The Courtneys return to conquer Calgary
Calgary lo-fi legends come to Broken City
By Kennedy Enns, Arts Editor, and Amber McLinden, Staff Writer
Dreamy Vancouver trio The Courtneys started touring for their sophomore album release in their home city. But two thirds of the band are Calgary natives so naturally, Broken City was their second stop.
With a long North American headlining tour in front of them they brought two Calgary bands on the bill for their show March 16. We Knew, a dark pop group who recently played Calgary’s Femme Wave music festival and local favorites Lab Coast. The rest of their North American tour dates include indie darling Jay Som as an opening act but she was sadly at SXSW during the Calgary show.
Even without Jay Som, The Courtneys were able to rock Broken City. The trio, though they’ve gained popularity in the last year or so, are more friendly and approachable than a lot of bands. After setting up their own equipment, the girls got on stage only to start the show by laughing with each other under their breath and chatting with the crowd about the beginning of their tour.
Broken City was packed by the time Lab Coast started and the show quickly sold out for the local legends. The Courtneys second record II was a lo-fi bedroom pop record with sunny, dreamy tunes in the mix. II talked about topics that are familiar to many, like heartache and growing up and the band hit home with dynamic lyrics and reverberating sounds of slacker-rock.
They started their set off with “Silver Velvet” and had the crowd dancing as drummer and vocalist Jen Twynn Payne sang out over the packed bar. II standouts, “Minnesota” and “Tour” were other crowd favorites. Though they focused on their latest release, they brought out songs from their first release as well, including “Manion” and “Nu Sundae.”
The Courtneys’ sound is infectious, especially when you get the chance to see them perform live. The synchronicity between bass and guitar was electric and watching Payne somehow play drums energetically and sing without missing a beat was simply amazing.
Between cracking jokes and talking with the crowd, the show ended after the band joked Broken City is so small you can see their set lists and it wasn’t worth the hassle of getting on and off stage. After a few people in the crowd started chanting, The Courtneys played their pre-planned encores. The Courtneys know how to play to their Calgary fans and the crowd left Thursday night ready for the weekend and riding that bubble gum pop wave.