3D is Canada‘s finest, and certainly most unique, 80s dance band. They were the undisputed kings of the Vancouver club scene back in the 80s. Now they’re even better. Here’s how it happened:
Back in the 80s the vast majority of bands that played the club circuit had eerily similar set-lists consisting of material by Van Halen, Foreigner, Steve Miller Band, Styx, Phil Collins, Journey, Elton John, Huey Lewis, Robert Palmer, Billy Idol, John Cougar, Billy Joel, Bon Jovi and others. Very big hair and a touch or more of eye make-up was a given. Right from the start, 3D stood out from the legions of wannabe arena rockers. 3D was formed in 1981 by three young musicians with a daringly different approach. Terry “mr gib” Gibbard (guitar, bass, synthesizers, vocals), Robert Bailey (guitar, bass, synthesizers, Chapman stick, vocals) and Ross Friesen (percussion, synthesizers, vocals) pioneered and endorsed what would become labeled as Techno- or Electro-pop, as well as New Wave. The music had a very different feel and attitude. While the big-hair boys were playing lengthy guitar solos, 3D discovered synthesizers and drum machines were cool…they made girls dance.
It was not an easy task for 3D to break into the hard rock /hair-band club scene. 3D persevered and proved themselves in one club after another. At first they performed on Vancouver Island and in the BC Interior to polish up their act. Every place they played, without exception, wanted to re-book the band immediately. Within a year they became the dominant club band in Vancouver, often creating line-ups around the block. 3D played Vancouver Tonight, Frams, Whispers, The Rock Box, The Zodiac, The Town Pump, The Savoy, Time and Place, King Tut’s, The Fun Palace, Luv A Fair, The Cave, The Commodore and Outlaws (which later became The Metro). Outlaws was arguably the top rock bar in those days. They had a strict “no trio” policy because of the huge stage. When the club manager eventually caved-in to the pestering of the band’s manager and gave them a try, 3D’s manager was approached half way through the first set and beckoned to the office. “We want them back….how many times a year can we have them? ”. So ended the three-piece exemption.
3D performed amazingly faithful renditions of songs that nobody else was performing at the time. They cooked up a fun party atmosphere wherever they went, getting crowd participation effortlessly, amusing the audience with their rather unique brand of spontaneous humour. After being in the spotlight for four years, sadly, Terry, Rob and Ross decided to call it quits for no other reason than the desire to pursue other ventures and interests, while remaining friends all along.
Ross went on to play drums with recording artists ‘Body Electric’; Terry released a couple of excellent solo albums under the name ‘Big Top Karma’; and Rob went on to do lots of session work, recording albums with Alice Cooper, Queensryche, Jimmy Page, Gino Vanelli and Paul Janz.
Some 25 years after the band performed their very last gig (Boo Pub, Coquitlam), the three still very good friends wondered what it would feel like to perform again some of their favourite ‘blasts from the past’. A gig was booked at The Jon B Pub in Coquitlam. With no collective rehearsal, they counted “One, two, three, four….” and played three sets like nothing had happened. There was something special here that had to be explored further.
They dusted off the synths, did some rehearsing, and booked a couple more gigs. Their second gig was at The Bowen Pub on (where else?) Bowen Island. To the band’s amazement, the response was red hot. The audience, ranging from twenty-somethings to ageing baby-boomers enthusiastically embraced every note. Even the twenty-somethings knew all the words to the songs. Within a couple of days, they were asked to headline the Island’s annual outdoor festival, “Bowfest”. The response was tremendous. A couple of months later they were asked to perform at a promoted dance event at the local Legion Hall……and voila……they packed the place. Realizing how much they enjoyed performing the songs they love to entirely new audiences, seeing how remarkably well they were being received, 3D decided to add more songs to their repertoire (mostly from ’84 – ’89). After much rehearsing, programming and pre-production, they are ready to prove themselves once again to audiences everywhere. They sound even better today than they did back then!
Through careful selection of venues, 3D will be captivating an entirely new generation of fans and followers with their incredible renditions of ‘80s electro-pop songs that became benchmarks of the era. They sound as hot and trendy today as they did in the ‘80s. 3D proudly bring back the sound, feel, and attitude of the ‘80s like nobody else in the city. Or in the country for that matter! Just like way back then. 3D creates an ‘80s live dance party like you’ve never seen before (unless you saw 3D in the ‘80s).
They were the best back in the ‘80s. Now they’re even better.
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