looking for a 1970s classic rock influenced band with their guitar and heavy bass sound. The guitars were too overwhelming and appeared to sound out of tune at times. While the rhythm was decent and easy to follow, thanks to the talented drummer, everything else sounded like a mash up of sound. The wails emitted from what appeared to be everyone but the drummer were painful. They were extremely off-key and out of sync with each other. They tried to be Jim Morrison, but instead. came off as immature stoner rock as they made awkward jokes about British Columbia having great dope.
At the Velvet Underground, Sacramento based punk band BOATS! played to a mostly empty club. They had certainly taken strong influence from 1970s punk band The Buzzcocks with their short, catchy songs with no build-up or fade out. They started strong and ended loud. It was refreshing to watch a band that was completely unpretentious. However, this created both positives and negatives. It was hard to hear lead singer Matt Leonardo over the amount of pure noise BOATS! made. You wouldn’t be able to tell if they were actually talented or just really good at playing really loud music.
In between the quest for the best band of the night, an elderly bearded man made an interesting suggestion outside of the Bovine Sex Club. “Hey! You guys heard of The Beards?” The Beards are an Australian band who sing about beards and only beards. There didn’t seem to be a lot to lose from taking in their set. At least if it was bad, it’d be amusing. They turned out to be the best performance of the week. Bovine Sex Club was completely packed; it was rumoured this was the only show that day to be 100 per cent sold out. Playing their first Canadian show since 2009, The Beards were an experience not to be missed. Their songs, while all about beards, did not fully rely on the novelty of their concept to gain new fans. They were legitimately talented — most members could sing and rocked the hell out of their instruments. The rhythm was on time and together. Eventually the show evolved into a giant beard orgy. The band was leaning out to have the audience touch their beards while simultaneously touching the audience’s numerous beards as well. Though it seems like the songs would be idiotic, there is a lot of subject matter on beards. Songs included, “I’m in the Mood for Beards” and “You Should Consider Having Sex with a Bearded Man.” They also have three full length albums dedicated to beards.
If The Beards were the best performance of the night, then German band Boy were the most talented. Picture what it would sound like if Feist suddenly became a German duo. That’s Boy. They sounded sweet and slightly ethereal; their vocal power wasn’t the strongest but the talent behind it made up for their soft singing. Despite the minor technical difficulty at the beginning of their set, it was flawless. They interacted with the crowd awkwardly but it only added to their charm. They finished the night with a cover of The Black Key’s popular song “Lonely Boy.” If the audience didn’t know that this was a cover you’d never be able to tell; they took it and made it their own. Once they left the stage, the large crowd immediately starting calling out for an encore.