Bedouin Soundclash gets the fans dancing at Cowboys

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Bedouin Soundclash

YOU'D THINK THEY WENT TO WESTERN WITH ALL THE POPPED COLLARS AND FEDORAS IN THIS PICTURE. Bedouin Soundclash rocked the audience at Cowboys Ranch last Thursday.

Just in time for some pre-exam stress relief, Bedouin Soundclash played Cowboys Ranch with Saint Alvia Cartel and Matt Costa last Thursday night.

The reggae/rock band, consisting of three Queen’s University alumni, has been touring Canada the past two weeks promoting its latest album, Street Gospels, and will finish on Dec. 12 in Victoria, B.C.

If you’ve never been to Cowboys Ranch before, don’t let its honky-tonk atmosphere deter you " it’s actually an ideal location for smaller, more intimate shows.

Being an all-ages event, the bar’s ground level was overrun by a crowd of fans gathered around the stage, leaving little room to move " perfect for a real rock show experience.

The second floor, reserved for those of legal drinking age, was more relaxed, with a balcony set up where patrons could lean against the railing or grab a seat and watch the concert with a few drinks.

Doors opened at 7 p.m., and an hour after the long line of determined fans filed into the building, the first opening act came onstage.

Saint Alvia Cartel put on a great performance despite the fact it is a hardcore punk band. The crowd was not ideal as it had come expecting Bedouin Soundclash’s softer, more soulful reggae sound.

However, some of the fans in the pit were into it. Saint Alvia Cartel’s half-hour set was a fine warmup to the night.

The next performer to hit the stage was California native Matt Costa. Costa boasted a soulful, acoustic style better suited to Bedouin Soundclash fans.

Costa’s set was well received. Audience members, many of which were already fans, sung along to almost every song. A multitalented performer, Costa played the acoustic guitar and the harmonica while singing beautifully, all the while maintaining a commanding stage presence.

At 10 p.m., Bedouin Soundclash finally hit the stage, and was received by a very anxious and excited crowd. Bedouin Soundclash dedicated its performance to “the dancers in the crowd,” and rightfully so. From the opening guitar chord to the final encore, the fans at the front of the stage were dancing, jumping and waving their arms.

Since its performance on campus last year, a rumour has circulated saying Bedouin Soundclash doesn’t sound half as good live as it does on the radio.

If anyone believed the rumour, Thursday night’s show would have proved them wrong. Frontman Jay Malinowski’s voice sounds even better live than on record.

Unfortunately, Bedouin Soundclash’s set was only slightly over an hour in length. With three records under its belt, it had enough material to lengthen its performance.

Despite the short set list, the band’s performance was a hit. Fans left excited, likely counting the days until they can catch Bedouin Soundclash again.

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