Concert Review: The Rural Alberta Advantage, June 1, La Flèche d’Or

Paris – Seeing a band from home (Toronto, that is) in another country is an interesting proposition.  You wonder what the crowd will be like and whether the reception will differ.  As it turns out, the crowd for a Rural Alberta Advatage show in France is pretty similar to one in Toronto, the main difference being you could still buy tickets at the door on the night of the Paris show. 

As it so happened, this was the final night of the RAA’s tour, and as they stated numerous times from the stage, they couldn’t think of a better place to end their tour.  I can see what they mean.  Despite the fact that they probably never expected to be playing Paris in the first place (let alone playing it multiple times), the venue itself was fairly impressive.  Nothing too fancy mind you, it was a regular club, but the staff there seems to put a lot of effort into making sure the show runs smoothly.  They have a pretty efficient stage crew to help the bands set up and tear down and I noticed a very precise schedule they had typed up and posted by the sound board outlining exactly when each band should arrive, do sound check, when they changeover between bands should be and so on.  I’m sure many venues do this, but it seemed especially noticeable here.

As one might expect, there were a few Canadians in the crowd and when singer Nils Edenloff  introduced one song by saying, “I was born in Alberta,” one audience member interrupted him.  “Where in Alberta?”  “I was born in Edmonton.”  The audience member pointed out that Edmonton is in fact not rural, to which multi-instrumentalist Amy Cole added, “Nils got called out!”

As usual for a RAA show, they played a thoroughly enjoyable, totally high energy set.  They may be classified as a “folk” band by some by virtue of the fact that Nils plays an acoustic guitar and that the band got it’s start playing open mic nights, but only occasionally does the RAA slip into music that is more restrained or subdued.  They generally go full throttle, ploughing through their songs with the energy of a band that just consumed a gallon of amphetamine-laced coffee and tonight was no exception, thanks in large part to the always impressive drumming of Paul Banwatt.  Aren’t bands supposed to be tired and less energetic after they’re been on the road for three months?  Apparently not the RAA.  The city of Paris and I are thankful for that.

The Rural Alberta Advantage-Stamp by Canadian Blast

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Posted on by Paul in Concerts, Everything

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