Real Estate @ Rickshaw Theatre Vancouver

Vancouver’s Timbre Concerts bring New Jersey’s most laid back five-piece Real Estate to the Rickshaw Theatre ahead of their latest album ‘In Mind’.

Real Estate have been one of the most reliable indie bands of the past decade, their nostalgic guitar-driven style has stayed consistent throughout their previous three albums. ‘In Mind’ sees them continue refining their signature sound while delving into new time signatures and more mature waters lyrically.

We ventured down to the Rickshaw Theatre; a converted kung-fu movie theatre on East Hastings to check out the band as they embark on their North American tour. The venue was in keeping with it’s movie theatre origins, with tiered seating towards the back, underneath an overhanging balcony. People were sitting across the back of the theatre as support act and local Vancouver band The Shilohs delivered an energetic opening set. Although slightly uncommon for such a small venue, it seemed fitting that we were sitting down for Real Estate, what better way to enjoy their laid back melancholic tunes? They’d probably be sitting down if they could.

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The front standing area began to fill however, as the roadies started to soundcheck the band’s gear before they took to the stage, and before long everyone was standing in what was a packed house. Real Estate brought their well-refined sound to life, honing in on their live set with every bit as much precision as they have been doing on each of their previous records. What else would we expect from the east coast’s most consistent guitar band? Bass player Alex Bleeker jokes “it’s a nice break away from being in the States”, as the band returns from playing Coachella festival. They seem much more at home in this intimate venue in the Pacific Northwest and their sound reflects it. They move quickly through their set, recalling tracks from their self-titled debut to their latest release ‘In Mind’ending with ‘It’s Real’.

Real Estate are a band very firmly planted in the middle of the road, however, it’s a familiar road they’ve been walking down for years. Their warm guitar tones underneath Martin Courtney’s soft vocals, at times, seem to blend into nothing, however, they’re at their best when drawing out their long guitar-driven chord sections, reminiscent of Kurt Vile at times, and I’m more than happy to sit and listen to them go round all evening.

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