By Brittany Rudyck
EDMONTON — It’s been nearly a year since six bands dueled song for song at The ARTery during the debut of the show series “Versus.” Round two is on deck at the Pawn Shop on February 21st, where a new crop of local favourites will share the stage and duke it out in front of what’s expected to be an enthusiastic crowd. This time around, Diamond Mind is up against Calgary’s Lab Coast, the Lad Mags face off against the Archaics, and The Wet Secrets will take on the Betrayers. All in three mind-blowing sets!
The series, which features two bands onstage at the same time playing song for song, was inspired by the 2010 movie, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Daniel Lenz, promoter of Edmonton’s Bermuda Festival and co-creator of Versus, wanted to offer up a unique live music experience that contributes to the local scene.
“The inclusion of different scenes makes the event bigger, and it promotes the individual musicians better. It builds a sense of community and incorporates a diverse background into the show,” says Lenz, who had to seek out a bigger venue for the second show due to the popularity of the first.
At the inaugural Versus, five Edmonton bands and one from Saskatoon jumped on stage and delivered a one-of-a-kind performance. The audience received a fresh take on a live show; the bands had added incentive to up their showmanship.
“Some of the bands dressed up last time, so it will be interesting to see how they embrace this event. It’s a good way to promote because everybody likes razzing on their friends,” says Lenz, after encouraging some mild trash talk between a few of the bands set to appear on the bill.
While bands will hit the stage together and duke it out song for song, this is no battle of the bands. As Lenz explains, “there are no winners. I called it ‘Versus’ because we don’t want it to be a battle of the bands. It’s more of a fun event, like a spectacle where you’ll never see the show or the bands in this format again.”
Not only is the show one of a kind, it also provides concertgoers a taste of the current local scene. David Ferris, promoter for the Endless Bummer Festival and the other mastermind behind Versus says, “It’s a good cross section of the different stuff going on in the Edmonton and Calgary music scenes. I can’t see anybody not liking at least a couple of these bands.”
Lenz and Ferris are all ready planning part three for June, which will have a new theme and new bands to go head to head for your enjoyment. All the more reason to get excited about the Bermuda and Endless Bummer festivals. Summer can’t come soon enough.
Don’t miss the second Versus with The Wet Secrets, the Betrayers, the Archaics, the Lad Mags, Diamond Mind and Lab Coast on February 21 at the Pawn Shop.AB, Alberta, Diamond Mind, Lab Coast, Pawn Shop, The Archaics, The Betrayers, The Lad Mags, The Wet Secrets, Versus