Ian Lin

Ian Lin

Freshman

Don't ever let somebody tell you that you can't play a concert on the rooftop

July 4, 2018

TAIWANfest Blog Ian Lin - Frogpile

Before I graduated from university, I got a message from my friend. He was trying to sell me a ticket to Sir Paul McCartney’s concert in Vancouver. He couldn’t make it because he had to prepare for the exams.

“This is not any other Paul, it is THE Paul from the Beatles! If you miss it this time, God knows when would be the next time?” He tried to convince me. I have to admit, I almost ended up going.

But I didn’t. Just like my friend, I had to study for the exams as well. Also, to me, the Beatles is the real legend, Paul McCartney is just a quarter of that legend. Of course, it is not possible to attend a Beatles’ concert anymore, especially when 2 of the members have already passed away. I can only watch videos on the internet to fill in the void.

One particular video that I always end watching is the famous rooftop concert that took place in January 30th, 1969. That unannounced concert was a surprise for the fans, and it is also the last live performance for the Beatles before they separated. This is why the concert is so unique.

This concert is very influential. In the 2007 musical film, “Across the Universe”, the last scene shows homage to the legendary rooftop concert. Additionally, the movie uses some colourful scenes to present some of the dream-like sequences in the film, just like Frogpile’s 2018 EP, “Hallelujah, Baby” (https://frogpile.bandcamp.com/album/hallelujah-baby).   

Their entire Bandcamp page is made up with red and yellow, their profile picture looks a bit disoriented, with a faint of orange in the mix.   

As a band that originated in North Vancouver, Frogpile doesn’t draw inspiration from Vancouver’s gloomy weather or the moody drizzle. Frogpile is just like the Vancouver weather – always unpredictable. It might be raining an hour ago, but all of the sudden the sky turn blue, the sun comes out, the day become sunny and cozy – sometimes even too warm for some.

Unlike It Ends with Us. or CRAS, Frogpile’s songs are all different in a way. According to an interview done by Discorder Magazine in 2016, Frogpile’s songs might sound completely different from each other. “If you played some of our songs back to back, you might not even think it’s the same band.” They told Discorder Magazine. (Note1). The band members considered the name “Frogpile” more of a “logo”, not just a band. In the same interview, they described how they would ask other artists to collaborate with them in order to produce the music they want. Their style is constantly changing, like a chameleon.

I found some familiar elements in Frongpile’s two EPs, “Hallelujah, Baby” and “Jackie” (https://frogpile.bandcamp.com/album/jackie-2), like Beatles, Oasis and other artists. Of course, I don’t mean they plagiarize other people. Their music is more like the main character from a martial art movie who have learned a thing or two from other masters. But instead of copying others, they fused those elements together, and add in their own twist. In the end, the final product became one of their own.  

The first song in the “Hallelujah, Baby” EP is “Alright”. The opening bassline for that song is like a diva who can’t be ignored. While I was enjoying the awesome bass, this line somehow put a smile on my face and turned my focus into the lyrics: “Roughly 500 years ago, Jesus made rock’n roll.” This reminds me of another interview Frogpile did with killthemusic.net back in May, 2018. In that interview, they mentioned that their music touches quite a bit on religion, which has something to do with their family background. But their music is not focused on serious topics such as “the existence of God”, they are more into exploring the impact their religious background has on their lives. (Note2)  

Even though Frogpile doesn’t sound like a religious band, I can’t help but notice that their creative process is reminiscent of their religious background. For them, writing a song is not something they planned, it just occurred naturally.  

While I was enjoying “Hallelujah, Baby”, I stumbled upon the last song in that EP, “Alright (Hir Remix)”. The song opens with the same bassline from the original version, but what follows is a completely different emotional roller coaster.  

I think I have came to a conclusion: Frogpile’s style is a combination of each members’ individual background. I believe if they decided to be a mainstream band, they would do great. But that is just not them.  

They are determined to create the music they like, “to take you on a wild guitar ride”, just like what their “About” section says on social media.

On the other hand, when I was doing research on Frogpile, I found another coincidence in their killthemusic.net interview. When asked about what inspired them to start a band, they mentioned that rooftop concert in 1969.

All of the sudden, I felt a connection with Frogpile.

That rooftop concert represents the end of Beatles, they probably never thought nearly 50 years later, people would be inspired by that concert, and started a band.

I believe Frogpile will be that Vancouver band that people talk about in the future, just like Beatles and Liverpool. CRAS’s frontman Channing told me that Frogpile is getting bigger, eventually it would be hard for people to see them playing live.  

Frogpile will be performing at TAIWANfest in Vancouver this year, it must be an unique experience for them. Not every rock band has the opportunity to play in an outdoor set in Downtown Vancouver.

Give it a shot. Maybe one day you can proudly tell other people, you had the chance to see Frogpile putting up an unforgettable show.

You’ll never know what you are missing, just like no one really knew that rooftop concert would be Beatles’ last.

Recommendation:”How do you do?” from Frogpile’s first EP, “Jackie”. I like the guitar solo.

Note1:https://www.citr.ca/discorder/august-web-2016/frogpile/
Note2:https://www.google.ca/amp/s/killthemusic.net/blog/unsigned-spotlight-frogpile%3fformat=amp

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