The Rural Alberta Advantage: Mercury Lounge 23 January 2014

I got back into the music concert swing by attending a second show at Mercury Lounge in the same week. I missed the opener Grey Lands. It apparently was just their second gig (the first being the night before). When I got to Mercury it was very crowded but I found a seat on the bench on the left. rtb, violaleeblue, and mollyT were all on the bench on the right side so I texted and asked about the openers. The answers I got were goofy and cute and Canadian.

I didn’t know anything about The Rural Alberta Advantage; this was another let’s buy a cheap ticket and check out this band – for me. They sold out the early and late shows at Mercury Lounge. The club seemed to be at least half-full of Canadians, who were drunk and all introducing themselves to each other and loudly asking where the other was from.

When the band started I stood up on the bench and when the others saw me stand then they stood – I guess the polite Canadians were waiting for the rude New Yorker to show them the way.

The band is Nils Edenloff on lead vocal, acoustic guitar, and keyboards; Amy Cole on background vocals, keyboards, and percussion; and Paul Banwatt on drums. The band packs a lot of power – Edenloff’s acoustic was giving Banwatt’s drums a run for their money on which was going to through threw the brick wall with its big sound. Cole had a really pretty voice and I was very sorry that all she does in back-up vocals. I wish Edenloff would give her more to do and perhaps let her carry a few songs. His voice isn’t anything special but hers is.

I really enjoyed the live show but it didn’t make me want to buy any of their records. They are live act and the energy and power don’t seem to translate yet on their recordings.




By Carene Lydia Lopez