When the Cinematics took the stage at Vancouver’s Richard’s on Richards venue Friday night (April 20), it seems as if the conservative group of twenty-something hipsters wasn’t exactly ready for the Scottish quartet’s spiky-riffed dance rock. Lead singer Scott Rinning, who channels a younger, buttoned-down Rivers Cuomo (sans black-rimmed specs, avec deeper voice) and shares Cuomo’s capacity for awkwardly endearing banter, yet with the appropriate amount of swagger, may have played it cool at first, but the show wasn’t all band restraint and audience cynicism.
Breaking a modest sweat halfway through, the band finally wooed the semi-spare crowd of mopey music snobs with “Human,” a yelping, brash burst of Hold Steady-like swagger, which unlocked restful guitarist Ramsay Miller. The stirring “Asleep at the Wheel” also captured Rinning as a tortured near-genius who’d pack it all up and decamp to Harvard a la Cuomo. “Can I ask why?” pleads Rinning in the pre-chorus to “Asleep,” finally catching the ear of the crowd. “Why, Vancouver,” he seems to be asking, “Why didn’t you wake up six songs ago?” KAITLIN FONTANA / PHOTOS BY ALAN STREMEL
We asked: If your life were a movie, what would be the soundtrack?