Other Lives at the Media Club, Vancouver, Dec 9 2011
– by Shawn Conner/photos by Robyn Hanson
Even Other Lives singer Jesse Tabish didn’t seem to know how many times he’d played the Media Club; “seven or eight”, I think he conjectured from the stage. Before the Oklahoma band’s set, while waiting to go on, Other Lives’ cellist Jenny Hsu was overheard telling an audience member that she’d played the venue with the group (and its previous incarnation Kunek), a total of six times.
Yet this was the first headlining show at the small club for everyone’s favourite opening act (Other Lives has opened for The Rosebuds, Bat for Lashes and Bon Iver, among others). It’s also probably the last time we’ll see them at this size of a venue, too – the joint was packed to the rafters.
If you had wanted to see any of the action, you would have had to arrive well before opener JBM (Jesse Marchant playing echo-y, My Morning Jacket-sounding epics) to cadge a space on the floor in front of the low-rise stage. Tabish seemed genuinely grateful for the attendance, thanking everyone for coming out; as a late-stage bandwagon-jumper, I definitely felt a little out of place. Where was I the last few times?
With such numbers, Other Lives – who play an exotic, atmospheric strain of serious, moody pop – most likely will be headlining a much larger venue next time. That is, after they fulfill their tour obligations opening for Radiohead on the first leg of that band’s North American tour next year.