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Brad Sucks, Bellevue, Dog Is Blue, Sticky Henderson

The Mansion played host to Bellevue’s album release party for What You Want with guests Brad Sucks, Dog Is Blue and Sticky Henderson.

“Turn off the Snare” Sticky said as she finished playing her first song. Sticky opened up the night with a short set which was about six songs in length. This was the first solo Bass performance that I have watched since I saw Ken Tizzard take to the stage a few years ago. I will always give people credit for getting up on stage playing solo and a will give Sticky a little extra credit for getting onto the stage with just a Bass guitar and no backing tracks. She didn’t leave all of her pedals/ effects pods at home thought she did bring one effects pod onto the stage with her. Sticky didn’t play her entire performance solo, she was joined on stage with two of her songs. Both of the songs had the drums being played in the background. The first song had one of her friends joining her on stage to play a fast snare and symbol combo. The second song had Justin Bird joining Sticky on stage, this song was also her last song of her set. At the start of the song Sticky was calling out for Justin to come to the stage but he wasn’t around so she started to play the song anyways, about a quarter of the way through the song Justin came running in and jumped in behind the drum kit with a fast alteration to the kit setup. One song which Sticky played was a song which she just wrote a couple of hours before the show. The song sounded alright but the song still needs a little work done to it. As there is with every show there are people talking throughout the performance, but this time is was so loud that it actually cause Sticky to stop tuning her Bass and listen in on the conversation. This was the first time that I have watched Sticky perform live before. I was surprised by the audience interaction that she had throughout her set, at the end of each song she probably talked with the audience for at least a minute or two. Sticky finished her set and left the stage with a nice loud applause from the audience.

Dog Is Blue hit the stage next. This set for me was the real surprise set of the night. While bordering around a folk edge their sound was beefed up with a pop/rock background. As a duo comprised of Paul and Laura, with Paul playing the lead on Guitar and Laura on the Keys and Xylophone. At the start of their set I really didn’t expect their set to sound and be as good as it was, they really took me by surprise. I am pretty sure that I am not alone on this thought as well. Dog Is Blue did have to battle their way through the first part of their set but they did eventually break the audience and filled the front of the stage. They also did a excellent job in setting the stage and audience for Brad Sucks. Just before they were about to play one of their songs Paul gave a little intro feed about the song, it was about how they were just evicted from their recording/practice space and this was a song which they just recorded before they had to leave. One different effect which I haven’t saw being used on stage before was lighted rings which they bought at a dollar store. The effect which brought off from Paul playing guitar was a cool little effect. What I liked the most about their set was the simple fact of they keep their sound simple. I thought maybe the keys were going to make up the majority of the music but it seemed to be about half and half, no instrument seemed to runaway with each song. When it came time for the xylophone to be played which came later on in the their set. I really stuck on to how well the xylophone was written into the song. By the time Dog Is Blue finished their set they managed to fit a few more people to the front of the stage.
                                                                                               Dog Is Blue Set List:
  • Dusty Bones (unreleased)
  • Southern Ontario (unreleased, but demo on our site)
  • Sea captain
  • Tortoise (unreleased, but demo on our site)
  • Young Enough
  • Happy Hallowe’en
  • Raise Your Dead

By the time Brad Sucks took to the stage they had people chanting for them to hit the stage. The second they played their first note they had the front and sides of the stage packed and it stayed that way until the end of their set.  Brad Sucks was the definite draw of the night by the way people were lining up to buy their merch and by the way the audience were reacting to their every song.  One thing that struck me as being a little odd was with all the audience reception that they were getting during and between each song it took until around halfway through their set until Brad  started to talk back to the audience. There were quite a few jokes about the name of their band throughout their set, it was only towards the end of their set which they finally came to a end. Throughout their set there were quite a few requests being called out but the set list didn’t really branch away from the original list due to the fact that all of the songs were already queued up on his laptop. Brad did seem to be taken a little astray by a couple of the requests because one of the songs he was just about to play and another was coming up in a couple of songs. There live act can be taken with a bit of precaution because of the laptop which accompanies Brad on stage, there were quite a few backing tracks which played out from the laptop. I was a little surprised be the extra drum tracks which were added in a couple of the songs. This was also the first time that I have heard/watched a Bassist being completely replaced. By the time Brad Sucks finished their set they had the audience still wanting more. As they were packing up their gear they were getting person after person going onstage and trying to talk to everyone.

Brad Sucks Set List:
Fake It
There's Something Wrong
Total Breakdown
Dropping out of School
Sick as a Dog
Certain Death
Making Me Nervous
Look and Feel Years Younger
We're not Friends
Bad Attraction
I Think You're Alright
I Command You to Be My Woman
This Meeting

“We are Bellevue Sucks” was the first statement which Brad said when they were about to start their set, this also brought on a couple of Brad Sucks and Bellevue Sucks Chants. Even though their album was released a couple of months ago the event was still billed as their album release party. Throughout their set they played songs which spanned all three of their albums. I was a little surprised that when they were playing the new songs they were not really announcing the fact. Bellevue did stay true to the unprecedented effect on their ability to create catchy pop/rock riffs with vocals and lyrics to match. One guarantee with a Bellevue is that they will allure the audience with their simple yet wildly catchy riffs. One song which stood out to me during their set was “What You Want When You Want”. This song I felt was their strongest song of their set. If you are a fan of The Golden Dogs first album then you will definitely be a fan of this song. My second favourite song of their set was “One Two Three”, another catchy riff based song of Bellevue’s, what makes this song a little different is the fact that the keys are missing in their live performance compared to their recorded version, I am in favour of the live version of the song instead of the recorded version.  One song in particular  which I can still  remember and got stuck into my head because of the catchy chorus is “My only Chinese Friend”. Most of the songs which were played off of the new album were songs which they have been playing for a little while now and did play a couple of them the last time that they played at the Mansion. About halfway through their set Brent invited his friend back on stage to sing the same song that he sang the last time they played at the Mansion, but this time he was told that he has to learn a new song for the next time. As Brad Sucks and Dog Is Blue did Bellevue kept the crowd on their feet for their full set and had about the same audience interaction and Brad Sucks had.

Sticky Henderson

Dog Is Blue
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