May 3, 2011

The Rural Alverta Advantage

"This is the biggest show that we've played in Toronto!"; Exclaimed the multi-instrumentalist Amy Cole,  in front of hundreds of her die hard fans. Cole is of course a member of one of today's most buzzed indie bands - the Rural Alberta Advantage. The RAA were revisited their hometown on April 29th, 2011 at the Phoenix for the release of their second album; Departing.

"We used to play in a bar 2 blocks away from this venue; there was a band who told us that in two years they would play in the Phoenix - and we laughed."; front man, Nils Edenloff said - sharing their dream-come-true story. The grassroots trio had come a long way to perform at one of Toronto's most prestigious venues. A success much deserved.
It was an all-ages show and it brought a whole different atmosphere in its entirety, front to back. Impassioned  teenagers conjured  mosh pits and even crowd surfing, which I'd never imaged to witness with their folk rock tunes. "We play an all age show so that we can see mosh pits!", joked by Edenloff.  The drum wizard, Paul Banwatt, was also smiling, while witnessing crazy crowd surfing in the front.
Despite overexcited teenage fans, older crowds seemed to enjoy their performance by joining songs with their  instrumental called, "hand-clapping", with songs like "Edmonton", and " The ballad of the RAA."  Although the trio performed more songs from their first album, "Hometowns", they didn't forget to share their amazing tunes from the second album including "Under the Knife" and "Stamps".  I was overwhelmed by the fact that I was witnessing Banwatt's tremendous drumming right in front, which I vowed to do so last time that I saw their performance. It definitely worth the long wait and I can proudly claim that he is one of my favorite drummers today.The show got even sweeter when Eldenloff came back on the stage alone and performed a cover of "the Littlest Hobos"

It's been almost three years since I've witnessed their performance for the first time in a tent during the V-festival in 2009. The trio was nobody back then. Yet, they managed to keep  the same intimacy with the audience in the sold-out phoenix show.  The Rural Alberta Advantage is definitely one of the bands that I need to see every time that they perform in the town.

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