The Wooden Sky @ The Ebar – 31 March 2013

The Wooden Sky @ Ebar - 31 Mar 2013

The Wooden Sky at The Ebar
Guelph ON
31 March 2013

I am a little behind in updating the ol’ website these days.  It has been two weeks since I saw The Wooden Sky in Guelph and I am only now getting around to writing a review…and I have some new albums sitting on my desk to get to as well.  I am going to keep this one short, mainly because I waited too damn long and cannot remember most of the set list.  But I’ll give it a go anyway.

So, The Wooden Sky.  I do not really like to stick artists into the standard predefined genres because so much of what I listen transcends a particular label.  But if I had to give The Wooden Sky a label so that people would better understand what was in store for them, I guess these guys would be folk-rock.  They strongly have elements of both.  Gavin Gardner, the songwriter and lead singer has a very folk voice and I must say it is one of the most unique I have heard in quite some time.  The man is a giant.  I think he might be Chewbacca’s son.  But the voice that comes out of this man is soulful, powerful and melodic.  A lot of Wooden Sky songs are not grab your balls rock but when it comes time to let the ES 335 wale, boy do they!

Concert wingman Bryan turned me on to The Wooden Sky about a year ago but I had yet to see them live.  So when I read they were coming to Guelph (home of me and Bryan) we jumped on those tickets and off we went.  I will not say anything about the open act because they were bad (not Daniel Romano bad but close).  One thing that was immediately noticeable was a line-up change in the band.  Gone was bassist and founding member Andrew Wyatt.  His replacement was none other than Anna Ruddick of Ladies of the Canyon (she also played on the kick-ass full band live version of Whitehorse’s “Devil’s Got A Gun”).  I found that her harmonies added a little something more to the band’s sound, and she’s a great bass player.

Like I said earlier, I cannot remember much of the set list but the band did try out a couple new tunes that I really enjoyed and made me look forward to the new album.  The highlight of the night for me came in the encore when Gavin stepped out from the stage and played unamplified and unmiked.  The crowd sing-a-long of “Oh My God (Still Means A Lot To Me)” was just awesome.  And as they typically do, the band covered Tom Petty’s “American Girl” in the encore.  It was great.

The crowd at this venue was a pain-in-the ass.  If you’re not there to see the music, then FUCK OFF!!  Too much talking.  Too much walking back and forth to the bar.  Seriously, you can’t wait until the end of the set for a drink?  Then there was Captain Hairdo who was 9 1/2 feet tall and halfway through the show decided to stand right in front of me.  Bumped me repeatedly, stepped on my feet, even leaned on my hand on the side bar.  He was in my touchbubble!  I don’t like that.  What a douche.  Oh ya and he needed a drink every 5 minutes.  Especially during the very acoustic encore people would not shut up.  It is a small venue folks, if you want to talk, go to the back.  Bryan and I were both so annoyed by the yuppie assholes at this show we did not stick around afterwards and chat with the band as we do at every show.

On the bright side, The Wooden Sky was great.  They had all three of their albums on vinyl at the merch table.  So of course I had to pick those up because I am a vinyl nut.

If you get a chance to go see The Wooden Sky, I highly recommend them as a live act.  Their albums are very very good.  If you want to start with one, I recommend “If I Don’t Come Home, You’ll Know I’m Gone”, their sophomore album on Black Box Recordings.