Concert Review: Grieves & Budo (The Biltmore Cabaret – September 16, 2011)

To liven up this blog a little more, I’m going to start expanding to subjects other than film, as I predicted I would do — see ‘Introductory Post’. Basically, I will post about whatever stimulates me enough to write, given that it entails a subjective experience of some object of aesthetic appreciation (you will never here see anecdotes, rants, stories of my life, or the like).

To begin, here’s a concert review! I keep a note on Facebook reviewing the concerts I go to — originally created sheerly as a reference for myself. I would post them here, but that would take far too much time and effort; there’s currently about 35 of them, some more detailed than others, and each of which would require formatting. So, instead, I’ll just post new ones as they come, and, if you would like to read previous ones, you can find them here: It’s mostly Classic Rock, Blues, and Hip Hop, ranging from Roger Waters, Neil Young and Mark Knopfler to Buddy Guy and Eric Clapton to Atmosphere, Aesop Rock and Eyedea & Abilities, to name a few.

Grieves & Budo (The Biltmore Cabaret):

The opening acts were terrible, but Grieves & Budo were, as expected, incredible. Having seen them perform a short set at the last Atmosphere concert, I couldn’t wait to see a full show. Not only was this their first headlining tour, Vancouver was the first stop on the tour! In other words, we got to witness Grieves & Budo perform their first ever headlining set — and they didn’t disappoint!

We stood pretty close to the stage, so we were able to take it all in. The lighting was exceptional; honestly, it was some of the best lighting I have ever witnessed at a concert — tight, colourful, exciting; it probably benefited from the small stage/venue. I took several videos, but held the camera (my phone) vertically rather than horizontally; so, if I upload it to my computer, the image is sideways. I might upload them anyways, since they display some great performances and that mesmerizing lighting.

The most pleasant surprise came when they played one of my favourite tracks from their earlier period: Scar Gardens; it was nothing short of intense! The set list was great; they didn’t play any disappointing tracks. Not only did they perform the majority of Together/Apart — arguably their best album to date — they covered some of their best tracks from earlier albums. Some of the standouts include Lightspeed, of course, Bloody Poetry, Sunny Side of Hell, Pressure Cracks, Falling From You, and the classic Gwenevieve.

Only qualm about my experience at this show is that, by standing in the crowd, our attention was almost entirely focused on Grieves; because of this, we missed out on (some of) Budo’s incredible show of multi-instrumentalism. Dude is amazing with the keyboards/synthesizers, guitars, and trumpets; I would have liked to have witnessed him more closely.

This was a great beginning to their headlining career. I expect these guys to blow up real soon!

The following pictures are from the last Atmosphere show, but whatever:

With Grieves. Budo Taking the Picture, lol.

Rhymesayers Shirt, signed by each performer in the Family Tour. A little memorial for Eyedea (Micheal Larsen) — RIP.


About Kamran Ahmed

I have a Masters in Cinema Studies from the University of Toronto. I work as a freelance writer and film critic in Vancouver. My writing is primarily distributed through Next Projection, an online film journal based in Toronto.
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