There’s something special about catching the band at the end of a good, long tour. By the end of a tour a band worth listening to is in top form, able to play off of each other as much as they play with each other. May 23 saw Isobel Trigger returning home to Victoria to rock Lucky Bar for the last night of their first big tour, and I was lucky enough to get a hold of lead singer/keyboardist Felicia Harding before their bombastic end to their tour.
The band enjoyed a good reception back east. “Before, we’d just toured B.C. and Alberta, so it’s been really cool,” says Harding of the trek that took her and her bandmates from Vancouver Island to Quebec and back again, playing 22 dates in six weeks. “The coolest part for us was getting all the way to Quebec City and Montreal because we’ve always wanted to do that. It was so different in terms of landscape, people, and culture.”
Even if every show on a tour is a gem, some are bound to stand out more than others, and their first national tour yielded more than one stand out. “Our second show in Edmonton at the Pawn Shop was definitely a highlight because we got to play with our friends REND, who we’re big fans of. It was really well attended, and it was just a fun venue . . . Our show at CMW [Canadian Music Week, Toronto] was really fun. It was an inspiring experience to be with all of these other Canadian artists kicking ass,” recalls Harding.
I can’t say if this show held up to other highlights of the tour, but it was clear as the band took the stage at Lucky that they were happy to be home, even if they were exhausted from travelling.
Dressed like a band ready to glam-rock the hell out of anyone within ear shot (special shout-out to guitarist to Brett Faulkner on his amazing ‘80s spandex exercise/headband combo), the band blew through a set that featured a few new songs but mainly took from last year’s impressive debut, Nocturnal. The songs being the mainstay of their sets for some time now gave them an extra wallop, with “Dust and Bones” and “Champion” raging hard against the last gasps of the road.
Performing these songs over and over for so long has given the band and Harding an impressive awareness of the relationship between art and artist. “As you continue with a song you form a different relationship with it,” says Harding. “The very meaning of the song can really change for you . . . Certain songs have an endless longevity. You’re addicted to the song, and even though the meaning might change, the strength of it perseveres. Other songs, you have a wild love affair at first, and then it just kind of dwindles with time.” Judging from the energy they blasted from the stage, the band really loves those songs, and for good reason: they’re damned fine songs.
With a crowd filled with familiar faces and people who knew their songs, Isobel Trigger returned home to Victoria like conquering heroes, blasting ears and getting asses moving around the dance floor.