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Alestorm’s Piratefest 2015 hits Vancouver!


Arr, t’was a cloudy Friday 13th that I set sail for the heart of Vancouver to catch the most nautical tour of the year. Piratefest 2015 was in town, and there was no stopping me from drinking and pirating my heart out. Dressed up in simple pirate garb, I head to the venue where acts against the crown were being committed.

I miss the opening band, the local and infamous Crackwhore, who are allegedly quite controversial: they’re a grindcore band, which makes no sense with the rest of this bill, but they were probably fun anyways and I am somewhat sad that I missed them. They’re from Vancouver, so I am almost guaranteed to get another chance to see them at a later date.

The Dread Crew of Oddwood were up next. They lack any metal elements, but their folk/minstrel/pirate vibe is really cool and absolutely belongs on this bill. Their set is a jaunty jig, and though they did not play the anticipated cover of “Taking The Hobbits To Isengard”, a crowd chant-along of “When I Sailed” gets everyone really into the swing of things, and closer “Meat Bread and Wine” makes sure to keep the party spirit going until the very end. Very convincing with the pirate theme, they are probably going to come around again soon, and when they do I will be sure to catch them again.

Full disclosure: I cannot stand Swashbuckle. I find them to be thrash metal of the most unrelentingly bad order, and their pirate theme somehow makes them more insufferable, because pirates are fun, and Swashbuckle are the opposite of fun. They aren’t awful, I suppose, but I just don’t find them interesting in any way.

They have energy and conviction, as evidenced by the amount of people that do like them however, so good on them. I went out into the lobby and ordered a beer or three and some rum during their set. On to the headliners.

Alestorm are – as expected, given this being the third time I’ve seen them now – oodles of fun. Even though I was not as stoked on their most recent album as others may have been, the songs they play from it are mostly enjoyable, especially favourites “Magnetic North” and “Battle of Cartagena”. Their cover of “Wolves of the Sea” never fails to put a smile on my face, and it’s the same with old classic “That Famous Ol’ Spiced”.

There’s a hilarious moment segueing into “Midget Saw” where they get the whole crowd chanting “crowdsufing midgets!” and getting short people on stage. They close out the show with “Captain Morgan’s Revenge” and then the ultimate ode to getting drunk, “Rum”. Even though I lost my phone and glasses in the moshpit (the glasses I recovered intact, but my phone’s screen was beyond saving), it was an incredibly fun show. Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum, says I!

All-in-all it was a decent show. Swashbuckle are not my cup of spice at all, but Alestorm and Dread Crew both play excellent sets it of fun. Until next time, here’s hoping for Running Wild on the next Piratefest.

Kevin writer banner Jan 2014