By Sasha Stevanoska
Queen Elizabeth Theatre
March 1, 2018
VANCOUVER – On a cold Thursday night in Vancouver, the Queen Elizabeth Theater was filled with all the people it can fit anticipating the warm sound authentically crafted to represent the name of the artist, Bahamas. Bahamas is the stage name for Toronto based Afie Jurvanen, the self-taught guitarist, indie singer/songwriter, who was awarded Junos both for his songwriting and his album “Bahamas is Afie’’ in 2015.
Opening for Bahamas was another Canadian act, the Weather Station, a solo project of Tamara Lindeman. She fiercely brought her complexed folk song arrangements to life with a four piece band. The rich melodies of her soprano voicing deeply narrative lyrics, the fingerpicking style of her guitar playing and classy delivery nicely portrayed this independent woman artist and producer, who warmed up the theatre for the main act.
Bahamas took over the stage through synchronized light to the rhythm. Opening with “So Free” from “Earthtones” exposed existential problems of class warfare and white privilege while suggesting understanding and real love as the only fix the world needs and created immediate strong bond with the audience. The five piece band rocked earth tones colored clothing as a dress code appropriate for the album title, with the vocalist Felicity Williams was in white silk clothing which visually complemented her ethereal angelic voice.
Extraordinary harmonies in both guitar lines and vocals, strong bass lines, impressive drums – the band was confidently delivering stellar performance song after song. Afie Jurvanen and Christine Bougie’s guitars were playfully alternating between harmonizing and splitting their parts to storyteller and rhythm guitar on many songs. Jurvanen was openly sharing his high empathy for the bad boys, impressively rapping for the first time on “Bad Boys Need Love Too”.
The night was ended with shouts by the audience: “One more song!” after everyone gently swayed over the powerful melancholic delivery of “Any Place” which closes the “Earthtones” album as well as their set.
Bahamas, Queen Elizabeth Theatre