Regime Live hosted the Network Coalition, a concert designed to bring together as diverse a bill as possible in the Fraser Valley, on February 27 at the Phoenix Ballroom. The event showcased nine local rock bands, such as The Sylvia Platters, Atodaso, Molly Be Damned, and headliner Liars and Lions.
“Maybe it’s about boats … Maybe it’s about pirates?” Molly Be Damned started off the show with hot tracks from their album Dead Housewives. The band definitely had a lot of fun opening the show; I can’t say that I’ve ever been much of a fan of post-rock, but that all changed when the vocalist and drummer doubled up on the drums to engage the crowd and show off how passionate they are about their sound. Lou Danger and the Thrills followed them, replete with exceptional bass riffs. These boys had most eclectic ‘90s vibe threaded through their punk rock harmonies. If you like leather jackets and Ray-Bans, they’re for you.
10 Ton Tiger were my favourite performance of the night. The duo consisted of a bluesy keyboard and a set of drums: simple, but dance-worthy. Their instrumental, reflective rock was hypnotizing and exquisitely performed. Two songs that really stood out were “Swagger” and “Speed of Life,” and they proved to be crowd favourites. Afterwards, Atodaso stepped up and caught the crowd’s attention with their captivating stage presence.
Langley artists the Sylvia Platters followed Atodaso, performing their slick brand of power pop. The Platters were cool, collected, and comfortable on stage; interestingly enough, they would insert climactic breaks at the height of their songs, and often end a major song on a minor chord, or vice versa. Melodically different, they reached beautiful falsettos with a soprano lead. One of their songs, “Summer Dreaming,” from their debut album, Make Glad the Day, brought the audience back to a more psychedelic period; they had a taste of the Beatles in their string work.
Echo Nebraska was next, decked in flannel and sunflower guitar straps. They offered a different take on soul-strung alternative rock. Turning the mood of the evening towards a more soothing tone, their full set included a violinist, tambourine, and shakers, alongside strings and drums.
The next band, straight from New Westminster, Marry Me, proved to be a crowd favourite. They hit the stage full throttle, packing every song with as much energy as they could. The crowd liked them because they were the most charismatic in supporting the other local artists. In advocating for the love of music, they threw out free EPs for dancers.
One of the boys from Syd Perry, a reggae band who followed, further engaged with the performance with poi lights. Syd Perry themselves brought out Rastafarian vibes: mellow, calming, and with bluesy acoustics. It felt like a perfect performance with the rest of the evening’s ensemble. Liars and Lions finished off the evening with a collection of metal songs, offering a blood pumping, exuberant finale to the night.
The Network Coalition made for a great way to meet local musicians. Experiencing so many different kinds of music, from metal, to punk, to pop-rock, and so many other genres in one room in one night goes to show that you cannot quantify the diversity of music here in the Valley. Each band had a phenomenal way of amplifying and adding texture to their individual sound. Local music is easily attainable: albums are inexpensive, and you can always pop over to a showcase of local bands whose music is creative and free-spirited — and far more closely connected to and welcoming of — their hometown audiences.