Beautiful. In the most concise way possible, that is how I can describe the stripped-down CBC Radio 2 Live Sessions show that Jets Overhead delivered last night. There is always something special about seeing a band in room designed specifically for music performance, with an audience hanging on every note in silence. Every instrument distinguishable, every note clear and crisp. Close your eyes, and you could almost imagine sitting on the floor of Joe King Hall on Hornby Island where Jets Overhead recorded their new album.
No Nations has the distinct feel of an album made by a band comfortable in their own shoes. Just like island life, it has a laid back and flowing feel. Guitars swirl, drums flirt with the bass groove, and the vocals – a perfect pair – alternate from soaring to simmering. All this was magnified by the intimate setting of the Telus Studio in the Chan Centre at UBC.
Opening with All The People and Seems So Far – two standout tracks from their 2006 album, Bridges – the band then proceeded to play their entire new album in reverse track order. The album’s closing song, Tired of the Comfort, is a brooding, rolling song that crescendo’s into a My Morning Jacket-esque finale. It worked well as an opener, and the album flowed from there, including my favourites Fully Shed and Weathervanes. With all the band members bringing their unique contributions to the music, it was a pleasure to sit and focus on different instruments and hear the intricacies. I’m still humming the bass line from Always A First Time today!
Drummer, Luke Renshaw, commented afterwards that this show was a little nerve wracking because there was no room for error without the fuzz and noise of their normal “loud” show. Between songs, singer Adam Kittredge also noted how the experience brought them back to the essence of the songs by tearing away layers to get to the core.
They finished with a couple of older songs, plus a new song listed as Bystander on the set list, and the infectious Sun Sun Sun, leaving us with that simple yet catchy chorus to hum as we walked out into the final rays of the setting sun on the UBC campus. An early show has it’s benefits!