The Rickshaw Theatre
November 19, 2011
Photos: Lauren Mulcahy
Don’t let the name fool you. This show was to appeal to a demographic of fantasy and role playing enthusiasts. “ There’s a little Nerd in all of us” as it was phrased. The Variety show was fun, the music blew me away. It was anything but a Nerd Fest.
The venue – the famous, or should I say nostalgic, Rickshaw Theatre – could not have been the most perfect events location. Its rustic interior and the fact the heat was not on, gave it that true Medieval cold castle ambiance. The acoustics were great. With all three bands, the sound crew from the Rickshaw did a fantastic job! The staff were friendly and right into the whole party theme of the show. Not one, but two bars inside. Well done. Must have Mead!
Patrons were from several generations, but no one seemed out of place. Most were in costume and everyone was happy, enjoying all that Nerdfest had to offer. There were fantasy role players with ties to real people and the Medieval theme was a time in history where mysticism and survival were an everyday occurrence. Some grasped it with courage, while some feared its violence and secrecy. I recommend it to all! It’s your imagination and let it guide you to what you enjoy the most.
As you entered The Rickshaw you were greeted by The Wizard. He would prepare you for the evenings rituals. We were also surrounded by Vikings, Roman soldiers, wizards, witches, wenches and scullery maids, while us warriors and common folk made up the audience. There were display tables of wares for sale, including drinking horns, silver and black metal jewellery, rings, bracelets and necklaces by Blackmetal Creations.
The night began with a warrior style Sword fight by Academie Duello Warrior Academy Centre for sword play. Their costumes were actual safety equipment with leather and steel mesh garments which would help stop the slice and dice of these fantastic long swords from dismembering you. Their display table was impressive to say the least.
The show included videos which had some minor technical problems, but they were shown between different parts of the live entertainment. I was taken in by the displays and other sales of t-shirts, CD’s and metal band memorabilia from the three bands performing. Hammer Records was also on hand to show what they can do for your metal band.
First band up was CELESTIAL RUIN. This group is a newer Vancouver ‘Indie” band I thought were exciting and powerful. They were sweet yet dangerous. The music was not really Medieval or would be described as Warrior or Viking related. Symphonic is its one description. Their music appealed to everyone. Larissa Dawn, the lead vocalist, has at times an Angelic voice, but can masterfully bring a powerful sound to ‘Kick your ass.” That, with the Thunderous-Adam (Thunder) Todd on drums , Mike (DIKK) Daganais on Bass, Yakir Biton on Guitar and Nathan Loflin on Keyboards, Celestial Ruin is a band which will command the attention of a lot of fans. They literally blew me away. Their original material and the cover they did of The Final Countdown by Europe was fantastic, powerful and the band just controlled the audience. Watch for their new album coming out in Feb. 2012.
Next up was Burlesque dancer ‘Precious Metal‘. A quick but entertaining strip tease, done with a style of times gone past. She told me she was frozen, It really was quite chilly in the theatre that night. She enjoyed it and stayed for the rest of the nights events.
The next band up was Eye Of Odin. This is a group which has a niche market, Metal, Warrior style music, sometimes called ‘Victory Music’. All members wore period costumes from the Viking era. Their songs were like stories told of great feats of courage and survival. I enjoyed not only their music, but Grendell’s Stage presence and how he was truly the centre of attention. The highlight of their show was during the song The Hall at the End Of The Earth. A beautiful belly dancer came out on stage and did an exquisite dance to this tale done to the music. Everything flowed perfectly. Eye Of Odin definitely is on the mark for sound and style. Enjoyed to the point I was a Viking at the end of their set. I was not a mosh pit participant , although that looked like fun.
Eye of Odin is Grendell Scalding (aka Cody Scott) lead vocals; Alexandria Yates, vocals and keyboards; Evan Rogerson on drums; Kayle Hammel on bass and Aaron (Giezer) Geisbrecht on guitar. Stunning Stage presence and cool music.
The next performer was the ‘Angle Grinder’ Tiffani Truth.’ In the darkness of the Rickshaw came the screech of the Grinder, sparks everywhere. She lit up the stage in a fiery shower of sparks. The show was impressive and quick. It is another art form, I enjoyed seeing her perform. Like the Burlesque dancer, I thought it was over too quick as the headliners SCYTHIA took the stage shortly after.
SCYTHIA brought out everyone now. More people seemed to arrive and the floor filled up. A brand of Folk/Metal is their music style .
They arrived on stage like a victorious Viking army arriving home. I was in a zone, getting my full take of the entertainment before me. The new sound of the microphone enhanced Oboe was eerie yet magnificent. Their music was like that of Eye of Odin where you felt a part of another time and place in the very distant past. Songs of survival, courage, wizardry and war. Happy victorious songs and songs of doom and death. I personally loved the whole package. They were great. This music appealed to me because I felt a part of that era. True fantasy and Gothic style entertainment has to come in a whole package. SCYTHIA was able to give the audience exactly what they wanted. Their costumes were awesome. Horned headwear, kilts and a music style to go with it.
SCYTHIA is; Dave Khan on guitar and vocals, Terry Savage on bass, Celine Derval on wicked drums, Morgan Zentner on oboe, (fixed with a microphone and wireless pack) with a stunningly awesome sound, and Scott F. Thompson on keyboards. The band's setlist for tonight’s show included Forest, Fallen King, Black Death, Red Wizard, Quebec Reel, Video Game Medley, Dies Irae I, For the King, Hobarth’s Inn and Sailor.
The show ended with the Costume contest winners. The Roman soldiers seemed to take the prize with some colourful patrons.
It was a great night to play and with a fun crowd too. See you at the next Nerdfest.
Eye of Odin