The opening act was “Rat-Man” Franklin Jonas, a.k.a Baby Jonas Brother (Ok no one calls him that, but he is the youngest offspring of the Jonas clan.)
Coming out in a furry suit dressed as a rat, Jonas’ vocals teetered between brilliance and “what exactly is this I’m listening to?” Don’t get me wrong, this guy was full of bravado that exuded a laissez-faire attitude towards entertaining. It came across as quite endearing and Franklin’s sound and performance would not be seen out of place at Longhorns in Whistler on a Friday evening.
His baby-pop anthemic songs had a sparkly quality to them with the inviting vibe feeling like a 2000’s backyard party (albeit an expensive one with cool lights). His love of performing came across loud and proud through his ease in which he spoke to the audience and had us all singing a chorus in participation.
When Dope Lemon took the stage, it was a very matter of fact entrance from lead singer/solo artist Angus Stone and the band musicians. Three out of the five members wore black Akubras (for all the non-Aussies/Crocodile Dundee fans, that’s a traditional Aussie cattle drover hat, thank you very much).
The first aching chords rung out; and as if on cue the crowd was swept to their feet and remained standing for the entire concert. Stone’s voice was clear cut and it’s obvious to see why the Australian performer is renown in his role as frontman for Dope Lemon as well as one half of brother/sister duo Angus & Julia Stone.
Second song in, Stone dropped the crowd favourite “Marinade”. Easily confused with the term “Marry Me” and guised under the Aussie accent when introduced, someone in the crowd enthusiastically yelled out “Yes, yes I will”. The easy, earthy surf tune made for a perfect segue into the set, establishing the mood for the rest of the evening.
In a moment that felt like a close friend talking to his large and captive audience of friends, Angus explained that his track “Hey Man, Don’t Look At Me Like That” was something he penned with an ex-girlfriend who was an actress emerging at the same time as his career was taking off. Presumably referring to Isabel Lucas, they both went through a life change of suddenly being recognizable on the streets by both strangers and paparazzi alike. Coming up with the term between one another, their inside joke became the title and leading hook for this track.
Throughout the show Stone and his players switched up instruments, with Stone taking to a gorgeous black sitar that he picked up on his far-flung travels. He told the audience that during his travels and psychedelic trips, he discovered the definitive quality that characterizes the Dope Lemon sound. One part shimmer and sparkle indie and one part psychedelic-western-surf, Dope Lemon bought a little piece of Australian warmth to Vancouver.
Review: Melissa Riemer
Photos: Aimeson King