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Hey Rosetta! @ Horseshoe Tavern

November 21st, 2008


The other night it snowed like crazy! And the good part is I got to avoid it all. I was packed into the Horseshoe Tavern with a couple hundred East-coasters (and east-coaster-wannabes) to watch Newfoundland’s Hey Rosetta! play the heck out of their recent LP release Into Your Lungs (And Around In Your Heart And On Through Your Body).

The crowd had not let the weather dim their spirits (I guess it snows way more than this in Halifax anyway), and started chanting for the band to appear barely minutes after openers and fellow Maritimers Museum Pieces had packed all their gear off the stage.

The band did not keep their fans waiting, and soon the six-piece carried their guitars, violin, and yes, that was a cello, onto the stage, and launched into the first crescendo of finely layered indie-pop that would open up the night.

Despite having only released one EP, 2007’s Plan Your Escape, Hey Rosetta! seem to have already mastered the art of the anthemic power-pop ballad, and songs that begin in quiet little sound-towns and end up in hugely energetic cities of song. Lead vocalist Tim Baker, who legend has it once wrote all his songs alone in his bedroom, took up a spot behind a piano for about half the night (which may have been slightly too long) to guide the crowd through a slew of emotional keys-driven numbers, such as “We Made a Pact”, and “A Thousand Suns”. (Don’t get me wrong, I am all for piano songs, but not when they are stacked end to end.)

Audience favourites “Red Heart” and “Handshake the Gangster” also deserve honourable mention, as well as my personal favourite tune “I’ve Been Asleep for a Long, Long Time”. Special attention should also go to the instantly-sobering tune “Holy Shit”, which may or may not be about the time the band “almost died in a blizzard” while stuck in a rickety van during their tour of the prairies.

Even though the hour and a half long set may have dragged on a bit in some places, it was balanced out by the band’s impressive energy and enthusiasm for the music they were playing. With the crowd (and members of Oh No Forest Fires!, who opened the night, and took any opportunity they could find to help out with backing vocals) equally enthused, the band finished their set with an accomplished flourish, and the glowing audience went happily back out into the snow.

Hey Rosetta! will be opening for Hawksley Workman on November 28th at Massey Hall.

MySpace: Hey Rosetta!
Official Site: Hey Rosetta!

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