Gallery/Review/Setlist: Grapes of Wrath Live in Vancouver

“This one’s another uh..oldie….Actually, who am I kidding, all these songs are oldies,” proclaimed Grapes of Wrath lead singer Kevin Kane in an I-don’t-remember-him-ever-being-this-relaxed-and-funny-on-stage sort of moment.



But it’s true. If you count the early-1990s as a period of time that could be considered “oldie” (shudder), then The Grapes of Wrath played plenty of goodies at their first big-time reunion show in Vancouver on October 29.

And that was all the locals wanted, really. The oldies.

They wanted to hear “Backward Town” and “All the Things I Wasn’t” and “Do You Want to Tell Me?” and “Peace of Mind” (Though I wanted to hear the more new wave-y first-album tracks “Misunderstanding” and “A Dream (About You)”, which I did, thanks. See the rest of the set list below.)

The audience wanted to sing along and smile. They wanted to gaze upon the curls of the seemingly cryogenically preserved Kane, bassist Tom Hooper and drummer Chris Hooper (plus added musical youth Rob Watt on guitar/keyboards) and imagine their jangly Canuck folk rock heroes from yesterday as their boyfriends or drinkin’ buddies.

Because in the 90s, The Grapes of Wrath were hot shit in Canada and even some points beyond. It was a good time to be a Grapes fan…I know, because I also imagined them as my boyfriends AND I was one of their drinking buddies.

Which is why it sucked when the band threw in the sweaty towels, drumsticks and guitar picks in 1992. Sure, the Hoopers went on to form Ginger, but it was never really quiiiiite the same.

But nevermind! Time heals all wounds (let’s see how many crap idioms I can insert into this review), and 17 years or so later, the Grapes are back, playing their lovely, nice songs to lovely, nice people, calling everybody “folks” again, and signing autographs on original Nettwerk-released vinyl.

“I can die now” one woman proclaimed after chatting with Tom and the lads after the show.

See? Sweet! Just like the old days….

…only the next day, I will awake from a night of drinking with Chris Hooper, Rob Watt (with a surprise appearance by Kane wearing Hallowe’en cat ears) and friends at a downtown bar and every bone in my body will ache in a way it never did in 1992 and I will curse and shake my fist at nostalgia. But it will have been worth it. I gots me some original vinyl. \m/

The Grapes of Wrath’s low-key reunion tour will try to get to a town near you soon. Check out the Ontario dates and info on Facebook, or their official site.

GRAPES OF WRATH SETLIST, Vancouver, October 29

  • Peace of Mind
  • Stay
  • Backward Town
  • The Time is Here
  • Away
  • A Dream (About You)
  • Misunderstanding
  • You May Be Right
  • All the Things I Wasn’t
  • What Was Going Through My Head
  • O Lucky Man
  • Do You Want to Tell Me?
  • I Am Here
  • The Most
  • Fishing


  • If I Needed Someone
  • A Very Special Day

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