Esben and the Witch in Vancouver, photos

Rachel Davies with Esben and the Witch at the Waldorf, Vancouver, March 26 2011. Ashley Tanasiychuk photo

Rachel Davies with Esben and the Witch at the Waldorf, Vancouver, March 26 2011. Ashley Tanasiychuk photo

Concert photo gallery – Esben and the Witch at the Waldorf, Vancouver, March 26 2011

– photos and text by Ashley Tanasiychuk

A mellow and hypnotic performance by Julianna Barwick opened the evening Saturday night at The Waldorf Hotel’s downstairs cabaret. Performing on her own, she looped  her voice into a sampler, creating atmospheric soundscapes that would have been more appreciated on a weekday talent night.

But it was a Saturday night in East Van, and the crowd wanted more. And headliners Esben and the Witch brought more. More volume, more intensity, and more dynamics.

Esben and the Witch at the Waldorf, Vancouver, March 26 2011. Ashley Tanasiychuk photo

Esben and the Witch at the Waldorf, Vancouver, March 26 2011. Ashley Tanasiychuk photo

The English indie rock band, named after a Danish fairy tale, had very little to say to their fans, other than to mention that this was the last date of their West Coast tour. Although the set was definitely too short at under one hour (an 11 p.m. live music curfew frees up the stage for DJs to bring in the dance-dance-party crowd), all three members (Rachel Davies, Daniel Copeman, Thomas Fisher) made the most of every minute they had on the small tiki-flavoured stage.

Cruising through tracks from their recently released debut album, Violet Cries, the trio brought a different flavour to each song. But one common theme ran through them all: energy. Energy in vocal projection, energy in body movements (as each member refused to stay in their corner of the stage), and energy in percussive power (dropping their instruments to come together to beat the living crap out pieces of a drumkit).

Rachel Davies with Esben and the Witch at the Waldorf, Vancouver, March 26 2011. Ashley Tanasiychuk photo

Rachel Davies with Esben and the Witch at the Waldorf, Vancouver, March 26 2011. Ashley Tanasiychuk photo

It was a shame the cabaret was only at half capacity. Although the crowd cheered with appreciation from this truly satisfying show, Esben and the Witch deserved an all-out roar.

Rachel Davies with Esben and the Witch at the Waldorf, Vancouver, March 26 2011. Ashley Tanasiychuk photo

Rachel Davies with Esben and the Witch at the Waldorf, Vancouver, March 26 2011. Ashley Tanasiychuk photo

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