Town Pump, Vancouver
Friday, June 2, 1995

Concert review by A.R. Carrall
Photography by James Dittiger

I knew it was going to be an exceptional opportunity for music fans on this balmy Friday night and Crash Vegas certainly didn't prove me wrong. I had just walked through the door and grabbed a cold one when the familiar strains of Pocahontas, the Neil Young chestnut, rumbled from the stage to open the show and fully enchant the sold out throng. Michelle McAdorey, dressed in a simple but oh so sexy black slipdress had everyone mesmerized from her first syllable as she shimmed and shook her slender frame like an exotic gypsy while keeping her head perfectly still. The band suffered no ill effects from having their gear ripped off the night before as they stormed through a set that drew heavily from Aurora, their excellent new release for Sony Music.

"This show is being recorded by the CBC," McAdorey announced as they launched into Old Enough, followed by Linoleum and the gripping On & On (Lodestar), a triple combination that was proof positive Crash Vegas was not only on but were in that special place some call the zone. They were unconscious, playing with a faith and finesse that very few possess. Remember to check the radio listings as this was a show well worth having on tape. Guitarist Colin Cripps has evolved into a stellar musician as he assembled rock solid melodies with his intricate rhythm work, then blew the roof off with jaw dropping leads. He and vocalist McAdorey fit extremely well together as both seem shy and withdrawn on stage until they slay you with their talent and craftsmanship. There wasn't a lot of small talk or meaningless patter between songs as the band concentrated on the task at hand and never strayed the course. One Way Conversation from Stone was one of many highlights as Cripps attacked his guitar with amazing gusto while McAdorey threw heart and soul into her emotional vocal.

You Shine Bright, the slow burner that is one of Aurora's standout tracks, had the crowd under mass hypnosis, all eyes on McAdorey as her voice swooped and soared around the song's chorus of you shine bright, why so dim. Overall it was an extremely well paced, enthralling performance with the only drawback being the guitar sound, which sometimes overwhelmed the songs with sheer volume.

With three albums now under its collective belt it's apparent that Crash Vegas has matured into one of Canada's most entertaining bands. If you have a chance to catch this band make the best of it or better still go grab a copy of Aurora, you won't be disappointed.