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Show review: July Talk brings high-energy spectacle to Royal Theatre

July Talk kicked off their Remember Never Before Tour in style

Alternative-rock band July Talk’s Remember Never Before Tour began with a bang in Victoria at the Royal Theatre on March 28.

The band started their set in fitting fashion with After This, the first song from their latest album Remember Never Before, which was released on Jan. 20. The crowd surprisingly stayed seated as co-lead singer Leah Fay repeated the chorus,” I can’t wait to get back on my feet.”

Fay showed off her impressive and innocent vocals and flexibility hitting high notes during a round of high kicks while performing Human Side.

Fay’s vocals contrast perfectly with co-lead singer Peter Dreimanis’ harsh baritone. Their chemistry and compatibility was obvious and fascinating to watch.

To the delight of local music fans, the song Certain Father made an early appearance in the set. On album, the track features Victoria’s Spencer Krug of Wolf Parade. Dreimanis said he was hoping to be able to bring Krug on stage to help perform the song, but Krug was not in attendance as he was playing with Sunset Rubdown in Somerville, MA.

Krug and Sunset Rubdown will be bringing their Tiny Tour to Capital Ballroom in Victoria on Wednesday (April 19).

READ MORE: Progressive, community-based venue VEC celebrates 20 years in Victoria’s downtown

“Can we sing one together?” Fay asked the crowd before Summer Dress. Audience members didn’t disappoint during the rowdy sing-along, but Dreimanis did make it more challenging for the crowd to join in at times as he changed some lyrics.

Before performing I Am Water, the closing track on the new record, Fay urged the crowd to sign the e-4268 petition asking the federal government to allow transgender and non-binary people to claim asylum in Canada.

Throughout the night, Fay was engaging and spirited with the crowd, requesting the crowd to dance with her. It was a fair ask, as the band exerted plenty of energy during the show while the crowd sat down sporadically throughout the night. This is the dilemma when a rock band plays a soft-seater, although the Royal Theatre is the appropriate size for July Talk, who did appear to enjoy playing in such a beautiful venue.

“We know a lot of musicians from the area,” Dreimanis said. “This is such a beautiful place.”

Fay and Dreimanis showed how good they would be at karaoke during the main set’s final song, Push + Pull, as some of the lyrics appeared on the screen, which felt unnecessary during one of the band’s biggest hits.

Dreimanis returned to the stage to start the encore by performing the beginning of Raw, solo and a capella. This was the show’s most fitting track for the Royal Theatre. Fay and the band’s percussionist and singer Dani Nash later joined Dreimanis to add backup vocals. Dreimanis eventually provided some instrumentation by returning to his keyboard to close the song, which turned into a beautiful and climactic moment.

July Talk left the audience wanting more as they performed The Garden, the final song of the night. Fay gave Dreimanis a piggyback ride while adding a verse of Willie Nelson’s On The Road Again with Nash and soon after the band exited the stage and hit the road for Vancouver.


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Brendan Mayer

About the Author: Brendan Mayer

I spent my upbringing in Saskatoon, and in 2021, I made the move to Vancouver Island.
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