Goodnight, Sunrise celebrate their one-year anniversary at El Mocambo

Goodnight, Sunrise

by Michael Thomas

Just yesterday I published a review of Goodnight, Sunrise’s debut EP, and I’ve already had the chance to go and see them live. As the headline suggested, the show was in celebration of one year of the band being together. And while time restraints prevented me from seeing the final band, The Mercy Now, I still had plenty to like in the other three bands.

The first band up was Rulers of the Moon, and it was apparently their first show altogether. The band members were a mixture- two guys with muscle shirts, two guys in jeans and a t-shirt and one guy in a dress shirt, tie and vest. They played lots of loud rock and roll.

The band definitely had a lot of energy, which is always a good thing. The lead singer always had something to say in between songs. Their set had two covers, one of which was what I’m assuming to be a Beastie Boys song.

Next up were Papermaps, a band of whom I will probably never get tired of seeing (though it was only my second time seeing them, I can confirm this). The band has an undeniable chemistry. Papermaps never seems like four musicians playing on the same stage- they’re clearly a unit, and each band member is always picking up on signals from the others.

Their set this time was mostly songs from their self-titled debut album with a few new numbers thrown in. They very effortlessly segued from the song “Forever” into the killer “Complicate Things.” The crowd was suitably enthused when the band played “Reunion,” arguably one of the catchiest songs imaginable. They ended their set with “You Are My Gallows,” the slow-burning but powerful song that ends their album as well. I could definitely hear a lot of the audience yelling the background vocals.

And then it was time for the honoured band of the night to take the stage, and that was Goodnight, Sunrise. I had gotten just a small taste of what they were capable of with their EP, but seeing them live was another experience entirely. Lead vocalist/guitarist David Kochberg started off by himself, playing his electric guitar, before the other three band members joined him on stage.

One thing that I have noticed is that Goodnight, Sunrise are a fantastic jam band, in the sense that they can play long, extended musical interludes but not make them feel gratuitous. And just like with Papermaps, the band members always seemed in tune with each other. Bass player Andrew Charters was especially fun, often playing right at the front of the stage and once even stepping into the audience.

The band naturally played all three songs from the EP along with a few others which I don’t know the names of yet. For one song they had the lights turned low and started passing out glow sticks to everyone and created a mini rave for one song. At one point other lead vocalist Vanessa Vakharia said “We’re going to play an oldie, but a goldie.” I thought she was referring to an old song but it ended up being a pretty triumphant cover of Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer.”

It was definitely a very festive atmosphere, and the audience made it even more so with its enthusiasm. When band and audience are that much in synch, the results are always great.

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