The Rickshaw Theatre
June 6, 2010
By Charlene Tupper
This past Sunday, Vancouver had a “Bombshell” of performances at The Rickshaw Theatre led by a glowing eyed Powerman 5000 at the Rickshaw Theatre, put on by the Invisible Orange. To start the night off was a rock based band called “KILL MATILDA” with a female singer (who was dressed in a metal style of clothes) and the other 3 members were more formally dressed, played for about 20 minutes. There seemed to be more photographers in the photo pit than people listening to their music. Their sound was more rock/metal, but I was undecided as to which one it was. The guitar riffs pulled it off as metal, but the drums , although good, didn’t have a heavy beat to classify it as metal. The singer had a really good voice, but its not the voice of metal. They call their style a rock / grunge / alternative sound. I didn’t hear the grunge in it at all, although they had a good sound that was pulled together nicely.
Second up for the night was “BLACK BETTY” , who call themselves classic rock. Originally there were two members (Jonas and Ana), but now they’ve added a third member (Shawn) who plays bass.. The trio belted out some very classical rock sounds, which I appreciated because the drummer was also the singer= and that takes some talent to accomplish. The band is billed as classic rock and that’s the sound we got for their strong 25 minute set, although it would have been nice to see them move around the stage a bit more.
Third to play was “NINJASPY”, who entertained the fans with their style of reggae, metal and a little bit of funkiness. Their set lasted for about 35-40 minutes and started with a round of thank yous to the fans from Vancouver Island and the ones who traveled from as far away as Montreal. These guys were so high energy as they moved everywhere and were full of such energy. It was unlikely to see them in one spot for long. But this made it very entertaining for all the fans to watch. They claim that one must reunite music with dancing, mind with body, and thought with action – and that’s exactly what they brought to the stage. They have their own unique style of music, which includes different ranges. The vocals, guitar riffs and drums were very obviously different music styles and influences, but they seamlessly put it all together. During their set, the singer pulled out a ninja octagon sai (originally used as a farm tool and later to fight against Samurais’ and their deadly swords) to play his guitar with. They were probably the only band that had a mosh pit of any size. Their style of music and enthusiasm kept the crowd pumped and had me captivated.
Last up on this Vancouver stage was PM5K from Massachusetts, also known as POWERMAN 5000. Their set was just about an hour, but it felt more like half an hour. The Rickshaw definitely got a lot more packed when doors opened and filled with fans anxious to see and hear the band play some classics. Everyone was pumped watching “Spider One” (also Rob Zombie’s younger brother) belt out those songs, while hearing guitar riffs scream into your eardrum by Evan9 and Velkro. The rhythm section sent strong feelings as the bass by X51 ran through your body, while the drums of GFLASH pounded out the beat. No matter what style of music you like, you can’t help but “GET UP, GET UP, GET UP” during their set. Their music and energy makes you want to jump and shout and you can’t help but move or simply sing along.
POWERMAN 5000 formed in 1991 and the last founding member of the band is Spider One. The highest commercial success came in 1999 with science fiction movie called “Tonight the Stars Revolt." They also received praise when they did a remake of “Relax,” which was made for the movie “Zoolander”. All the fans, young and old ,were seen enjoying such songs as “ When Worlds Collide", “Drop The Bombshell,” “Supernova” and a selection of new and older material. Then, when the audience believed the show was over, the band returned on stage with new outfits on, and everyone (except Spider One) had mask like helmets with glowing eyes. They commanded attention from the audience and they got it – with the crowd jumping even higher than before. These new costumes created a creepy atmosphere where emotions were small. The masks created fear within you when they stare blankly at you with those glowing eyes.
POWERMAN 5000 stole the night away, glowing eyes and all.