May 1st, 2009. The Paragon Theatre, Halifax
Fellow Concert goer: Julia Churchill
Headliner: Hey Rosetta!
Supporting: Rich Aucoin
This is a concert that I was looking forward to ever since I saw them opening up for Stars last November. They have so much energy and passion on stage and are something else to behold. Leading up to the concert I felt like such a fan boy getting so excited. Even though we showed up quite a bit after the doors opened, we were still able to go right to the front of the stage allowing us to have the best seats (even though we were standing) in the house.
The opening act was Rich Aucoin who put on a well organized and interactive show. It was just him at a keyboard and synthesizer, and a drummer. To his left was a screen that had videos projected onto it to line up with his songs. They included old Christmas classics such as Scrooge, Its a Wonderful Life, and the Grinch. It was rather cool to watch as he sang distorted vocals and played the keys in an almost futuristic way with the videos going on at the same time. At times he would run and grab a trumpet and play it behind the sheet the videos were being projected on. During his last song he got the crowd to sing along as he sprinkled glitter on the first few rows and then threw about twenty baloons into the crowd that continued to be passed around for a while afterwards.
Next Hey Rosetta! took to stage playing what I think is a new song called Seeds. (not 100% sure on that one). They then kicked into the upbeat Yes!Yes!Yes! from their Plan Your Escape EP. This was followed by I've Been Asleep For A Long, Long Time. At this point you knew it was going to be a good show. The energy was at a frenzy. The fans were into it, the band was into it, all indications of a special night. Next Tim Baker sat down at the keyboard to sing the beautiful song Tired Eyes. It starts off slow, or as Julia said, it sounds like a funeral. But by the end it explodes into a rocking song full of bass, drums, violin, cello, and a guitar solo at the end that pierces through everything. They followed this with more songs from the EP and their album. The crowd singing along word for word, Tim Baker looking half drunk/half posessed the whole time as every word was sang with passion. Then Tim introduced us all to Kinley Dowling who recorded violin on their album and also performed with them for a while. He also said that he had another special guest. When he started the opening chords of We Made A Pact on piano I grew very excited since I knew the special guest would be Haliax native/angel Jenn Grant. With one hand placed on Tim's back and another on the mic she sang through her part of the song. At the end of the song she gave Tim a kiss on the cheek which no doubt was very salty. They then played one of my personal favourites; Handshake the Gangster. Another song that follows the classic Hey Rosetta! pattern of a slow start that leads to a full out rocker. The live version featured an extended outro which was a blast to watch. I couldn't stop watching Romesh on the cello just being 100% into the music singing along and being as intense as a cello player can possibly be. They ended the main set with Black Heart. Kinley came back out for this one as well. And Romesh played the tamborine. At the end of the song he was just dancing like mad all over the stage. A great song to end the main set with. It was one of my favourite songs of the night to because it was just so fun to belt out the "Ooooo Oooo Ooooo's" during the bridge of the song.
For an encore Tim came out and played a song on the acoustic guitar (one I didn't recognize). The full band then came out and joined him as they finished off the song. And obviously they can't go through a show without playing New Goodbye. So that's how they ended the show. The whole crowd helped out by adding hand claps to throughout the intro. It was one of those songs you knew was going to be really special as at this point everybody in that club was completely tuned in. At the end of the song Tim came out to the front of the stage. It looked like he wanted to go crowd surfing. After getting a look of approval from the fans (i.e. us) right in front of him, he jumped out. He then was lifted to the back of the bar, and then back to the front again. Where I was standing there was a little bit of a gap, so I had to get my hands under him to keep him from falling to the floor. I, along with the people beside me helped give him a final thrust to the safety of the stage. It was a pretty exciting moment where the barrier between performer and audience was completely broken down. The whole show was amazing, it was awesome being right at the front. Making eye contact with Tim and other members of the band as they played. I'm sure they enjoyed looking out and seeing people enjoying their music and singing along.
I'm still on a concert high from Friday night, and I want to see these guys as many times as possible in my life. And if you ever have the chance to see them, don't think, just do.
Setlist (may not be 100% accurate)
Yes! Yes! Yes!
I've Been Asleep for a Long, Long Time
Lions for Scottie
There's An Arc
We Made A Pact (With Jenn Grant and Kinley Dowling)
Handshake the Gangster
Holy Shit (What a Relief)
A Thousand Suns
Black Heart (with Kinley Dowling)
New Goodbye (With Jenn Grant and Kinley)