LIVE! Ivan And Alyosha / Jay Nash at Edmonton’s Pawn Shop

by New Music Michael on May 6 2013

Ivan And Alyosha at Edmonton's Pawn ShopSeattle’s Ivan And Alyosha rolled into town Friday night to play a gig at the Pawn Shop. It was changed to an early show, likely because ticket sales were a little disappointing, and so Pawn Shop could make more money on a second concert that evening with a local band. Kind of sucky, I&A probably would’ve ended up with a bigger crowd due to walk-ups with a later set time, but understandable.

They still threw down an amazing set, though. When I got home I told Heather they were like a mix of the blessed Mumford And Sons, but with the energy and fun of Lumineers. Eclectic alt-folk-rock with talent oozing out of every pore of the quintet (three guitars, one bass, one drum), and out of every instrument they touched. If you weren’t there for the show, and you probably weren’t based on my calculations (only about 30 people were in attendance, meaning 99.997% of the city was missing), you missed what will probably be one of the best gigs of the year. Their merch booth seemed to be doing quite well after the show, though, which is good for them, that revenue is 100% theirs.

And even at that, the lead vocalist/acoustic guitarist looked like he felt a bit off. I mean, he was still extraordinary, but he had that look and feel about him like he didn’t think it was going that well. Trust me, it was. Though I’d love to see them do a hometown show in front of a big crowd that knew all their material. That would probably elevate the band into the stratosphere. So tempted to hit Bumbershoot just for that reason.

At any rate, one hell of a talented band, from the Pacific northwest, and they really deserved a better fate for their first time in our city. To be fair, they probably would’ve been a better fit based on their draw for the Wunderbar, or the Haven. A local promoter probably would’ve known that. But what are you going to do.

Opener Jay Nash played a solo set to open the evening, to a grand total of seven people. Given that, he still played magnificently and with all his heart. I ended up sitting next to a couple who obviously came to the gig expressly to see him and were familiar with his entire catalog, and were obviously elated to get the chance to see him perform live. I’m not a huge fan of just solo sets, but Nash impressed the hell out of me too.

More gigs this week! Belle Game on Thursday. Brandi Carlile with my wife on Friday. Say hi if you see me around.

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