september 20, creation
The Creation's matching modish military shirts with glittery Union Jack patches were worrying enough, but when grey-haired singer Bob Garner spray painted "Imagine 1966" on a queen-sized bedsheet hanging on the Lee's Palace backdrop, it was apparent that our worst fears of a corny nostalgia show were about to be realized.
Opening with a jauntily rocking take of their scooter classic Biff Bang Pow!, they gamely played old favourites for the curious 50 or so who turned up Friday night. Whenever fellow original Creation member guitarist Eddie Phillips went for a solo on his Union Jack-emblazoned Strat, Garner was back dabbling with the spray cans again, adding flowers, peace signs and swirly bits to his colourful banner.
Phillips fumbled for his fiddle bow during Making Time -- Jimmy Page copped the guitar-bowing shtick from him -- and it looked like he might miss his big solo, but managed to grab it and wave it around proudly before sawing off some squawking noise.
The routine for Painter Man had Garner continuously spraying paint into the air, which had a number of patrons choking on the noxious fumes and heading for the door.
september 20, cheerleader
Feels like everyone was over at the Tequila Lounge to check out Cheerleader... no, really. Since being pegged as one of 25 bands "that could take over the U.S." in the August issue of Alternative Press, the Stooges-inspired Robin Black proteges have suddenly become the local band to watch. It must've had more to do with their cute glam-thug image, because it couldn't be their sound. They're got the right tattoos, ripped jeans and bed hair for the moment, but there's nothing terribly exciting about Cheerleadër's highly derivative rock 'n' roll chug, even if they can play it fast 'n' sloppy.
september 21, coldplay
Maybe it's just the move from clubs to stadiums, but the Chris Martin, fronting Coldplay at the Air Canada Centre, couldn't have been more different from the bored pop star who fronted the group their last time through town.
Mopey and recalcitrant, the old Martin was enough to make you want to avoid ever seeing another Coldplay gig. Contrast that with the live wire who hit town Saturday, huffing helium, cracking jokes and virtually inciting a riot by telling fans to rush the stage, much to the dismay of security guards.
Martin's clearly ready for the big time.
september 21, kathleen edwards
Ottawa guitar girl Kathleen Edwards put openers Jim Bryson and flaccid country act Fifty Men to shame at the Horseshoe with a solid set of songs from her debut Failer disc and some more upbeat new material. There's something about It Girl buzz that makes you grow up pretty fast. Edwards's live act has really improved over the past year. Her guitar playing is better, her vocals now vacillate between stronger Sarah Harmer and less drunk Lucinda Williams, and her backing band is a killer, finely tuned machine. Better still, Edwards has dropped most of the nervous, brassy banter from her act, which works in her favour -- a couple of piss jokes are great, an hour of 'em is not so cool.