by Thomas Sadek
February 3rd, 2018
One might have a difficult time trying to define Intervals’ musical genre. However, the full house at the Rickshaw last Saturday didn’t seem to care as they were dancing, head banging and moshing at the same time to a multitude of syncopated riffs and melodic shredding guitar solos.
The quartet, led by the proud Canadian guitarist Aaron Marshall, started the party with “Touch and Go”, the first track of their latest album The Way Forward, proving that you don’t need distortion cranked to 11 to bring the house down. And without much small talk or interaction with the crowd, apart from a warm “Good night, Vancouver” and smiles all over, they followed with “Impulsively Responsible” and “A Different Light”, keeping the energy levels high and masterfully transitioning from bossa nova-esque harmonies, to math rock modulations and progressive rock patterns.
The seats at the back of the Rickshaw were almost empty by the time they reached their set’s midway point – the polyphonic Belvedere had everyone dancing and clapping to Intervals’ instrumental funky virtuosity. But it was when they played “Alchemy”, a heavy hitter from their 2012 debut EP In Time, that the place felt really small. The dancing smiles and clap-alongs quickly morphed into a big circle pit where seven-stringed guitar djent-based riffs and hallucinating solos invited fans from all the rock ‘n roll spectrum to rock together, from the instrumental hip Tortoise lover to the high-intensity Sikth metalhead.
The sharp lighting game and smoky atmosphere also contributed for a fun and exciting show. And they saved the best for last: after playing “Libra”, from their 2015 The Shape of Colour, Intervals’ invited opening acts guitarists Jason Richardson and Nick Johnston onstage for a mind-blowing jam. And the crowd reaction was priceless – some had trouble keeping their mouth close to avoid drooling and some kept dancing, clapping and vibrating, but everyone had their eyes glued to the stage.
It is indeed a tough task to define Intervals’ sound, but here’s an idea: imagine if twins Carlos Santana and Joe Satriani had grown up listening to Meshuggah and Animals As Leaders while playing Sega Genesis’ Road Rash in the early 1990s. Now fuse those twins together and add three equally well-versed and incredible musicians. That’s the Aaron Marshall’s Intervals Vancouverites saw at the Rickshaw last Saturday.Intervals, Rickshaw Theatre