By Erin Jardine
February 11, 2016
VANCOUVER — “Bring earplugs” was Mike Allen’s tagline in the days leading up to Space Elevator’s debut performance. Promising a complex, loud fusion of jazz, metal, and other genres, Space Elevator drew attention and The Fox Cabaret was buzzing early in the evening. To witness a big band full of young people was a sight to behold, usually it’s too complicated, too much work, or too expensive to pull together a show such as this.
Not for Mike Allen, who claimed this show was years in the making: “I kept writing and writing and I set the date for this show… finally I was like wow I better stop writing.” The show appeared exceptionally well organized, with a timely transition between the beautiful openers, Only A Visitor, and the space needed for the horde of musicians playing as Space Elevator to take the stage.
However, it was not enough to justify cheap earplugs being thrown into the first few rows of the crowd and it was not heavy enough to tag “metal” in its description. Nonetheless, the warbling trumpet and trombone sections with well-composed solos and the weird banter of Allen narrating the performance made for a memorable show. Space Elevator is a worthy achievement of departure from the norm, successfully subverting traditional big bands before them.BC, British Columbia, Fox Cabaret, Only A Visitor, Space Elevator