The evening of the Rickshaw Theatre’s seventh year anniversary was a relatively mellow one; a contrast to the usual punk and metal bands that at times dominate the marquee outside.
Featuring a hand picked lineup of funk, soul, R&B, and blues rock bands by long time venue owner Mo Tarmohamed, the feel good night was steeped in equal parts love, respect, and unwavering support from both the bands performing and everyone in attendance.
As one of the last few independent live music venues of it’s size in the city, the concrete building that previously operated as a movie theatre before being transformed into a live music venue is a staple to Vancouver’s downtown east side.
Stepping up to the stage before the headlining act was Vancouver based blues-rock quartet, No Sinner. Lead by singer-songwriter Colleen Rennison rocking a newly purchased authentic Van Halen band tee, the band felt right at home on the Rickshaw stage. Rennison’s rich and sultry voice went on to deliver choice selections from the band’s latest album “Old Habits Die Hard,” as well as their first record, “Boo Hoo Hoo.” In between tracks, Rennison had zero reservations in her support of the beloved venue.
As Pickwick, from Seattle, went up to play the Rickshaw stage for the third time as a band lead singer Galen Disston opened by saying, “Happy birthday to the Rickshaw,” before sliding into their first song of the evening, “Sea Monster.” Together with Michael Parker on guitar, Garrett Parker on bass, Cassidy Lillstrom on keyboard, and Alex Waistcoat on drums, Disston blends elements of indie rock, soul, and R&B to create a sound that’s completely unique to Pickwick.
Although the night was relatively mellow, it was a welcome change of pace and really showed the versatility of the venue as a whole. Rich vocals and melodic riffs ruled Rickshaws’s seventh birthday bash and we have Mo Tarmohamed and his dedicated team to thank for keeping this institution of East Vancouver open and chugging along all these years. Cheers to many more years of live music at the Rickshaw Theatre.
Pickwick performed at the Rickshaw Theatre July 8.