Way To Go Einstein, Stride Elementary, and Waltz Darling at The Backstage Lounge

Photos by Emily Groundwater

On Thursday, August 13th I had the pleasure of enjoying the offerings of three great
 local bands at the Backstage Lounge. Way to go Einstein, Stride Elementary, and
 Waltz Darling took the stage that night and provided a classic showcase of the
 abundant musical talent we are lucky to have here in Vancouver.

Way To Go Einstein

WTGEFirst up was Way to Go Einstein, a five-piece alternative rock ensemble consisting of
 Andrew Carter, Kevin Jack, Geoff Nilson, Michael Munro, and Benson Musaev.
 Opening with the upbeat tune “Anytime,” lead vocalist Andrew Carter’s vocal style
 fits well with the bands full sound and immediately reminds you of Thom Yorke’s
 introspective crooning. It was immediately evident that the group has found
 chemistry and a great groove playing together and that they feel very confident on
 stage.

During their set Carter jokingly commented that they were playing a Coldplay
 cover, when in actuality they were playing a well-written Way to Go Einstein song, which does have smatterings of Coldplay and Radiohead’s sound, which are evidently strong musical influences for the group. However, the band is not without originality. Their sound has a darker, rockier edge – a little more complicated – and as such it makes you pay attention. Although some of their performance could use a little more tightening, their set list was very well structured and overall their performance was worthy of praise. If you get a chance to see this group perform in the future I definitely recommend checking them out.

Stride Elementary

Stride ElementarySecond
 up 
for 
the
 evening 
was 
Stride 
Elementary,
 comprised 
of 
musicians 
Glenn Gillis, 
Greg 
Williams, 
Kevin 
Titcomb,
 and 
Michael 
Nathansan,
 the 
group 
carries
 some what 
of 
a 
folk 
rock 
sound,
 while 
also 
teetering 
on 
the 
edge 
of 
alterative 
rock. 

It
 is 
quickly 
evident 
during 
their 
first 
tune 
titled 
“Dream”
 that 
these 
are 
well‐practiced
 musicians 
who 
know 
what 
they 
are 
doing, 
and 
I 
couldn’t 
help 
but 
smile 
a 
whole 
lot
 during
 their
 set. 
The 
group
 has 
been 
together 
for 
over 
two 
years 
and has 
managed 
to 
find 
a 
fine 
balance
 musically 
among 
each
other. 

With 
Gillis
 providing 
fine 
tuned 
riffs 
on 
guitar 
that 
subtly 
carry 
many 
of 
their
 songs, 
drummer
 Michael 
Nathansan 
provides 
an 
solid 
backbone 
on 
drums,
showcasing
 some
 impressive 
talent.
 Greg 
Williams 
also 
lent 
his 
multi‐tasking 
skills 
to 
the 
ensemble
 juggling
 numerous 
keyboards, 
the 
bass
 and
 baritone 
all 
while
 seeming
 at 
ease,
 while
 lead
 vocalist
 Kevin
 Titcomb 
served 
as 
a 
great 
frontman
 finding
 strength
 in 
his 
vocals
 with 
the 
groups
 faster 
tunes, 
regardless
 of 
the 
fact 
that 
he 
can 
seem 
a 
bit 
shy 
at
 times.


The 
set 
was 
a 
crowd
 pleaser,
 with 
Stride
 Elementary 
commanding 
the
 attention 
of 
the 
Backstage 
Lounge
 during
 their
 entire
 performance.
 Particularly
 impressive 
was 
their 
new 
song 
“
See 
Again,” 
which
 was 
a 
favorite
 of 
the 
band,
 and
 for 
good 
reason.
 The 
rockier 
tune 
would 
have 
been 
a 
great 
song 
to 
end 
on,
 though
 their 
final 
song 
“Lookin’ 
for 
Something” 
also 
left 
the 
crowd 
with 
a 
great 
impression
 and 
took
 many 
to 
the 
dance
floor, 
as 
it
 showcased
 Titcomb’s
 strength 
with 
more
 aggressive 
vocals 
and 
left 
me 
thinking
 about
 the 
Foo 
Fighters.
 
