I once again found myself at another surprisingly different show at Victoria’s Lucky Bar on the weekend. The music scene in Victoria is an ever evolving entity. Country rock and singer- song writers filled in for synths and drumloops for Dirty Mountain’s debut album release party.

Kicking off the night was Televisions, a band so new on the scene that this was their first show in Victoria (second if you count Song & Surf). The band is a hodgepodge of local musicians, including Geoff Lundstrum and members of Weird Party. It was a solid combination of talent that seemed to keep the crowd entertained, but I found their set lagged on a little too long for an opener. It felt drawn out and slightly out of place on a bill with singer-songwriters and country rock music.

Following Televisions was the always radiant Steph Macpherson and her band (which is basically Dirty Mountain sans Lane Ardnt). Having recently played a Bruce Springsteen cover night at Upstairs Cabaret with a half dozen other local bands, I was kind of hoping to see the band play one of those covers. No dice.

Since Dirty Mountain’s first show at Anián last summer, it was interesting to see how the band has developed. They’re now stronger, more confident, and seasoned from touring and performing regularly. It was indeed a time for the band to debut their new record — 01 — in it’s entirety. Front to back, the record punches in just over thirty minutes. 01 is a country record that isn’t afraid to kick it into fifth gear from time to time, especially on songs like Jagged Lines.

Lead songstress Elli Hart’s soulful voice is almost rivaled by her presence on stage. Ever-energetic and clearly not afraid to shred some solos on her guitar. And, like any good storyteller, her lyrics weave larger-than-life tales while remaining relatable and catchy.

Dirty Mountain’s only diversion from their latest record was mid-set when they invited Steph Macpherson back on stage to sing a a cover of Dolly Parton’s timeless classic, Jolene; one of the better cover versions I’ve seen of this song, Miley Cyrus included.

Dirty Mountain’s powerful onstage presence, coupled with their skill and proficiency as a band, sets them apart from any other band in their genre in this area. They would be a welcome breath of fresh air at any major music festival this summer, and would certainly win them lots of new fans.

Find more photos of Dirty Mountain, Steph Macpherson, and Televisions on the Rocktographers’ Smugmug.

Televisions - Photo by Tyson Elder

Televisions – photo by Tyson Elder

Televisions - Photo by Tyson Elder

Televisions – photo by Tyson Elder

Steph Macpherson - Photo by Tyson Elder

Steph Macpherson – photo by Tyson Elder

Steph Macpherson - Photo by Tyson Elder

Steph Macpherson – photo by Tyson Elder

Dirty Mountain - Photo by Tyson Elder

Dirty Mountain – photo by Tyson Elder

Dirty Mountain - Photo by Tyson Elder

Dirty Mountain – photo by Tyson Elder

Dirty Mountain - Photo by Tyson Elder

Dirty Mountain – photo by Tyson Elder