By Jamila Pomeroy
Saturday May 12th
The Commodore Ballroom
A dreamy shoegaze-y daze spilt into The Commodore during the Desert Daze Caravan festival this Saturday. The festival featured locals, Frankiie, The Orange Kyte, and Dead Ghosts – with headliners, Ariel Pink, and DIIV.
DIIV graced the stage with what was most likely their best performance in Vancouver. Spacey, driven guitars bled onto the crowd, creating cosmic psychedelic surf vibes – alike with the bands visual aesthetic of long beachy hair.
Vocals thrown back and forth between Zachary Cole Smith, and Colin Caulfield added layers of airy post-grunge; deeply mirroring a more delicate Kurt Cobain – extremely fitting, as the band’s name is an ode to Nirvana’s, “Dive”.
Ariel Pink begins the set with “Ode To The Goat (Thank You)”, after thanking the audience for attending the show. The venue was less than full, but lead singer Ariel Rosenberg delivered a full-bodily expressive performance; dancing, making strange facial expressions, and sound effects. The bands new material is vastly different from the days of “Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti”, and songs like Bright Lit Blue Skies. The set mirrored this shift, taking on a more defined hypnagogic-pop persona, straying from groovy 70’s-esque bass lines, and low-fi psych-rock- But perhaps the sonic change should be expected, and reflective of Rosenbergs often named title, “the godfather of hypnagogic-pop”.
Ariel Pink’s newest album, “Dedicated to Bobby Jameson”, moves to a more 60’s flower-power-esque speed, with dynamic moments that could be compared to Frank Zappa. Songs like “Another Weekend”, perfectly embody this new sound. While the crowd didn’t seem to be displeased, there was a noticeable difference in reaction, in comparison to the haunted graffiti era- which provoked a more active crowd. Songs like “Bubble Gum Dream”, which sound closest to this era, seemed to be more pleasing to the crowd. It’s tough to pinpoint how the crowd was truly feeling, as everyone seemed to be in a daze, among a rather skunky haze. While there is a clear shift in the bands sound, Ariel Pink’s low-fi, indie California aesthetic remains – Pink, dreamy, and delightfully strange.