Even with a venue seemingly too small for the crowd, Two Hours Traffic still managed to squeeze in a videographer, to document their last few shows. The soft indie folk rock, bordering on country is needless to say difficult to define, and it’s hard to be funny when a band is, in all definitions of the word, dying. The band paid tribute to those they had started with, such as Joel Plaskett, remarking that the venue seemed much larger when they opened for him way back then, when they were wide-eyed. Now, they have the onstage charisma that only comes with years of experience (the band has been together since 2000).
Reminiscent of the Shins, particularly their older stuff, with the twangy guitar that gained popularity in such older bands such as Elvis and the Beach Boys. There’s an almost tropical feel to their songs, which not only spreads this intensely happy feeling, but also serves as a constant reminder of the bands east coast roots. The music verges on pop in certain songs, and they try to please the almost constant stream of shout-outs from the burgeoning crowd.
Coming to a concert like this makes me disappointed that I missed a band that reached so many people. How could I have only just found out about them? I kept waiting to hear a familiar song and nothing. What does that say about me, or our radio stations, or even our country as a whole for not thoroughly supporting Canadian artists in all forms? It’s a bit of a depressing feeling, and it’s hard to shake the overall bittersweetness of the night.
As when any band dies, it’s never really a genuinely sad moment, more bittersweet than anything. With multi-layered songs that bursted with the colourful days of summer and happiness and love. It’s hard to describe how happy these songs make you feel, and listening to them live puts much of their recorded songs, accessible through Youtube or iTunes, to shame. Which in itself is a shame. Is it because of the terrible quality of these internet music conversions that bands can create such beautiful, stirring music such as this one end up doing a farewell tour? I’m not sure but I’m leaning towards yes.
The band brought out past members alongside the present to play a few, final covers for their second encore. I highly respect a good band that can not only make me feel good, but make me happy in a silly, giddy way that was not induced by beer, and I’m certain that every person with me in that room that night left with the feeling that it would all be alright in the end.
And it will.
Emily Fox | @foxyfoxe