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The Biltmore Cabaret
April 15, 2011
I have been waiting for Chris Mansfield, also known as Fences to come back to Vancouver to play a show -- I missed the last time he came through and have been anticipating his return ever since.
I have to say, after a long week of final exams and pondering expectant test scores-- I needed a break from my hectic college life.
This was the perfect release.
I have written about how his music makes me feel, how much I so self-deprecatingly love it. Endlessly.
Let me continue that trend.
I made my way down to the venue at around 8:30pm. Just outside the venue was Chris standing in the shadows surrounded by cigarette smoke. Obscure and hidden. Upon entering the venue I wondered if the motivation behind deciding to pursue a career in music would be fame and fortune. I doubt it.
JODY GLENHAM opened the show just passed 9pm with her acoustic style melodies and solid vocals. I didn't know what to expect but found myself moving along to the music. She sang about snow in New York that got me thinking if... it actually was snowing in New York. Hm.
To reiterate: I enjoyed her set. She was joined on stage by two male musicians on the drum-set and keys/bass/melodica/guitar. They complemented each other well and the sounds they produced was melodic, and pleasantly - soulful.
LISTEN TO HER SONG BUTTONS
When FENCES took to the stage at around 9:45pm everybody suddenly shushed up slightly, made their way to the front of stage and paid close attention. Fences opened their set with a tragically beautiful song... and the name of that song has escaped me. (Marketplace?). They followed with Sadie, My Girl the Horse and most if not all of the songs from their latest release - Amazing. The songs melted into one another and each in their very own way buried themselves into our ears and into our swollen hearts.
His songs seem to expose every crevice in his soul and leave his guts spewing tears. They make you so damn sad -- it's nostalgically authentic every time you think you've hit your lowest point. Chris Mansfields' tall lanky - tattooed form stood center stage with skin tight skinnies hemmed inches above the ankle -- his staple; a short-sleeved button up shirt and a cap, as if you say to us -- "I feel at home here". He stood facing the microphone singing the majority of his songs with his eyes closed, as if back to where he was when he wrote them.
To add to his calm demeanor on stage -- His sincerity shone through when he thanked us and followed with "I'll fuckin' see you later" the sweetest words I've heard all night, charming -- you see, he's "a sensitive guy." Three other bandmates filled out the stage on guitar/keys, bass and drums -- they created sounds of mellow indie variety. Brilliant. Between the verses and chorus' Mansfield would recede to face the back of the stage, as if to say, "it's not me who deserves the attention" -- Humble. The band as a whole cohesively played song after song adding an energy of controlled self-esteem and troubled melodies.
Fences ended the set with From Russia With Love my favourite then, now and possibly forever.
Just before leaving I couldn't resist picking up the album and a shirt -- I'll wear it proudly.
What can I cay -- I have a soft spot for the kid.
Oh. Also. Check out these amazing photos from the show from SCENEINTHEDARK