Sunday, March 30, 2014

Surprise Kevin Drew show for Earth Hour

I usually try to do my part to honour Earth Hour, where people are asked to turn off non-essential lights and electronics for 60 minutes from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m., and did so again on Saturday night.

Instead of sitting at home in the dark, I decided to take advantage of Mill Street Brewery's "Lights Out" promotion. At 60 bars across Toronto, the brewery was donating 50 cents for each pint of its beer sold to Earth Day Canada. And each of these bars was supposed to feature a candle-lit, acoustic music set. Using a formula based on proximity and artist recognition/enjoyment, I decided to see By Divine Right at the Drake Underground.

I did my part by ordering a pint of Tankhouse upon arrival right around 8:30, and then proceeded to wait. I walked to the stage and saw a lot of plugged-in instruments, including two keyboards, which I've never seen at a By Divine Right show before. I also saw Kevin Drew, Charles Spearin, Andy Kim, Kevin Hearn and a few media folks and other social scenesters I might not have expected to see at this show.

Time went on and no-one took the stage until just before 9 p.m., when Drew came on with his new band that's supporting his newly released Darlings solo debut album. I guess the By Divine Right acoustic set got blown out, but a lot of people who care and must have been in the know more than me turned out for Drew's warm-up show before his first tour, where he'll be opening in support of Feist.

Drew and his bandmates, which included Spearin on bass and sometime Broken Social Scene member Ohad Benchetrit on guitar, played their first gig in front of an audience and played songs from Darlings. Drew brought lyric sheets with him and didn't seem totally at ease, but he was good-natured and the crowd was appreciative.

The songs weren't doing a lot for me and Earth Hour had finished, so I left before Drew and company finished and went home to watch an NCAA basketball "Elite Eight" game between Arizona and Wisconsin and crack open large bottles of Bellwoods Lambda and Beau's Tom Green Beer. The game was good, but I found the the two beers -- like Drew's music -- to be no more than average.

So, while my house went dark, I really didn't get much of an Earth Hour experience this year. Can someone tell me what happened to By Divine Right?

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