Howling Daz is Truly a Free Radical


Most scientists and astrophysicists will tell you that time travel to the past is not possible. Well tonight, for one night only, I am disagreeing with that sentiment. You see, I was transported to roughly the year 1967. The star of the show had long flowing hair kept in place by a bandana, raw, screeching vocals, and a killer acoustic guitar. She was wild, she was free and she was singing her heart out. If I didn’t know better I would’ve thought I was witnessing Janis Joplin‘s greatest moment. Except in this case the great moment came from rising Vancouver star Daz Tan.

It is clear that Daz Tan likes to make music. In fact, that used to be her stage moniker – Daz Makes Music. Armed with her guitar and two good-looking back-up musicians (presumably her Free Radicals), Daz transported the crowd at the Cobalt back to a time when music was a much purer, rawer sounding art form. It was music at its essence. Its core. She now goes by the name of Howling Daz and the Free Radicals and it’s easy to see why. She definitely knows how to loosen up a crowd.

There is definitely a reason why Tan calls herself “Howling Daz”: her voice. Coming across as one of the most natural and raw-sounding vocals I have heard in quite some time, Tan does not need a decked-out back drop, explosions or pyrotechnics. She just requires six strings and approximately three octaves. The lady who sang about wanting a Mercedes Benz would no doubt be proud of her reincarnate.

While Joplin, along with many other protest-era folk singers, wrote about the war and other socially conscious issues, Daz seems to eliminate the subtlety – at least judging by some of lyrics. The song that stood out the most to me contained the line “Fuck you bitch”. Clearly Daz – like many great artists and songwriters – is not afraid to hide her emotions or feelings. It comes across in her music. A lot or a little, each of her songs had a level of a emotion that left much of the audience in a trance (at least that was the case for this here blogger). It was hypnotizing chemical reaction.

After the show I learned that Daz shares another thing in common with the soul that she embodies. She “likes to drink”. Now, I have not been witness to her getting sloshed, nor am I attuned to her tolerance level. Though, judging by some of the female musicians I have spoken to in the past, I presume it’s quite high. I did spy her walking back into venue after the headlining band had finished and she was looking inebriated or high or possibly both. Janis would be so proud. Colleen Rennison once mentioned to me that some artists need a certain amount of alcohol in their system in order to perform. I can actually attest to that. I had a matinee after a cast party, and while my two co-stars and I were all a little groggy, it was the best show we performed because we all had to try that much harder. Perhaps the same can be said for rockin’ (or howlin’) musicians. Whatever the reason, Howlin’ Daz and her Free Radicals are on a collision course that is sure to be a big smash when it arrives. Watch out everybody, Howlin’ Daz has arrived.

RIYL: Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell, Ferron

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