“M-E-R-C-Y! M-E-R-C-Y! M-E-R-C-Y!”
That was the sound of the packed Capital bar last Saturday night to the words of Plants and Animals’ “Mercy.”
The show had sold out a few days before the performance – and for good reason too.
By the second song, front-man and guitarist Warren C. Spicer was sweating like it was his last performance. It was like he had to put every ounce of energy into that one song that most people in the crowd didn’t even know.
The Montreal-based three-man band focused on introducing their fans to some songs from their up-and-coming April release, “La La Land.”
The crowd didn’t respond immediately to these unfamiliar songs.
However, it didn’t take long for their heads to bounce to every song while watching a band that moved with them like they’d been performing all their lives.
The small venue of the Capital concentrated every sound of the guitar’s rhythm.
“Feedback in the Field,” from their debut album “Park Avenue” (2008), was taken so much further than the CD track. Apparent improvised guitar solos strung-out. Spicer sang louder and stronger, like he had to meet the ears of people standing 100 metres away – without a mic!
When “New Kind of Love” played, the crowd went wild. The song started out low and modest. Only the guitar played. The voices of Spicer and guitarist/bassist Nicolas Basque met. The harmonics were beautiful.
The song transitioned from a low-key feeling to something more intense. A second guitar rang in, a tambourine met the beat, harmony from all three members charged at higher registers. Every person in the crowd swung his or her body to the 3/4 beat.
“Bye Bye Bye” was the appropriate last song for the band’s set. However, it didn’t take long to convince the boys to stick around for one more song.
“We’ve got nowhere to go,” Spicer said smiling.
His white shirt was soaked right through. The sweat dripped from his body onto his black-faced guitar. The dark blue, button-up shirt of drummer, Matthew “the Woodman” Woodley, had turned a few shades darker.
The stark white spotlights bounced off any bare skin.
The ceiling dust fell and loose strings flailed in the air. The drum line alone cracked eardrums.
In the words of a St. Thomas University crowd-member, “That was f***ing awesome!”