Toronto’s Modern Space played their first Victoria show — and the final show of their current tour — at Sugar Nightclub a couple Saturdays back, with locals Dirty Mountain warming up the crowd.
Actually, perhaps “crowd” isn’t the right word.
Be it final exam season, the Mike Edel show just down the road, the very last Spirit of the West show in Vancouver, or the specific alignment of the planets that night, Sugar held an . . . well, shall we say an “intimate” crowd of fans for the show.
The numbers didn’t detract from either the performances or reception, though. Crunchy country band Dirty Mountain was superb at their first Sugar show, giving full energy through their set, but ending with a particularly powerful finalé in Jagged Lines. It was on the strength of that song alone that I bought their album the next day.
Crunchy country might seem an odd pairing with the indie pop/rock sound of Modern Space, and that’s because it was unintentional. Willa was slated to open the show, but there was a last minute switch ’cause the band couldn’t make it due to a scheduling miscommunication.
I’m super-glad I got to see Dirty Mountain though and, as an added bonus, Elli from the band came up and introduced herself to Lindsey and me before the show; something which has NEVER HAPPENED in all my years of rocktography.
Another first for me was using the combo of Lindsey’s Canon EOS 5D Mark II full frame camera and Kirsten‘s 35mm f/1.4 lens, both considerable steps up from my current kit, and great fun to shoot with.
There was a slightly more-filled-out crowd for Modern Space by the time they took the stage — more people, says vocalist Sean, than their first Vancouver show — and this was one lucky crowd.
Modern Space is a crazy high-energy band who never stopped moving, and interacted with the audience many times through the night.
During their show in Edmonton, the power cut out before the band’s big single, Pen to Paper, so they performed it a capella. That turned out to be so much fun, they continued the tour by starting Pen to Paper with an audience-participation a capella chorus before kicking into the full song.
In another rare occurrence, the band hung around Victoria for the weekend — enjoying breakfasts, getting two tattoos and one nipple piercing, and taking breakwater walks — only leaving Monday morning after a quick stop for a chat and song at The Zone @ 91-3, where I managed to snag a full-setup rockstar portrait of the band (that first photo at the top).
Frankly, I enjoyed a bit of freedom to move around the otherwise sometimes claustrophobic Sugar, and I know that I was one of a select few to enjoy a great pair of performances.