Bend Sinister at The Biltmore

Photos by Alex Ramon

One of the defining moments in any band’s career is to play for an audience filled with industry people, and that was exactly what happened at The Biltmore during the SchMusic BC Party. Like the title says, it was a party for those industry folks to mix and mingle in a loose atmosphere (filled with booze of course…), all the while enjoying the company of talented musicians up on that fine stage. At this particular event, the acts included Ronatron favourite We Are The City and the always entertaining Bend Sinister. It’s not every day that these bands get to play for their peers, so I can only imagine how nerve racking it must have been, but being professional musicians, they both killed it up on that stage. I can go on and on about how WATC are amazingly youthful and talented, but I think I’ll take the time to comment on how impressed I was by Bend Sinister.

Comprised of Dan Moxon (Vocals/Keys/Guitar), Joseph Blood (Guitars), Henry Alcock White (Guitar/Vocals), Jason Dana (Drums/Percussion), and Joel Meyers (Bass), Bend Sinister played to a smaller, more intimate crowd, all the while maintaining that energy we all know and love. They played their new brand of rock anthems for their musical peers, and out in the crowd, the lovely Adaline rocked out with them on the dance floor.

Their songs were both melodic and heavy, not a combination you normally hear of, and to me they sound like a modern day Queen. Dan is probably one of the most fun loving, animated vocalists I have ever seen (it’s like Freddie Mercury met Jack Black, and by some freak scientific accident, they produced an illegitimate child by the name of Dan Moxon… who looks like a friendly, hairy teddy bear). Joseph and Henry are both amazing guitar players, and throughout the set they weren’t trying to outshine one another. For some reason, it seemed like they were both lead and rhythm guitar at the same time, and it was really amazing to see both of them rip some melodic, intricate, and innovative guitar solos. Jason and Joel had as much energy as the rest of the band, and as I glanced from the side stage, the synchronized passion from the entire band was a sight for sore eyes. I can’t believe these guys haven’t blown up yet, because with the presence they have up on that stage, they should be playing to a sold out crowd at The Commodore.

Their entire set was solid, from their radio hit “Time Breaks Down” to their Motown-esque anthem “Jimmy Brown.” But what impressed me most was “Through The Broken City,” where Jason started off with an amazing drum solo, reminiscent of Questlove, that shattered my ear drums and left my mouth watering. I was also mesmerized by Joel’s melodic bass line, and couldn’t help but stare at his delicate fingers gracing each note with such precision. If you just take a moment to listen to the bridge, then you’ll know exactly why this band is going to explode into the international stage, because honestly, words don’t do their music justice. All I can do is paint a tiny little portrait of what you can expect at one of their live shows.

If there’s one band you have to see this year, don’t miss BS because trust me, I’m not giving any BS. For more information on Bend Sinister, visit their myspace.