Concert Review: Kate Nash, April 26, Mod Club

Toronto – I had no idea how big Kate Nash was before attending her Mod Club show on Monday. She was in town on Monday to kick off her North American tour to promote her latest album – My Best Friend is You which has already spawned a big hit in Do-Wah-Doo. The show was sold out and it was an all ages show. Apparently Kate Nash has cornered the key teenager-young adult female demographic as the crowd mainly consisted of youngish girls. There were also some fathers in the crowd trying to hit on the bartenders as well (they probably appreciated the poster saying ‘A Cunt is a useful thing’ hanging from Kate’s keyboard). Everyone was fairly excited, and when the Kate Nash came on stage at around 10:20 pm, the place went nuts. The show however, was about as bipolar a show as I’ve ever been to. I am going to quote myself again (via twitter) to summarize the show.

1st 40 minutes of Kate Nash was great last 40 minutes were awful. Like the senators, she can’t hold a lead

I really don’t know what happened – the show started off great. The 1-2 punch of Paris and Doo-Wah-Doo emphasized all the great things about the new album – stellar production, big sound and catchy melodies highlighted by her singing with the posh English accent (even if it is layered over a Regina Spektorish piano vibe). Mouthwash and future hit Don’t You Want to Share the Guilt gave her a chance to further display her singing chaps and songwriting. I love girls with a posh British accent. Like Big Suze

Everything was going quite swimmingly and everyone were having a good time, the girls were dancing, the boys were nodding and the dads were talking to the cute girl bartenders. Then about 40 minutes in, Kate Nash played that one single piano note. One of the most recognizable notes in recent history, which announced the beginning the song Foundations. Everyone was singing and I was wondering ‘where does she go from here? she already played Doo-Wah-Doo and now she played Foundations‘. The answer was, undoubtedly, downhill.

If you left the concert after the song Foundations, then you would have given the concert a:

But of course, you stayed. For the record, I found Foundations to be a bit rushed. It’s a song about a relationship gone wrong and displays all sorts of insecurities and issues that a lot of people can identify with, thats why it’s so popular. It’s the type of song that should have been given a slower, more dramatic treatment, yet she just blazed through it.

After Foundations, Kate Nash more or less abandoned her well known piano driven pop songs, strapped on the guitar, started downing alcohol and transformed the night in to a punk rock show. For the song I got a Secret, she encouraged the crowd to learn the lyrics of the song for a sing-a-long and then played the song at such a pace that she didn’t even need the crowd. Usually sing-a-longs are like – artist sings, pause, crowd sings. In this case, it was artist sings..artist sings..song over. Strange.

The rest of the set left the audience in a bit of a faze, as she channeled her inner Siouxie Sioux and practiced her rock screams over standard punkish rock sound. It’s definitely not playing to her strengths and I think more then a few people were a bit like WTF. I think all momentum was lost. I can appreciate an artist wanting to expand her sound and trying out new things, but for a show to be such night and day, it’s pretty surprising. The one song encore consisted of another punk rock song, and not one of her bigger hits like Pumpkin Song or something.

This part of the show gets a

Overall, the show was quite unbalanced and I don’t think you should use up your two most popular tunes in the first half of the set. The band was quite disengaged and seemed to be going through the motions. They barely addressed the crowd and mostly just looked at the floor. I guess this was Kate’s show anyway so it shouldn’t matter. It’s pretty apparent the talent and charm is there, but maybe the stage act should be reigned in a little, but what do I know.

Paris
Doo-Wah-Doo
Mouthwash
Kiss That Grrrl
Take Me To a Higher Plane
Don’t You Want to Share the Guilt
I Hate Seagulls
I’ve Got a Secret
Foundations
R n’ B-side
Merry Happy
Later On
Mansion Song
I Just Love You More
Model Behaviour

Here’s the rest of the dates:
April 28 – Boston, MA – Great Scott’s
April 29 – New York, NY – The Bowery
May 1 – Williamsburg, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg
May 3 – Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall
May 5 – Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue
May 7 – Seattle, WA – Neumo’s
May 8 – San Francisco, CA – Bottom of the Hill
May 11 – Los Angeles, CA – El Rey

Check out Spin’s review of the show here

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Posted on by Ricky in Concerts

About Ricky

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

4 Responses to Concert Review: Kate Nash, April 26, Mod Club

  1. josh

    Pumpkin Soup

  2. Mark

    Ouch. I do love Big Suze though.

  3. carole

    I loved kate nashs concert yesturday! She deserved that encore and I think you are being rather harsh on her.Her voice is so amazing!

  4. Andy Barratt

    This review gets it spot on. This show left a really bad taste.

    Kate’s records had been on super high rotation in my household ever since Made of Bricks – and there are many positives on the new LP too.

    However, since the show, I’ve had absolutely zero desire to play them. Maybe it’s discovering what the real Kate is, as opposed to the charming girl I imagined her to be. As it is, I found her an insincere, charmless potty-mouth.

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