. : : November 8th, 2012 : : .
By complete coincidence, I’m posting this recording on the one year anniversary of its original performance.
It’s been a busy, exhausting, mind-boggling year, so my memories of this night are faint and scattered. I remember arriving at The Rivoli a bit late, not expecting a overly packed audience and being surprised to see that not only were all the tables taken, but so was virtually all of the standing room. I had to stand much further back in the room than I was terribly comfortable doing — a short throw from the loud bar area.
I remember flashes of the performance. How rare it was to see Amelia Curran perform with a band that’s hers (after seeing her previous in solo, duo, and hodge-podge bands of various established performers who took turns performing on each other’s songs); how much more confident and comfortable she seemed in the situation. Or maybe it was with the material?
Her latest album, Spectators, was hardly off the presses a month when this show took place. It hadn’t had much time to sink in with this reviewer, if not most of the room, but would later to go on to be a nominated for the Roots and Traditional (solo) Album of Year Juno. Confident on the material, Amelia didn’t rest much on half dozen or so albums of material that was established and managed to fit all ten tracks from the latest disc into the 15-song setlist.
I remember being a bit challenged by the set’s heavy leaning toward new material, but appreciated the selection of cuts from War Brides and Hunter, Hunter in the middle. Listening back to the recording a year later, it’s refreshing and wonderful to hear some of these new songs which are certain to be tomorrow’s favourites.
Perhaps most oddly of all, I remember being surprised that Amelia didn’t seem to have the trademark streak of bold colour in her hair. Somehow, it seemed to accentuate the confidence in the performance — this is no longer the quiet, rebellious twenty-something who meekly performed original songs in dirty, dim bars, but a mature, confident songwriter with something to say and a chance to take advantage of it.
I wish I remembered this night better, I wish I’d written this review sooner and I wish I’d posted it closer to its date of relevancy, but I still think there’s a lot to enjoy here, for fans old and new alike.
02. Soft Wooden Towers
03. Bye Bye Montreal
04. The Modern Man
08. The Mistress
10. Hands on a Grain of Sand
12. Wrecking Ball
14. Face On The News
15. In A Town (200 Days)
17. What Will You Be Building
20. You Won’t Find Me
22. San Andreas Fault
25. The Great Escape
27. Blackbird on Fire