Last Saturday night, those who wanted to avoid the chaos of homecoming—and the ridiculous bar lines—settled down to an evening of magical sounds at London’s Call the Office. While Two Hours Traffic was the main event, crooning to their 1970s inspired pop rock sound, opening act Rich Aucoin stole the show.
Toronto-based band Great Bloomers took the stage first, warming up to an initially sparse crowd. Lead vocalist and guitarist Lowell Sostomi warmed up the crowd, making reference to how happy he was that people showed up—even though the venue’s liquor license had been revoked previously that week. An outsider may have been unable to tell that the bar was dry—the crowd’s energy was as lively as ever.
Following the Great Bloomers, indie rock Halifax native Rich Aucoin took the stage. Aucoin put up his signature bed sheet, using it as a makeshift projector screen. If there was anyone in the audience sitting down at this point, he made sure this was no longer the case.
Aucoin began his performance with a creative slideshow mentioning all those that had tweeted at him previously that day. In the meantime, the familiar sounds of the opening of Twentieth Century Fox movies played in the background. Aucoin’s intention was to get the crowd hyped for the performance to come—and he definitely succeeded with his motives.
There was never a dull moment throughout Aucoin’s performance. The indie singer danced amongst the crowd and referenced various moments in pulp culture via montages he had put together. His unconventional performance was unlike anything many audience members had seen before.
Aucoin’s piece de resistance was his trademark use of the familiar playground parachute. The crowd held on tight to this parachute and swarmed underneath. This created an energetic atmosphere for Aucoin’s music.
Two Hours Traffic took the stage next. Prior to performing, lead singer Liam Corcoran appropriately stated, “Rich Aucoin, ladies and gentleman, the toughest act to follow in Canada.”
While Two Hours Traffic did have large shoes to fill, they impressed the crowd by playing a mixture of old hits and new songs from their most recent album Siren Spell, which was released in September 2012. They even covered Nick Lowe’s 1983 hit “Raging Eyes,” a song from the man who is said to have inspired their sound the most.
At the end of the night, the dry bar venue proved to be the perfect setting for a modest crowd, having old-fashioned fun dancing with friends and singing along to upbeat tunes.