The Stars Aligned

Many of us have a bucket list for a specific hobby or just life in general. It is a list of things you want to accomplish before you die. For music, over time I’ve grown a list of my own. There are a few likely impossible, and a few feasible. However, one that has been on mine for near a decade has been Propagandhi. To say that I was looking forward to this night would be an understatement. Add in the fantastic music that is Bad Cop/Bad Cop with the band I should have seen sooner, RVIVR, to make for one of my favorite shows I’ve attended.

Opening up were the girls with an album sitting in my favorites of 2017, Bad Bad/Bad Cop. Make no mistake, I would have been at a show they play without Propagandhi on the bill. They played appropriately more of the new album with a few from the prior. The prior included showing off their great harmonies once more with “Nightmare.”

If you want a great example of how to have a stage presence, look to the gals of this band. We have Myra flashing smiles of enjoyment behind drums. Linh Le looking for any excuse to be an acrobat while paying bass. Stacy Dee moves from side to side of the stage when not strictly singing vocals on a song.  Jennie rocks the guitar while singing into the microphone occasionally joining the others for fun theatrics. Although the set didn’t appear any less of the experience, Jennie managed a solid performance despite under the weather. Overall the set just reinforced why Bad Cop/Bad Cop is such a superb band.

Next up was a band I thought I had seen before, but I would have remembered such an excellent performance like RVIVR. This was a band that I had heard only positive opinions on going in. Even with this, I was blown away by their performance. After a few songs taking pictures, I just went back into the crowd and admired their set from a distance that I could see the entire stage. On top of all of this, their presence and music is a perfect complement to follow Bad Cop/Bad Cop.

I’ve been trying to put a finger on what their music reminds me closest to. Erica’s vocals remind me of Miski in City Mouse. Meanwhile the fast paced, eccentric makeup of the songs resembles that of a Jeff Rosenstock written and performed song. It combines for a performance that convinced me that I had to have, at least, a CD of their music, despite my current financial woes. RVIVR left that great of an impression.

Last up was that bucket list band, the one I had never seen live until this night, Propagandhi. Right out of the gate, their personalities stand out immediately. The jokes and expressions made through the set were hilarious. Examples include their twist on the cliché happy to be in your city, but in their case after saying “Mesa” they kept including every Phoenix suburb they could think of. Apparent from the outset, they are a band that does not take life too seriously.

Speaking of another favorite album of 2017, the Propagandhi setlist consisted of a good blend of the new tracks with fantastic old tracks. From “Zoochosis” to great older tracks like “Back to the Motor League.” I actually found myself stop taking pictures halfway through. Turned out looking back on it, I just propped my head on the side of the stage to take in the rest of the set. That is how enjoyable this experience was. To finally have seen Propagandhi live and with a killer lineup behind them, it was a magical night I will not soon forget.

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