Sam Weber and Quoia descended upon Sugar Nightclub May 28 for a dual album release party. It was also King Rocktographer Tyson Elder’s decade-defining birthday.
If you were there, we endeavorered to make Tyson hard to miss. Upon his arrival, he was adorned with his ‘crown’ — a blinking party hat Dollar-Store-Score™ — which read, “Happy 1st Birthday”. We quickly edited it to a more appropriate, “Happy 1st 30th Birthday” and decorated him with all the glow sticks. With King Rocktographer sufficiently pleased at our birthday offerings, we were ready to enjoy the show.
Although Quoia has been a staple of the Victoria music scene for years, I’d never seen them play before. I went in with an open mind, not knowing what to expect. Their website describes them as a band that “epitomizes the West Coast Vibe,” so I imagined the familiar dulcet tones of the same old campfire jams we’ve grown accustomed to in Victoria.
Thankfully — and I’ll be clear: not because I don’t like campfire jams, but because there is only so much room for bands with the “West Coast Vibe” before it gets stale, and bands like Vince Vaccaro, Current Swell, and Jon and Roy already dominate that sound — Quoia brought their own interpretation of that West Coast Vibe to Sugar Nightclub.
The taste of a chill day in Tofino, a dash of campfire on the beach in Port Renfrew, with a with a sprinkle of the country after a day of mountain biking in the Cowichan Valley. A solid display of talent, it’s clear that Quoia are impeccable in their dedication to their music.
From electrifying guitar solos, to foot stomping fiddling, Quoia is bursting at the seams with musical talent. Quoia quickly turned the crowd into synchronized hand-clapping, foot-stomping machine. At one point, the group I was with coordinated a 3-way hand clap, which was much less dirty than it sounds, and required more coordination than it sounds. Rocktographers: clapping specialists. I can’t wait to see them up at Tall Tree later this year where I imagine they’ll really be in their element.
With the crowd sufficiently limber from Quoia, it was time for Sam Weber to take the stage. The Zone’s Jenny West recounted a staff meeting at the beginning of May where Weber was announced as the Zone’s Band of the Month. “We all just let out a sigh and said ‘FINALLY.'” It’s true that Sam Weber has been tirelessly working in the music scene for years, playing an incredible 155 shows in 2014-2015, and now is beginning to get the recognition he deserves.
Weber’s set was flawless with sounds so crisp, you’d never guess that not even 24 hours earlier Weber had almost cut off his thumb in an incident (surprisingly) not involving a Jamie Oliver knife.
The set was full of carefully-blended rock-country sounds and meticulously crafted guitar solos that harkened back to the California rock sounds of The Eagles’ Joe Walsh. With the hometown crowd left under his spell, Weber now sets his sights on a cross Canada tour kicking off June 3.