Published Feb 15, 2015A mellow cloud hung in the Alix Gooldin hall in Victoria as the sharply groomed beards and quick-witted Canadian alt-country rockers, Elliott Brood, began their set. Luckily, guitar/vocalist duo Mark Sasso and Casey Laforet invited the near-capacity crowd to abandon the church pews and fill the aisles for some dancing, which totally revived the vibe of the show.
The Toronto trio moved easily through material mostly plucked from their latest release, Work and Love. The songs sounded mature, albeit lacking the raw energy and youthfulness of their earlier work. The highlight was "Each Other's Kids," a song inspired by a Saint John, New Brunswick pub and its community; the song is about a community raising their youth together between the walls of the watering hole.
Quips about fatherhood and their children showed a seasoned side of group, but their live performance remained youthful and exciting, and the brotherly connection that Sasso and Laforet have can only be afforded by years of playing together. The addition of Aaron Goldtein on pedal steel for the tour brought a new dimension and presence, not just for new works, but for the band's older hits.
Roaring through fan favourites like "Northern Air," "Oh Alberta" and "If I Get Old," Elliott Brood kept the crowd engaged, throwing in a cover of the Crazy Horse classic, "Dance, Dance, Dance."
The band finished their night with the monumental ukulele anthem "The Valley Town," from their 2008 album, Mountain Meadows. As usual, the band stuck around to chat, shake hands and sign autographs. Elliott Brood are genuine guys, making genuine music, and tonight (February 14) was a great example of it.