It was a nice Friday summer evening this past Friday August 16th at Quai des Brumes, and a perfect night to enjoy two bands that both won back-to-back Battle for Life/Battle of the Bands fundraisers and those fans who showed up at the St. Denis Street rock club were treated to an evening of straight ahead indie sounds from two different styles.
The Vare, who won this year’s event at Club Soda in April, and Brittany Kwasnik, who won the first event last August were on for this club concert organized to launch The Vare’s first club tour ending next Friday August 24th at the Double Door in Chicago.
After an inexplicable delay in getting things going and The Vare doing late sound check, Brittany Kwasnik started the evening, and at the same time, I had the chance to take in her new bassist, George Flores, who was in his second gig with his new band-mates and didn’t look at all out of place.
Brittany, in her 8-song set treated this audience to three new songs, showing her stockpile of songs making us want a third CD. Her first song, Nothing to Lose, is a sure winner that should be included on next collection, along with the 4th song, From the Ground, which was true to the Indie pop theme, then followed with the ballad Oh My Love, which is more of the indie folkish side, sprinkled in with 4 tracks from “The Covers and the Sheets” and ended with the rocker Fine.
With the summer season almost over and things usually settling down with people back to work and school, I am hearing, if everything goes to plan with stuff that’s in the works, it could be a big autumn for Brittany and company. So stay tuned as I am sworn to secrecy, but I can tell you to keep Saturday night, October 26th open.
The Vare, then was next up to start off their club tour. The group, relative newcomers to the local scene, consists of Gabriel Dennis, on drums, Jeff Lauber on bass, lead vocalist and lead guitarist Mikey Desjardins, and Lucas Liberatore on the keys but members showed off their multi-instrumentation by switching instruments at various tracks.
The Vare, recently released their first recorded offering, a six-song EP called Letterbox, which was produced by Gino Visconti, who also produced recently another local group, Half Moon Run. The Vare’s EP and music is a mix of deep driven keyboard riffs and passionate guitar licks and lines. They list some of their influences as Coldplay and the Kings of Leon and the band members come from various backgrounds like jazz, hard rock and metal.
Their set consisted of four tracks from their EP, along with a single track called Comfort, and three new songs, which were the first two and last tracks of their set. The first song, Room at Night caught my attention as it started off with a slick bluesy feel then went into rock overdrive. It was an awesome start to their set. Their next song, Surrogate, also an unrecorded one let them add a little humor saying it was about an ex-girlfriend, but I couldn’t make out any name if they mentioned one.
Their next track, Coat the Clocks, their 4th on their EP, showed off some pop catchiness, along with seemingly a dark side. Their last song of the night, went in full overdrive and had all band members rocking finishing off their set on a high note, a track that’s so awesome that it is as yet unnamed.
All in all, it was a hot August night of great indie sounds and a good start to The Vare’s club tour, which this week takes them to Ottawa, Toronto, Windsor, before ending in the WindyCity.