By Jessica Brodeur
April 28, 2015
VANCOUVER — Last week was a special night in Vancouver when Zaac Pick released his latest treasure in his hometown. Constellations has been a huge undertaking – just read his blog for an idea of how much work went into it.
The night at the Fox was opened up by Calgary’s Boreal Sons, of which Pick is an honourary member. He filled in as an emergency band member on the Sons’ latest tour and Peak Performance Alberta stint. He also opened for their album release, so this turn of tables was most welcome between the band brothers. Boreal Sons played their mesmerizing piano-driven ballads and poetic tunes with passion and vigor, exactly the tone for which they were written. Unlike the usual mostly calm set, Evan Acheson took the piano on a five-minute detour of a trippy keyboard effects solo. It was a wild departure, a spacey warp that was undecipherable and almost impossible to repeat or transpose, but brought out the experimental side of this otherwise traditional band. If improving is an indication of an artist who plays from their soul, Boreal Sons and Acheson were pouring their hearts out.
Before the musical main course, Pick took the time and diligence to introduce himself, sincerely thank everyone, offer cake and celebrate this anticipated moment. The set was not only a nice first show to hear Constallations, Pick’s April 2015 release live, but it was also a huge breath of relief. Every song was like another accomplishment coming together. The set opened up with the amazing Chan brothers on strings, which had the effect not only of filling the room, but of orchestrating the songs in a cinematic way, evoking everything from country fiddle to jazz depending on the song. The great thing about Pick’s writing is that from song to song the inspiration seemed to range from Ella Fitzgerald to Bahamas to Ryan Adams. “Roses” was a favourite, it’s just so different from other indie-folk and really creates a musical time warp with its retro vibes. Silence fell at a few times throughout the night, Pick’s steadfast voice during “Fury on my Mind” paired with the bellowing electric guitar certainly did the trick. Something about the heavy lyrics made the song sound extra amplified. Constellations is a stunning record and the show was no different. The final song of the encore was of course Pick’s darling “Whitewater” from 2011, which got everyone’s inner singer and dancer going, finally stirring some movement in the eerily still crowd.BC, Boreal Sons, British Columbia, Fox Cabaret, Zaac Pick