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Vintage Trouble at Mavericks – Ottawa Live Review

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Vintage Trouble at Mavericks – Ottawa Live Review

Reviewed by Owen Maxwell

Wednesday Sept 24, 2014

California retro-soul revival band, Vintage Trouble, played their second Ottawa show this year on Wednesday September 24 at Maverick’s and they haven’t lost any steam. With support from St. Louis opener Papa Rey, the show was a trip back in time and despite the small venue the band managed to match the energy they gave at Bluesfest this summer.

Papa Rey

Stage Presence: 3/10

Image: 4/10

Musical Ability: 2/10

Originality: 0/10 (spinning records)

Crowd Reaction: 4/10

The night got off to a weirdly paced start with Papa Rey, a radio and stage DJ from St Louis. Rey played a selection of soul, blues and rhythm and blues records perfectly in line with Vintage Trouble’s sound. Unfortunately this was less than engaging as Rey brought little to the music itself, his constant interjections (with volume lowers each time) made it hard to stick with the music and seemed almost unprofessional for a professional host and DJ. The whole thing just felt a little out of place and overstayed for a live show, where the crowd was looking for live music. That said the selection of music was sublime and the mostly older crowd engaged with it near the stage.

Vintage Trouble


Stage Presence: 10/10

Image: 10/10

Musical Ability 9/10

Originality: 7/10

Crowd Reaction: 10/10

When Vintage Trouble finally hit the stage the crowd was thirsty for them and by all accounts the crowd was quenched. The band walked on stage looking like they had just walked out of a time machine from the fifties and launched into their set with the prophetic “High Times (They Are Coming).”  After that the night was a party, singer Ty Taylor was wailing and moving around the stage like a madman, and the crowd followed his every move. Taylor’s constant call and response had the concert feeling like a church sing-a-long in the best possible way, and every time he called the crowd to throw their hands in the air there was no hesitation.

Then the band slowed things down for a bit to play through the acoustic tracks from their new Swing House Sessions EP, a startling change at first considering the energy at the start of the set. The change worked well though, the songs helped spotlight the instrumentation and some of Taylor’s stellar vocals. The switch also gave fans time to recharge for the last third of the show with one of the big showstoppers by the name of “Run Like The River”. The song was full of roaring sound and back and forth’s with the crowd screaming “Run baby run!” But the song hit its highpoint right as it seemed to finish. Near the end Taylor started running through the crowd, keeping the chants going, and then just as the band was finishing he climbed up on the bar. The second the band cut out he started a clap and got the crowd chanting and as soon as the band started again Taylor was running through the crowd again and parted them like the Red Sea to return to the stage.

The end of the show was highlighted with several of Taylor’s ecstatic dance moves and a trust-fall crowd surf, the latter of which gave fans insight into how hard he was going as he had sweat heavily through his blazer, no small feat. The band ended on a professional note with a shockingly proper bow before they hilariously for the second time in months walked right off stage and through people to get to their merch table.

Read an interview with Ty Taylor of Vintage Trouble here.

Photo by Lee Cherry



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