I only signed up to cover last night’s Chad Valley show because my friend and fellow blogger was excited about it and, with her taking photos and me writing, it was sure to be a great girl’s night out. I knew nothing about anyone playing but have dragged this friend to plenty of questionable shows so it was time I sucked it up and went to something she wanted to. Life happens and something came up where she was no longer able to go. So there I was, stuck covering a show I knew nothing about all by my lonesome. I wasn’t thrilled but a show is a show so I headed downtown and tried to build up a bit of optimism about the show.
I was a bit worried when the show started and there was only a handful of people in the dark venue but as Iceblink jumped into a solo set (Iceblink is typically a band– or at least a duo– but the guitarist couldn’t make it last night), that worry turned to intrigue almost instantly. The sounds that Lynn Avery (the mastermind behind this project) was producing were truly out of this world. The music was extremely ambient and almost strange at times but there was no denying the power behind the art. Whether or not you’re into this art-induced type of music that doesn’t always make sense, Iceblink easily captivated myself and the rest of the growing crowd. The set was quiet and subdued but, in a world where loud noises reign supreme, it was relaxing to say the least. Did I understand Iceblink’s set completely? Absolutely not. Do I respect the crap out of this act? Absolutely. Would I go see it again? In a heartbeat.
To go from the calming world that Iceblink created into the rambunctious world of DPLV was a bit of a shock to say the least but it definitely had me excited to be where I was at last night and super thankful I didn’t bail on the show. DPLV (pronounced Deep Love) was the other local opener on the Thursday night show. This duo wasted no time jumping into an electronic dance set that had the entire audience going from sleepytime to dance party (although frontman Jacob Gossel was quick to point out that people weren’t dancing enough… at least not yet) within a single song. Their upbeat songs along with infectious positive energies had this duo dancing their way into my heart. The first thing I did this morning was pull them up online and listen to them while getting ready for my day. Their music just has the ability to pull you out of any funk you may be facing.
Beyond their music was their incredible live show. With two keyboards set up with giant walls of light, sporting what I can only assume to be their logo, in front of them, the flashing lights just added to the dance atmosphere that the pair of musicians was creating. When you add in the non-stop jumping from the duo, the absolutely perfect and honest banter between them and the audience you are left with a show that is worthy of such a bigger crowd. Although these two men have been making music together for fifteen years, Thursday night was my first introduction to them. That being said, it won’t be my last and I’m already waiting for them to announce another show so I can drag all of my friends. Although I had been unsure about my decision to go to the show, DPLV’s set was definitely worth leaving my couch and my current binge of Night Watch on Netflix.
Closing the night out was the one and only Chad Valley. As mentioned, I had never heard of this guy before and if it hadn’t had been for my friend, this show would have never been on my radar. Chad Valley (real name Hugo Manuel) is an electronic recording artist, singer, and just all around beam of sunshine from Oxford, England. I don’t know how to explain the feeling that came over me as I watched this man take the stage but it was like I was watching a good friend. Without saying a single word and before he even jumped into what would turn into an extraordinary set, he radiated a feeling of love and compassion that I just can’t put into words. As the house lights went down and the wall of little lights behind him started flashing, Chad Valley whisked the audience and I into a complete wonder world of positive vibes, catchy music, and straight up, undeniable talent.
Although the electronic background in the music was exciting and always evolving, it was Chad Valley’s voice that had me on the tips of my toes. It was unique and seemed to have a range like I had never heard before. That being said, nothing about his voice seemed forced which definitely just showcased the talent that this man possesses. I watched in awe as he sang into the microphones while fiddling with buttons and knobs without missing a beat. Although all I saw was complete and utter chaos as I watched Chad mess with all of the electronics sitting around him, the music is created was far from chaotic. It was polished, professional and definitely radio worthy. The anthemic songs made you want to dance and move. Add the bright flashing lights and the positive energy and I had completely forgotten that it was Thursday night and I still had to get up and go to work today.
I almost didn’t go to last night’s show after my friend bailed. The joke’s on her. Last night was an incredible show and I’m definitely glad to have gotten to experience it!