In the immortal words of Cheap Trick, “talk is cheap and those rumours ain’t nice.” So in the interest of dispelling any rumours right off the bat, I will let it be known that Dream Police is, in fact, not a Cheap Trick cover band. I know, I’m sad too. Those of you disappointed in that fact can take some comfort in knowing that, if you’re so inclined, such a band does also exist. Hopefully, you can also take some comfort in knowing that Dream Police is a project featuring Nick Chiericozzi and Mark Perro, two members of new York’s The Men, who in my humble opinion are one of the finest rock and roll outfits going these days. While Dream Police shares some musical DNA with The Men, Chiericozzi and Perro differentiate it from their main gig by going deeper into fuzzed out, electronic textures. Their debut album, Hypnotized, is aptly named, as the group delves into krautrock and psychedelic influences that can border on the hypnotic at times.
For their debut Toronto performance, the band played to a rather sparse crowd, as the first snowfall of the year had obviously scared a lot of folks away from coming out for the evening. Dream Police put on an intense yet brief set, impressively not just going through the motions despite the fact that there were only a handful of people in attendance. It makes sense – why worry about the people who didn’t come out when you can focus on those who did?
There was actually a larger crowd downstairs for some other bands. I don’t really know what was going on downstairs, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that those of us upstairs caught the better show and that the group gathered downstairs to (presumably) see their friends’ band play should have come upstairs to check this out instead. Their friends would get over it … eventually.
What’s better than two people who look alike having fun? Two people who look alike who can sing!
Lily & Madeleine, an adorable prairie-gothic-style sister duo from Indiana, took the stage at Lincoln Hall on Saturday night. The crowd, including many family and friends, fluctuated between cheers of support and reverent silence as the duo progressed through their edgy classic-folk-rock tracks including “Blue Blades,” “Devil We Know,” “Fumes,” and “Rabbit,” which included the delightful lyric “rabbit run for it/as if your life depends on it.”
With Lily (or was it Madeleine?) on the guitar and her sister on the keyboard, and backed by Shannon Hayden on cello, the sisters told the crowd about their upcoming European tour and gave an embarrassed “MOM!” when their Mom shouted out a request for “Stuck on the Puzzle.” If you’re looking for a night of low key beauty and charm give these two ladies from Indianapolis a whirl.
Deerhoof knows the score: when you’ve got a drummer as good as Greg Saunier in your band, you don’t keep him hidden away at the back. You give him a space on equal footing with the rest of the band, right up front. You also let him handle the stage banter as much as possible, and rightfully so – the dude’s hilarious in a very wry, deadpan way. Case in point: when vocalist/bassist Satomi Matsuzaki had an issue with her pedal, Saunier leaped from his kit to assist her, but not before taking to the mic to explain exactly what was going down, and offering up an explanation as to why he came prepared with a screwdriver: ”Some bands while on tour leave behind a trail of destruction, some broken hearts. We just leave behind broken distortion pedals.”
He further went on to fill some time by heaping some high praise on openers White Reaper and Priests while also highlighting the perils of being a headliner – the opening acts hang around backstage and drink all your coconut water while you play. Saunier was justified in his praise – both bands were impressive live outfits with top notch songs and energetic performances. Priests were especially impressive considering they had apparently just arrived at the venue minutes before they took to the stage.
Any other band might have felt a bit threatened or worried about being upstaged by openers such as these, but Deerhoof, besides being impressively talented musicians, are just a lot of fun to watch live. From Matuzaki’s enthusiastic dance moves to Saunier’s banter, they certainly look to be having a lot of fun up there. While the band may have been together now for 20 years, they look as if they’re having just as much fun onstage now as they ever did if not more.
Looking at the events page for Hozier’s Facebook is one of the more depressing things you can do today. The Irish singer songwriter’s shows are sold out up until March 2015. It’s no secret why – with his haunting vocals and rich, vast songs, Hozier’s self-titled debut album is probably amazing to experience live. However, since there’s a slim-to-none chance that any of us have a ticket, the Panic Manual has your second best option – to win a copy of Hozier’s debut album on vinyl or CD courtesy of With A Bullet promotions, just do one of the following:
1) Like and comment on this Post on Facebook;
2) ReTweet this Post; or
3) Send us an email with the subject line “Take Me to Church.”