Rio Theatre

October 15 2009

Polaris-nominated experimental alt-rocker Chad Vangaalen made hundred of hipsters swoon last night at the Rio Theatre on Commercial Drive.


Playing an intimate set in quasi-candlelight, Vangaalen delivered his usual, hauntingly beautiful vocal talents reminiscent of a younger, more optimistic Neil Young. Clad in a vintage 1970s outfit, complete with flared pants and a moorlock-styled mop of a wig, the singer songwriter played songs mostly from his critically acclaimed album Soft Airplane, which has become somewhat of a modern classic to those who favour poetic contemplations of death, decay and the sweetness of the human condition.

Highlights included an energetic, distorted performance of “Inside the Molecule,” an homage to grungy guitar rock of the 1990s, typified by the image of the lazy teenager rising “early in the afternoon.”

He finished the set with an eerie but sedating performance of “Molten Light,” which has been dubbed creepy and morbid by some, and sentimental and poetic by others. All in all, it was a beautiful show.

Check out his video for “Molten Light,” which Vangaalen animated himself.