The Nylons are Back! Whoo! I think I can honestly say that this vocal group is my all time favorite. There really is no other musical act that I’ve remained so consistently fired up about for as many years. Partially because they are amazing, partially because they are Canadian, but mostly because I first saw them in my early teens a few days after summer music camp, and my friends and I were so inspired by their voices that we formed our own cover-cover band, The Leotards. The Nylons have since recorded a ton of original music but in those days they (and we) were all about the covers. I saw them again at the Kaleidoscope theatre years later, and although their roster had changed a bit it still felt like the same group to me. It’s yet a few more years down the road, and once again there has been some shuffling of the group’s members, but it’s definitely still The Nylons. The energy is still there; their harmony and their humour are intact. And seeing them live still fills me with a deep desire to participate in that kind of sound. Seriously… The Leotards 2.0? Who’s with me?
I wondered heading into the theatre if having the Victoria Symphony backing up our greatest national a cappella treasure would work. It did. It’s been a while since I’ve been to the symphony and I’d forgotten how good they are. I think a lesser orchestra would have had trouble blending with the group, but the VS’s precision made the merger a success. I particularly liked conductor Charles T. Cozens’ “Something’s Coming” remix, having just seen West Side Story in New York last week. You’d think going up against the Broadway rendition in my short term memory might have been a bad thing for The Nylons, but in fact just the opposite was true. My only real criticism of this entire production is that the vocalists’ mics need to be turned up tomorrow night. Just a bit. But I’m confident that the tech crew will have picked up on that today and have surely sorted it out already.
Still my favorite after all these years, you can see The Nylons perform live with the Victoria Symphony this Friday and Saturday at 8pm at the Royal Theatre.