Show Review – “Wintercoast – Watching Friends Perform”

WintercoastThere’s no experience like hanging out with friends then seeing them perform. It’s magical to hear them speak with their instruments and truly express themselves without the barrier, or restriction of language, and conversation etiquette possibly allowing for a greater understanding of friends on a different level. However, with the contemporary, experimental stylings of Dissonant Disco, this is hardly the truth. How mysterious!

When we arrived at the Astoria, a venue-bar located in East Hastings, opening band, Dissonant Disco was just starting to set up on stage. Luckily, this gave us time to catch up a bit and hang out. The other band we got to see was past interviewee band, Wintercoast, which we were excited to see because of their new lineup and general revamp with new songs and instrumentation.

As a collective of artists, Dissonant Disco is always modular with their musicians often dependant on something as simple as availability, which makes for a unique live experience every time. This one consisting of saxophone, electric guitar, bass, trumpet, analog synth, and vocals, it was definitely a departure from the usual suspects when seeing live music in Vancouver. Starting off with an atmospheric, rhythmic build, and taking off from there, the set consisted of structured improvisation. Referring to certain places within a piece as a group, but also individually exploring their own journey within the physical limitations of their instruments this made way for abstracts sound created using unorthodox ways. Although there were no lyrics, having vocals gave the music relatability, a valuable connection considering a sound that is so out of this world. Throughout their two pieces consisting of forty minute of music, some people were deep in a trance, letting it take them into unknown territory. What was most captivating was a section where they were interweaving sounds from different instruments that were similar to each other to the point it was difficult to make out which sounds were coming from which instrument. The use of delays and other effects made this game harder, but more fun to play.

Witnessing Wintercoast’s new sound was a treat! Although they have downsized in members, they sounded much bigger than ever, filling up the bar with their light hearted jams and nostalgic lyrics. The transition from acoustic guitar to piano of frontman, Andrei couldn’t be more welcoming. Although most would argue that being stationed at a keyboard would restrict your ability to move and perform freely, he proved that notion to be false. Using two mics, one by the keys, and other, front, centre stage, he sang powerfully, jumped, kicked and dance throughout the whole set without a hint of noticeable exhaustion. The meticulously crafted creamy guitar tone of the guitarist cut through the mix and put the audience in wonderland with sparkling echos. However, what really kept the feeling alive and energy pumping was the drummer. Clearly showing discipline and passion for the music, he held the band together, but also threw in some impressively tasteful fills and beats. Great new sound, looking forward to the future release!

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