Sat 9 Nov – Aidan Knight, Justin Rutledge
I've pretty thoroughly enjoyed Aidan Knight's musical output so far and I missed his stop in Windsor while I was there, so I was quite looking forward to this show. The fact that it was in a seated venue at the Royal Alberta Museum was a draw as well, and also gave rise to a great pun in "A. Knight at the Museum." Well, I thought it was great, anyway. Other things I thought were great include: this show!
Opener Don Brownrigg played a brief and charming set of acoustic folky stuff and did a good job winning the audience over with enjoyable songs and a self-effacing demeanour. Writing this review reminds me that I meant to look into his albums, so I'm going to make a note to do that right now!
Justin Rutledge was up next, and I was a bit surprised he wasn't headlining given that he's released more material than Aidan Knight and generally appears to be more popular. It might be because he did a solo set and Aidan had a full band, but that's just speculation on my part. Justin's set was similar to Don's in terms of the vibe - acoustic folky stuff with a good dose of charm. The main difference was that I was familiar with most of his material and some girl kept screaming at him for a good portion of the set. It was a bit grating but Justin dealt with it well.
As noted Aidan Knight had a whole band along, so the transition from two folky singer-songwriters with acoustic guitars to a full rock onslaught was a bit jarring. Not unpleasant though, as another solo set might have put me to sleep at that point. Aidan and his adaptable band ran through a short but enjoyable set covering most of Small Reveal
as well as some key tracks from Versicolour
and his EPs. I used the word "adaptable" because there was a fair bit of instrument switching, including some nicely used brass. Anyway, here's what they played:
You Will See The Good In Everyone
Margaret Downe (solo)
Knitting Something Nice
The Master's Call
The attempted sing-along during Jasper didn't go so well, but I appreciate the effort. Beyond the music, Aidan scored mega points for having perhaps the nerdiest and most amusing banter I've ever heard at a show. This is saying a lot, as I have seen Buck 65, Hayden, and Andrew Bird multiple times. Highlights included discussion of a favourite childhood museum, reference to playing nerdy board games, and reminiscence of the one big snowfall that ever occurred in Victoria. He actually interrupted the intro of "Margaret Downe" (one of the saddest songs I've heard in recent years) to go on an extended tangent, which was highly amusing.
All-in-all, it was a great show and I'll be sure to catch Aidan next time he's in town!