Death is a hard subject to prepare for, even when you know it’s a long way away. When Apollo Ghosts frontman Adrian Teacher announced in December that the band weren’t going to be around forever, it never really sunk in that the day when the band wouldn’t play sold-out shows for grinning pop junkies might come. And, even though their final show at the Rickshaw was more wake than funeral, it was still tough to see one of Vancouver’s brightest call it quits.
Diane played a strong collection of post-punk goodness to start the night. Discordant guitar licks and some startlingly crunchy bass tones backed up alternating vocal duties. Drummer Ben Goldberg’s habit of reassuring his band mates between songs was endearing, and the trio found their confidence again towards the end of their set.
Watermelon were a more cohesive ensemble than I remember, and a lot more fun as a result. Songs definitely leaned on the pop side of rock ‘n’ roll, but unique influences and interesting sound choices made for a surprise hit. A little bit shoegaze guitar waves, a little bit ’80s stadium rock, their songs clicked just right on the Rickshaw’s stage.