Still recovering from a Flaming Lips-induced derangement of the senses, a crowd of about two hundred retreated to the safe confines of Metro Theatre on Friday night for a comparatively mellow, though equally engaging, musical fix courtesy of Snowblink and The White Buffalo.
Snowblink is no stranger to Victoria. The band, which has recently been signed to Arts and Crafts, has made appearances in our town in support of Owen Pallett and Ohbijou. On Friday night, however, it was glaringly obvious that Snowblink is destined to be a headlining act. The duo's soft spoken command of the stage and their obvious creative chemistry lulled a captivated crowd into a collective state of bliss.
Playing a set mostly culled from the recent release, Inner Classics, Snowblink transported us into dreamy dimensions — soft worlds in which instruments sprout horns and generate entire tides of otherworldly sound. While the renditions of Inner Classics were pared down, they were no less captivating and indeed more muscular in their live form, giving a rapt audience shelter from the storm.
When Snowblink vacated the stage, The White Buffalo roamed up. Much like Snowblink, The White Buffalo played a stripped down set. Jake Smith was all on his lonesome on Friday night and as he spun his finely crafted tales of love and theft, it was obvious that Smith, much like Dylan and Cohen before him is able to hold his audience with words alone.
Smith, who looked like he just wandered off the set of Deadwood, was in full command of his raspy yawp on this night as he launched into a workman-like set of bleak character sketches and whiskey soaked ballads, bringing to mind other rootsy troubadours such as Richard Buckner.
The Metro Theatre is an excellent music venue. It is a shame that we only utilize it once a year for musical purposes, as its intimate, cozy atmosphere annually houses Rifflandia’s most beautiful performances: Friday night was no exception.