"Achingly thoughtful and introspective" is how Michelle McAdorey, lead singer for Crash Vegas, was once described. Unfortunately, that doesn't make for a great live show. The Toronto band opened its show at the 9:30 club Wednesday night with an uninspired version of Neil Young's "Down to the Wire" and then never got too far past strummy folk rock in 4/4 time.

When they did break out of that hookless rut, it was a welcome change; the swampy groove of "I Gave You My Heart" carried a truly -- gotta say it -- aching melody line, and the waltz "Inside Out" was memorable, though a bit long and repetitive. The trio backing McAdorey was doing its best with the material, with bassist Jocelyne Lanois being the most fun to watch, her lanky fingers crab-walking across the frets. Guitarist Colin Cripps had a great sound and some nice ideas but would have benefited from another guitarist on stage in order to stretch out every once in awhile.

All in all, this moody band sounds as if it has listened to too much of the "Twin Peaks" soundtrack. Such simple music has to float on an ocean of passion, and on a good night it probably does. Maybe it was just the low tide of being on the road.