Amos the Transparent Showcases Their New Album at Rancho Relaxo

Amos the Transparent @ Rancho Relaxo, 04-09-11

Date of show: April 9, 2011

Amos the Transparent took the stage after 12:30am and the crowd was already sweaty, with a great group right up front eager to hear the new material. Sitting down at the keys, frontman Jonathan Chandler set the crowd straight right off the bat, “We’re here to have fun. If we fuck up… we’re here to have fun.” Rounding out the rest of the band are Christopher Wilson (drums), Mark Hyne (guitar, vocals), James Nicol (bass, vocals), and Daniel Hay (guitar).

Amos the Transparent made the trip from Ottawa to debut their forthcoming record, which is tentatively titled, with some songs that are also tentatively titled. Some new songs include “You’re So Right,” “A Song,” “Stones” and “Up and Out.” It was such a privilege to hear the new material, especially since it was the first time the band was playing it all live. Seemingly gauging the crowd’s reaction, Chandler joked, “Alright, fuck it, we’re going to write a new record. Fuck that one!” But the album seems to be a great extension to their already great collection of songs, including songs that I can envision as being great sing-along party songs that they’re known for with their live show.

Although I had expected the band to play their newest material front to back, the band actually did an excellent job of mixing in their favourites with their newest tunes. Songs like “Greater Than Consequence,” “It’s a Beautiful Life,” “This Town,” and “Lemons (aka Bigfishlittlepond)” still made their way into the set. These are songs that inevitably result in audience participation. Former member of the band, Kate Cooke, despite having lost her voice, joined the band for “The Stale Scent of Old Beer” and “After All That, It’s Come to This.” The band played an extended set, nearing 20 songs, playing well over an hour. And honestly, at the end, the crowd that stuck it out into the wee hours of the night/morning still didn’t want the band to go. There is no doubt that Amos the Transparent, though still a bit of a hidden gem, is one of the greatest live bands Canada has to offer. I’m definitely looking forward to the album.

Amos the Transparent @ Rancho Relaxo, 04-09-11 Amos the Transparent @ Rancho Relaxo, 04-09-11 Amos the Transparent @ Rancho Relaxo, 04-09-11

Persian Rugs

Persian Rugs drew quite a crowd, likely having the biggest turnout of the night, despite not being the headliner. The band is made up of Kaye Hamilton (vocals, keys), Ian Jackson (guitar, vocals), Matt Rubba (drums, vocals) and Ali Sunderji (bass). Their lo-fi pop sound features Hamilton’s ethereal vocals, complemented by harmonies from Jackson and Rubba. Comparisons to Beach House are justified, as their sound, though mostly upbeat in nature, is clouded with a dreamy haze from jangly guitars.

Persian Rugs is a bit of a buzz band, garnering some attention from Pitchfork and the like, so I was curious to see how this band sounds live. While I think perhaps the sound levels didn’t do them justice, the crowd didn’t seem to mind, as most up front were dancing along. As Persian Rugs gears up to release their single on Cloudberry Records, the band seems to already have an impressive following.

Persian Rugs @ Rancho Relaxo, 04-09-11 Persian Rugs @ Rancho Relaxo, 04-09-11 Persian Rugs @ Rancho Relaxo, 04-09-11

The Cheap Speakers

The Cheap Speakers seemed to make it their mission to get the crowd to dance while still rocking out. The band is comprised of Brennan Gault (vocals, bass), Tim Dafoe (guitar, vocals), Natalia Manzocco (guitar, vocals), and David Kochberg (drums, vocals). Their powerpop rock is driven by energetic drumming from Kochberg, impressive guitar work from Dafoe and powerful vocals from Gault, complemented nicely by Manzocco, who takes the lead on a couple tunes.

Keeping the banter simple for most of the set, Manzocco asked the crowd if they knew the secret headliner and Gault indicated the only reason why Kochberg was playing that night was because he thought it was Zeppelin. Before closing out their set, Kochberg joked, “Stick around for Zeppelin.”

The Cheap Speakers @ Rancho Relaxo, 04-09-11 The Cheap Speakers @ Rancho Relaxo, 04-09-11 The Cheap Speakers @ Rancho Relaxo, 04-09-11


Oceans weren’t able to make the show. But Will Assaad, not wanting to disappoint and back out of a commitment, made the trek from Ottawa to start off the set. It was a short set with just Assaad on guitar, and it was accompanied by some technical difficulties, but Assaad made the most of it. I was quite impressed with his resilience, certainly worth noting.

Oceans @ Rancho Relaxo, 04-09-11 Oceans @ Rancho Relaxo, 04-09-11

Dream Jefferson

The electro/hip hop team known as Dream Jefferson closed out the night. Their short set was a ton of fun, with Owel Five, alongside Corboe, jumping into the audience frequently. The last song of the night, “Vampyroteuthis,” invited members of the audience onto the stage, including being given a microphone! The small crowd that stuck around was disappointed to have the set cut short due to the lateness of the night. Regardless, it was certainly a fun way to end off an already great night.

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Categories: Live Music


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