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Ours ~ Dancing Alone

Ours Concert Review
by: gwynneth bird
The Palace
Calgary, AB
June 27, 2001

Let me begin by reliving how it was that I ended up at the Calgary show, rather than the Edmonton show, which was my original intent.
I didn’t know about the show in Edmonton until two days before when I saw the Universal concert list in the record store where I work. So, I called the club in the afternoon the day of the show and it wasn’t sold out, great. Typically, by the time we got there, it was. Shortly after seeing the infamous “sold out” sign on the door, I heard “Ours” begin. They were whom I was there to see; can’t say that I’d ever heard anything by Powderfinger before. So, we (I had dragged a friend with me to see the show) ran around to the back door to at least try to get in. No go. But at least the security guard at the back door was nice enough to let us stand by the door to hear the set. Eventually he had to boot us as Powderfinger was about to arrive.

I had the strongest feeling as we were walking from the back door not to just get in my car and leave, so we sat in the parking lot for a few minutes, and the band walked out and onto the tour bus. I wanted to meet them at least, and tell them that I think they are fantastic, but I am way too much of a chicken to knock on the bus door. Well, low and behold the guy selling hot dogs outside of the club says that a roadie promised him a tour of the bus, and knocks on the door for me. A girl who tours with the band (in charge of lights, I believe) answers his knock and is having none of it, but when he says that my friend and I missed the show, Jimmy Gnecco, the singer for “Ours” comes to the door and waves us over. He seems concerned and asks what happened. So, of course I tell him, and invites us on the bus.

We meet most of the band and they are all apologetic that we missed the show, and extremely nice. Small talk and banter is exchanged and someone pops in to tell them that the press junket is about to begin, “whenever they are ready” (god, I would love to be a rock star and have life happen ‘whenever I’m ready’). So, as we disembark the bus there are more apologies, promises of “next time, knock on the door before the show, and we’ll get you on the list”, and hugs all around. I quickly asked if they were playing in Calgary tomorrow and they said they were. Then I said maybe we’d see them there, they took our names and promised that we’d be on the list. Perfect.

So, fast-forward, one shift at the record store, a 4 hour drive to Calgary, several rude bouncers, and the promised guest list; and here we are at the show. Got there just in time (thank god, because it would have felt like fate if I’d have missed them twice) to get a drink and mosey on up to the barrier in front of the stage. It’s not really that much of a push because, sadly, no one really knows who these guys are, YET.

Out come the band, and they begin with the first track on their new album, (“Distorted Lullabies”) called “Fallen Souls”. 30 seconds in I’m mesmerized. For this Jeff Buckley fan the similarities are too much. There are moments when I actually wonder if he is Jeff Buckley, and has faked his own death to escape fame. But then, touring with a charting band wouldn’t be the brightest idea, now would it?

Alas, the set leads on, and once I am again secure in the fact that he isn’t Jeff, I’m just watching the show. I find it exciting to see emerging talent as great as this. The crowd isn’t overjoyed, but when they break into Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” I can hear them all singing along and I know that some of them are impressed by the awestruck look on random faces in the crowd. Of course, I’m not really paying attention to the audience, as I can’t take myself away from the band and this incredible show. I’ve seen some really great concerts in my time, but few have felt as personal as this one. Perhaps it was the subtle nods I got from the members that I had met the night previous in Edmonton, or perhaps it was the music, and the way that it touches me. But there’s one thing for sure, I felt alive, and this wonderful band was the cause.

The lead singer, Jimmy Gnecco has an incredible ability to sound like many different people you’ve heard before; from U2’s Bono, Jeff Buckley (of course), the Tea Party’s Jeff Martin, to Queen’s Freddie Mercury, all while maintaining an originality that makes the sound unique. You can easily hear, in the tightness of the band, the fact that they’ve all known each other forever, which is so apparent as they follow each other around in the music and never miss a beat.

I can only imagine what will happen when this band gets a headlining tour and a longer set, for a crowd of their own fans. The electricity they put out will be powerful enough to light a medium-sized city for a week, and will emit through every person within earshot. I shall think that the high from a concert like that will last for a week, because I am still buzzing, 2 days later, from the short set, to a less-than-enchanted crowd, that I saw in Calgary. This band apparently draws light and life from the fans and will explode when they see the reaction that I can see is imminent as their star continues to rise. I know I’m going to do my best to get the music heard through my job at the record store, and I can’t wait to watch their popularity grow. I just hope that as it does, it doesn’t mean that I’ll lose my place on the guestlists of future that were promised.

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gwynneth bird
Edmonton, Alberta

Ours fans since July 3, 2001