I sat here with this window open and blank almost all day; I wanted to say something profound about how gorgeous and heartbreaking and wonderful the Rural Alberta Advantage were last night, how Nils’ voice made me shudder and Paul’s drumming made me laugh and dance in a crowd that was, otherwise, quietly and politely appreciative, how Amy’s keyboards pull it all together perfectly. But that’s the best I can do, other than saying that “Don’t Haunt This Place” made me cry quietly in that crowd, tears pouring down my face for good reasons and no good ones at all — because we need this oh so bad, because i need you oh so bad — and it was wonderful. A huge sound in a small space, the songs I needed most right then.
The RAA aren’t one of my favorite bands — they wouldn’t even break the top 100, I don’t think — but last night’s show was exactly the show I needed at exactly the right moment in time, those huge songs about huge spaces, about loss and leaving and love. Right now it’s vying with Superchunk for the best set I’ve seen this year. (As always: if I see a Canadian band, it is fair to assume that Pam introduced me to 96% of them.)
Los Angeles’ Pepper Rabbit opened, and they were both delightful on stage and off, when I chatted them up after their set. Part electronica looping, part indie rock band, they’re catchy and sunshiney in the way that good LA pop bands should be — interesting with just that hint of surf rock shine. A+ opening set, will go see again.