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Tim Baker at the Commodore Ballroom

Review – Tim Baker at the Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver, Jun 1 2019

– review by Julie Rankin

Whether with an artful turn of phrase, a well-placed drumbeat or the uplifting swell of a chorus, artist Tim Baker knows how to write a song that will speak to you one way or another. The St. John’s musician performed a selection of these heartfelt tunes for an adoring crowd at the Commodore Ballroom as part of his North American tour.

The former lead singer of Hey Rosetta performed songs from his new album, Forever Overhead, as well as a few renditions of some Hey Rosetta favourites. Though the crowds greatest reactions were to classics like the 2011 single, “Welcome”, they surprised Baker by singing along energetically to his new song, “Two Mirrors”. The reception to this new song, that has yet to be released as a single, was enough to make Baker forget the words, twice.

Baker was joined on stage by bandmates Sam Gleason on guitar, Liam O’Neill on drums and Zach Bines on bass, with Nico Paulo providing support on vocals and percussion. Near to the end of his set, Baker invited a few additional friends to join him on stage.

Fans of the Vancouver music scene were treated to a surprise sing-along featuring members of Said the Whale and Yukon Blonde as well as Dan Mangan. The group joined together for “All Hands”, the latest single from Baker’s new album. An expression for ‘everyone’ in St. John’s, “All Hands” was a fitting track for the supportive group. On stage with at least a few of his friends Baker sang, “All my hands are with me, yeah, and it’s like a dream / Lovers and Kin, they all come back to me”.

What would have been a fitting end to the evening, wasn’t. Baker and his band performed another song to end their regular set before returning to the cheering crowd for an encore. Full of feeling after a sincere night of music and camaraderie, an ecstatic audience cheered for Baker long after his second exit.

Titus Calderbank opened the show with an enjoyable acoustic set. The local Vancouver musician performed a selection of folk-rock songs including his 2018 single “Mistakes”. Charlotte Cornfield was up next. In her dry vocal style, she sang a selection of offbeat songs from her discography. The singer-songwriter played the electric guitar with some additional support from two of Baker’s bandmates.

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