Overall,
 Stride
 Elementary’s
 performance 
was 
one 
to 
remember.
 It
 also 
left
 me 
with 
a 
great
 feeling
 knowing 
that 
there 
are
 so 
many 
talented
 local
 musicians 
who 
have 
been 
around 
for a 
while
 and
 keep 
writing,
 practicing, 
performing 
and 
have 
a 
great 
time 
simply
 because
 they
 love
 playing
 good 
music.


Waltz Darling

Now 
if 
Stride 
Elementary 
didn’t 
put 
me 
in 
enough 
of 
a 
good 
mood
 that
 evening,
 the 
final 
band 
Waltz
 Darling
 definitely 
made 
sure 
I 
didn’t 
go 
home
 unsatisfied.
 Now 
when
 I 
went 
to
 read
 my 
notes 
while 
writing
 this 
review 
I 
didn’t
 find 
much.
 This 
was 
because
 I 
spent 
a 
good 
amount
 of 
my
 time 
during 
the 
band’s 
set
 on
 the 
dance 
floor, 
and 
if 
there 
is 
one 
band
 in 
Vancouver 
that 
can 
make 
a 
person
 dance 
like
 nobody
 is 
watching
 it
 is 
definitely 
Waltz
 Darling.
 The 
group, 
which
 comes
 off 
to 
be 
a 
Hungarian 
folk 
band 
with
 a 
touch
 of 
drunken
 sail or 
and 
tab 
of 
the
 Bouncing 
Souls, 
is 
comprised 
of 
Atila 
Breti,
 Rich
 Katynski, 
Robert 
Medic
 and 
Michael
 Nathanson 
(who 
also
 plays
 with 
Stride 
Elementary).


It 
was
 a 
real 
shame
 that 
by 
this
 point 
in 
the 
evening 
much 
of 
the
 modest
 crowd 
at 
the 
Backstage
 Lounge 
has
 dribbled
 out, 
but 
what 
was 
left
 of 
the 
crowd 
was 
dancing
 and 
having 
a 
great
 time… even
 some
 of
 the 
bartenders 
joined 
in, 
as 
well 
as 
my 
friend 
Mark 
who 
pulled
 out 
his 
Mick 
Jagger
 impression
 in 
a 
public
 space… as 
I 
said… if 
there
 is 
a 
band 
who
 can 
make 
you 
dance… 
While 
their 
tunes
 are
 high 
energy 
they
 are 
also 
rich 
with
 narrative
 lyrics 
telling
 stories 
in 
a 
frank 
and 
comedic 
manner.
 During
 their
 final
 tune
 “Not
 Enough,”
 Medic 
and 
Breti 
provide
 vocals 
that 
jump 
between
 speaking
 and
 singing,
 and 
sing
 to 
each 
other
 in 
a 
conversational 
manner, 
which 
greatly
 compliments 
their 
musical
 style.
 Waltz 
Darling
 played
 a 
show 
that 
could 
simply 
be
 described 
as 
a 
great 
time… for 
both
 the
 band
 and
 the 
audience, 
while
 also showcasing
 some 
very 
original 
and 
enjoyable 
music.
If 
you 
get 
a 
chance 
to 
see 
this
 group
 perform
 in 
the 
future,
 I 
urge 
you 
to 
put 
on 
your 
dancing
 shoes 
and 
go 
see
 them
 play.

Overall, 
August
 13th 
was 
an 
evening 
that 
reassured 
my 
faith
 in 
the 
local 
music
 scene,
 and 
reminded 
me 
of 
how 
proud 
I 
am 
to 
say 
I’m 
from 
Vancouver,
 and 
I 
sure
 hope 
I
 get 
a 
chance 
to 
see 
WTGE,
 Stride
 Elementary,
 and 
Waltz 
Darling 
again 
in 
the 
future.