Helio Sequence at the Biltmore Cabaret, Vancouver, Feb 15 2013
– text by Shawn Conner/photos by Robyn Hanson
On a West Coast tour in support of their fifth album, Negotiations, Helio Sequence played Vancouver Friday night. The Portland duo brought along another group from Rose City, the mostly instrumental Talkdemonic.
Helio Sequence is guitarist/vocalist Brandon Summers and drummer Benjamin Weikel. The group’s set start strong, with the second song the killer track “Can’t Say No” from 2009’s Keep Your Eyes Ahead. The set ended with another great song from that album, “Lately”.
Talkdemonic is also usually a duo, in this case of drummer Kevin O’Connor and violinist Lisa Molinaro. However, for this tour the group has expanded to a four-piece. The group built up a terrific wall-of-sound featuring songs from its latest, Ruins, from 2011.
Unfortunately the opener played to a scarce audience, though the Biltmore’s dancefloor had filled by the time the headliner came on. Strangely, a gaggle of girls at the front seemed delighted for the whole of Helio Sequence’s set – “strangely” because they don’t seem to be the type of guitar-based indie-rock band to attract this kind of female frenzy. As I remarked to my girlfriend, it was as though these girls had been trapped in a cabin in Whistler for a few days with nothing to listen to but Helio Sequence, and had forcibly become fans. They did look like they would normally be saving this energy for Mumford and Sons or, God forbid, Jack Johnson.
But hey, I’m not judging – it was just a little odd. But their enthusiasm definitely added to the show.