A Sold Out Lee’s Palace Sings Along With The Rural Alberta Advantage

Date of show: December 16, 2010

The Rural Alberta Advantage haven’t played a Toronto show in over a year, so it wasn’t surprising this Toronto-by-way-of-Alberta (at least in the case of frontman Nils Edenloff) band sold out Lee’s Palace. All three members of this band bring something special to the stage. Paul Banwatt (drums) is an incredible drummer, evident with The Rural Alberta Advantage’s drum-heavy tunes. In fact, Banwatt was not at the back of the stage but up front with the rest of the band. His speed and exuberance is impressive and sometimes even show stealing. Amy Cole, gorgeous with matching soothing vocals, mans the keys as well as percussion. Her harmonies work so well with Edenloff, who has this unique voice, a little on the shrill side but completely captivating.

If I’m not mistaken, their set featured 12/13 songs from Hometowns, their debut full-length that garnered the band rave reviews and earned them tours across the country, the United States and Europe. These songs had the crowd singing and clapping along, clearly a long-awaited show for fans in the audience. The set was not problem-free, as Edenloff had some technical difficulties with his guitar, but Cole filled up the silence with adorable banter, expressing excitement for playing in Toronto.

When Edenloff announced the last song of the set, the crowd booed and Banwatt booed along with the crowd. Edenloff said, “Even Paul’s booing me. Alright, we haven’t seen you in a long time, so we’ll just go through the motions and move on. This is our last song.” When they came back on set, Edenloff came out on stage alone and started off playing “Little Drummer Boy” before he was joined on stage by the rest of the band. It was his Christmas gift to the crowd. When the time came for their last song of the encore, the crowd booed once again. Edenloff then said, “We’re gonna be back soon. It’s not going to be more than a year again. Promise.” Okay RAA, Toronto is holding you to it.

The band also played a handful of songs that will be on their sophomore album, Departing, to be released on March 1, 2011. A preview of these tunes, “Stamp”, is already available through Paper Bag Records… and it’s free!

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Categories: Live Music


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