So this week Iâ€™m writing about two bands that have already been mentioned on Toe Jam Mondays – The Balconies and Cold War Kids. I’m not one to repeat myself, I’m not one to repeat myself (just kidding), but this Friday my musical universes collided and I had tickets to see The Balconies open up for Cold War Kids and it blew my mind, so you’re getting a double dose. If youâ€™re a reader of TJM, you know that The Balconies are one of my favourite acts to see live. Iâ€™ve seen them in almost every intimate venue in my area and they never disappoint. So hearing that these indie darlings were opening for another favourite band was like buying a new car and then finding out you won the lottery. This band belongs on a big stage. The last time I saw them was at The Casbah and although I was grateful to have the intimate setting, seeing them with the large crowd and bright lights made me feel like a proud mama. Jacquie owned that stage. With her effortless vocals and signature wide eyes, all of our eyes were on her. We watched her curls bounce as she played without inhibition and let her spunk shine as brightly as her sequined shirt. Thatâ€™s not to say that Steve and Liam donâ€™t bring the ingredients for a stellar band. This trio are on their way to big things so if you see them coming to your town, make sure you grab a ticket because it wonâ€™t be long before youâ€™re paying big bucks for an arena show.
The Balconies – 300 Pages
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I would love to say that I grabbed The Balconies for an interview, but my inner, true music fan took the reigns and I had an amazing spot in the front rows that I couldnâ€™t risk losing for Cold War Kids.
If you read my earlier post you know that Mine Is Yours has been a staple for me in 2011. This album gets better every time I listen to it and was just what I was looking for to start this year right. I can tell you that they opened with “Royal Blue”, but as far as set lists go, thatâ€™s about it. I couldnâ€™t waste time recording the songs because having the chance to see these guys live, I wasn’t about to spend any time with a pen and paper.
Cold War Kids – Royal Blue
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They played a mix of old and new songs that had the entire crowd singing along. They played most of my favourites from Mine Is Yours (minus the title track) and it just cemented why I love this album so much. Nathan Willettâ€™s voice filled the entire venue â€“ you canâ€™t help but feel a song when the vocals are vibrating in your chest. They played old favourites like “Hospital Beds” and “Hang Me Up to Dry” that drove the crowd wild with intense sing-a-longs and even a semi-mosh pit. Willett told the rowdy crowd to hold hands instead of shoving each other as he sat at the keys for “Bulldozer”. When he hit the 3:00 minute mark where it slows down and starts to build again was like the climax of a movie when the two leads finally realize theyâ€™re in love and kiss. It was butterflies.
Cold War Kids – Bulldozer
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I canâ€™t even describe how good they were. Itâ€™s one of those times where you wish you had video cameras in your eye balls and audio equipmemt in your ears so that I could share what I felt â€“ words just donâ€™t do it justice.
Nat, Anna and I were in the zone for most of this concert â€“ I could swear he was only singing to us. But, I scanned over the crowd at one point during the show and loved what I saw. There was such a range of people absolutely loving this show. There was a b-boy to my right and a guy wearing pants that were too short with sneakers that to were too big and tied too tight on my left. The girl in front of me was wearing a prom dress and heels and the guy behind me looked like he belonged on the Jersey Shore. That is the amazing thing about this band â€“ they may have been hipster darlings when they came on the scene in 2006 but their songs have held their own and proven that their sound isn’t a fad, it is something that can cross boundaries and bring people together with thoughtfulness, intensity and range.
Well, my love affair with Cold War Kids was cemented on Friday. We met in person, I danced, I sang and I left satisfied. I ended this date the same way I did when we first met. In my previous post I mentioned that I fell in love with this album during an early morning car ride home from a night out. Nat and I stayed at Anna’s house after the show and drove home at 5:45am – the roads were empty, it was still dark and we had Cold War Kids blaring – neither of us said a word the whole way home.
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