PEAK PERFORMANCE PROJECT 2015 BC Showcase #2
October 1, 2015 - @ Fortune SoundClub, Vancouver
By Jordan Taylor
With cheap beer at the ready, the second Peak Performance Project lived up to its reputation as one of Vancouver's premier local band showcases. The show had a little bit of something for everyone with a wide range of sounds and talent on full display.
FIND THE OTHERS
Starting the night off right was the alternative duo aptly named Find the Others from Bowen Island. The band played a number of melodic tunes on just about every subject; from "This vampire has seen better nights" to pulling inspiration from their journey to Iceland in The Things You Want, I oddly found myself making comparisons to a mellow, relaxed Coldplay.
At times balance became an issue, with drums overpowering the vocals and making it difficult to make out the lyrics. However, the synchronization of a variety of high resolution music videos playing on the screen behind them made up for it. The visuals were breathtaking, matched perfectly with the performance, and adding a little something extra to their stage presence.
Overall Find the Others was like a wild psychedelic dream with no hallucinogens needs.
I had high expectations for the second band, as the crowd began chanting his name at every opportunity during breaks between shows, needless to say I was not disappointed. Jesse Roper came out with all guns blazing in their opening song, Apparition, with a full ensemble; complete with back-up singers and a horn section. Things I don't normally see integrated into a rock and roll band well were excellent in his songs.
Each song had that classic 90's rock and roll feel but included a great blues root soul sound to make them truly unique. Hurricane's Eye was a great example with two harmonica sections that got the crowd going and great solo sections from different parts of the band. Yukon Girl with an opening reggae lick that shifted into a high-energy stomp, and Cupid – a blues rock ballad that didn't miss a beat. Jesse Roper had the best energy of the night by far, it helps when his Vancouver Island faithful comes out to support, but you don't make fans without being good. From his Gun's and Roses outfit, stage gallivanting, and contagious smile, the whole bar was in full swing from start to finish. The man is a true performer, during his final song when he brought all his fans onto the stage, one man wound up and gave the spank of a lifetime to him mid-performance! While I got a good laugh, I was impressed how he didn't miss a beat and continued playing.
SMASH BOOM POW
The night ended off right with a bang with another alternative band called Smash Boom Pow - with the same setup as Find the Others in a lead singer, guitarist and drummer. The similarities stop there as their high-pitched vocals and rock sound carried on late into the night.
The opening song Listen To Me was much slower than the previous set performed which was a huge shift in energy. I found the mic effects took away from the overall sound as the lead singer has a great voice and the effects masked his talent, turning his vocals into a mash of sound. Listening on I warmed up to the band and found some great hits like Do You Feel with its awesome guitar and drumming. Finishing with their upbeat new song, Friends, I enjoyed its repetitive but catchy chorus. Jesse Roper was a tough act to follow, but Smash Boom Pow knew their strengths and played well with good reception from the crowd.