NXNE: Great Lake Swimmers, Reverb, June 13

Toronto – I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t really know much about Great Lake Swimmers. In fact, I pretty much knew nothing about any of the bands I saw this weekend. Maybe that’s a good thing, it’s a fresh view on these bands that many bloggers swoon about. What I did know was this: The Great Lake Swimmers are an extremely popular Toronto band that focuses on the mellower-folky side of rock. They are led by Tony Dekker, who a friend of mine wants to stalk, and they are championed by CBC Radio 3, the source of cool for many people. So it was with this knowledge that I brought to the Reverb on Friday night for their NXNE showcase.

The Reverb is a funny place. The only other time I was there was to see Feist as part of NXNE a few years ago, and that show was so packed I felt like a Chinese immigrant on a cargo ship. This time around, the place was not as packed and from what I gather, the Reverb is a nice quiet intimate place. The stage dominates the middle of the area, and there are three bar areas and I think you can get a good view from everywhere. Not too bad for a venue located at Hobo corner.

The threesome took the stage quietly at around 10:00 after the CBC dude introduced them. At this point the place was filling up, only the people who got here around 10 were all soaked from the monsoon that was outside. Nothing like a packed house full of rain drenched people to make the place smell all nice and rosy. In a very business like manner, the band started playing a song. probably off their most recent album – Onigiara. There was an acoustic guitar, a banjo and a drum. I think this was the instruments du jour.

What can I say? the dude has a soothing voice and he knows how to use an acoustic guitar. The next fourty minutes demonstrated the bands excellent skillz at ze acoustic folk rock. It was mostly a mellow affair, although towards the end, the drums were a little faster, the guitar a little stronger and the sound a bit more rockier, leading some librarians to saying ‘now this… is a rock show’. Whatever. I think the show was pretty good and if you like stuff like Iron and Wine, and Sir Sufjan, then Great Lake Swimmers is right down your alley.

You can stream the Great Lake Swimmers album here. Stream…Lake…get it? haha.

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts, North By Northeast

About Ricky

Britpop lovin Chinaman, consumer of all things irrelevant. Toronto Raptors fan.