Review by: Olivia Perry
As someone who’s only lived in Victoria for half of the band’s 10 years, Everybody Left had never crossed my radar before ANIÁN announced their 10 year anniversary show (obviously I’ve been frequenting the wrong circles). Despite my naivety, I know ANIÁN only books bands that have equally as much fun playing on stage as the crowd the yard tends to attract. And this is no secret—at least not to the folks who get their shit together fast enough to jump on the (very) limited tickets before they sell out each show… and they always do.
By the time Victoria’s Jake McFadden and Adam Periera of Vancouver kicked off the evening, the sky was bluebird but the wind was blustering like you wouldn’t believe. Echo Nebraska was originally supposed to take the opening spot but cancelled a week before due to a medical issue. McFadden and Periera set the tone for the evening in a most appropriate West Coast fashion, though ironically the two met and began playing music together in their hometown of Burlington, Ontario. The duo’s laid-back mix of folky reggae was cinched with fervent harmonies from Periera (who had the greatest shit-eating grin on his face throughout the entire set) and was accompanied by lyrics about Tofino and scaling the coast of Vancouver Island. It felt like a frigid February day in the yard, but their sunny vibe and a cover of Sublime’s “Summertime” loosened the crowd up for the night to come.
It finally started warming up during Sexweather’s set, partly because the small space was starting to fill but also due to the explosion of energy that was continuously radiating from the stage. Even as a single force, Kady Savard’s striking vocals are somehow a perfect contender for the sheer horsepower driving the band’s drums, bass, and guitar. The whole thing was snappy and dynamic, but what started off bluesy progressed into a groovier, salsa-influenced set with Caribbean vibes. They wrapped up with drummer Nathan Shelby abandoning his drums to freestyle at the front of the stage—all this affirming that Sexweather is even better live than their EP suggests.
Contrary to common perception, Everybody Left earned their namesake when its founding members united out of the ashes of bands they had formerly been involved with. The now six-member band has grown in many aspects over the last decade; two of the original four have recently moved on (one to travel, the other to practice medicine). Friday marked not just the band’s own birthday, but also the six year anniversary of Victoria sound engineering wizard Martin Milbo Schoeps joining the band on keyboard.
Seeing Everybody Left live made it utterly clear why they’ve kept doing what they’ve been doing all these years. Their set was an inferno of manic keyboard and sax solos sandwiched between spitfire ska verses from Stephen Chatterton, who’s a legend in his own right (the guy wore shades throughout the entire set and it wasn’t weird). A couple of 2-minute power outages didn’t slow down the party much, and when the liquor license shut the place down at 11, they killed the show with an encore of their classic “Down to Ride.” If their performance was any indication, these guys haven’t aged a day in the last decade, and with their first full-length album arriving late this summer, I’m looking forward to the next 10.