The absolute beauty of the Biltmore Cabaret is the immediate sense of intimacy and familiarity that washes over every single individual in the room. The experience of listening to live music in a small space, filled with dim lights and fading cigarette smoke creates a friendly atmosphere that makes you forget about the outside world and the downpour of the Vancouver rains. It’s the absolute dream setting for a stunningly talented Folk Duo. Tall Heights settled in perfectly.
Tim Harrington and Paul Wright’s performance could have been summed up effectively as “The Storm Before The Calm.” With their warm opening of “Two Blue Eyes” and “House on Fire,” the audience would have no idea that the duo had been through arguably one of the most stressful days of their tour.
Following their second song, Wright and Harrington broke the dying wave of applause to welcome the audience, creating a sense of fellowship around the room. In response to an audience member shouting, “How are you guys doing?”, the duo chuckled, sighed, and spoke of the horrors of crossing the Canadian border during a time of Pandemic Panic. It was a beautifully humorous and tragic introduction.
Despite losing more than half their crew at the border and battling non-covid related illness, Wright and Harrington produced harmonious vocals and delicately played instruments that moved and encapsulated the room. “Horse to Water” opened with stunning instrumentals, and their popular song “Spirit Cold” brought with it clapping and singing from the audience, something of which every music and concert lover has been missing dearly the past few years.
What made the whole experience so much more authentic was the little stories the two would throw in between songs, touching on how they incorporated their adoring fan base as much as they could. Tales of Backyard concerts and personal photographs used in their music videos reminded the audience of how desperately we all want to remain incorporated in the music world.
The two closed their stunning performance with “Hear it Again,” a beloved song off their newest album “Juniors.” Though Wright and Harrington held an interior sense of exhaustion and joked about their high probability of stumbling throughout their set, their performance felt flawless and rejuvenating. Watching their show was so calming, and yet so exhilarating to simply exist in the same room with musical artists again. The ability to share a widespread sense of belonging seeped through the theater and out into the streets as the show came to an end and the audience slowly filed out the doors.