Click photo for an audio-slideshow.

Last night the Croc’s stage felt more like a gathering of folks who happened to bring along a bunch of


Last Night: Campfire at the Croc

Night Canopy, the Cave Singers and Lightning Dust burn bright


Click photo for an audio-slideshow.

Last night the Croc’s stage felt more like a gathering of folks who happened to bring along a bunch of instruments to their beach bonfire than a run-of-the-mill Thursday night rock show. While not a Kumbaya was heard in the house, Victoria B.C.’s Lightning Dust, along with our own Cave Singers and Night Canopy brought three incredible sets to the table- with members band-hopping to help out  their friends. 

The brushed-steel warble of Lightning Dust’s Amber Webber sliced through the crowd as she opened the show with bandmate Joshua Wells. The Black Mountain/Pink Mountaintops members navigated through a minimalist set, singing of caves and castles, days that seem to last so long and nights that don’t do the same. The fuzzy drone that’s ever-present in their other projects was absent, giving a clarity to their songs that’s clean as a fresh mountain stream, at some points dappled in sunlight, others swathed in shadow.

The Cave Singers followed suit, putting on a solid show, the Crocodile stage providing a much better view than their last one a couple of weeks ago on the floor at the Comet Tavern. Pete Quirk’s mosquito vocals meshed seamlessly with Derek Fudesco’s deeper husk on haunting numbers like “Called” (with Lightning Dust’s Wells posting up behind the washboard- a rotating role that’s been played by PGMG’s Andrea Zolo and also Ben Gibbard) and the insistent marching beats of “Dancing on Our Graves” had the crowd shouting for more as they neared the end of their set. LD’s Webber sidled up next to Quirk on the stage for the second to last song- a meandering, melancholy tune by the name of “Renegade Flowers,” their vocals mingling like lovers sweat. The epic pairing should get some time on the Cave Singers debut release (Quirk is hoping for early fall), as she lent her chords to a few tracks during their recent recording sessions in Vancouver. 

Much of the crowd stayed through the end for the down-home stylings of Night Canopy, the fierce blend of Amy Blaschke, Nick Dewitt and Jenny Jiminez who previewed much of the material on their forthcoming release Of Honey and Country- due out March 13 on Go Midnight (showgoers were able to take home the debut album a little early). On the recording, “Seasick Casanova” is awash with the sound of waves. And while it’s not replicated live, the song is just a good, telling of lonely ships and sailors going overboard with the flavor of silvery ‘50s doo-wop. “Oh Honey” was halted mid-stream by a fallen mic- but Miss Blaschke didn’t miss a beat picking right back up where she left off complimented by Jiminez’s sweet harmonies and glowing stage presence. The dancy but somewhat dark “Signs of Life” required Dewitt behind the kit and a guest on bass- this time Blaschke’s Whalebone’s bandmate Justin Deary jumped in to supplement. Building from a bouncy bassline with samples and rhythmic synths, the track elicited unavoidable head bobbing.

Friends, family (Webber’s twin sis-who performed with Pink Mountaintops the last time they played the Croc- was in the house, causing more than a few double takes) and collaborations aplenty made for a vibe as warm as driftwood in the sun with quality showings from three new bands made up of a crew of talented veterans.

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