Concert Review: Fyfe Dangerfield, May 23rd, El Mocambo

Dear Toronto Concert-goers,

I’ve had it with you. What’s more, I don’t understand you. As a city of music appreciators where pretty much everything sells well, you would think bothering to show up would mean bothering to pay attention (or at the very least, pretending to). But Sunday night you proved to me that no matter how earnest a performer may be and no matter how many instruments he may juggle, it isn’t enough to compete with an audience who thinks that they’re on the set of a talk show.

Alright, to be fair, Sunday night was the series finale of LOST, a show I have never followed but have never heard more rabble from my peer group. Bearing this in mind, I wasn’t expecting the turnout that showed. Unfortunate name aside, Fyfe Dangerfield (better known as the former front man from the Guillemots) put on a very decent show and filled the room more than a lot of acts could’ve.

Couple of oddities about this show: it was partially seated – something I have never seen before at any General Admission show (random tables and chairs were littered around the general stage perimeter); it contained more photo taking than any other show I have been to (mostly by a group of women in front of me, who seemed to think Mr. Dangerfield was Robert Pattinson at a teenage fanfest). To be honest with you, I can understand the appeal. He’s got a bumbling sort of non-threatening charm that the young Hugh Grant had prior to soliciting prostitutes, and seems like the harmless sort of guy who would carry a pocket watch in his vest.

Fly Yellow Moon is Fyfe’s solo album, and a decent one at that. He wasn’t shy about playing the best known Guillemots songs (Trains to Brazil, Made Up Lovesong #43), he wasn’t shy about playing multiple covers, he wasn’t shy about talking to the audience, and he certainly wasn’ t shy about playing about a million instruments simultaneously. And herein lies my main complaint: while there is no question that Fyfe is a talented pianist, guitarist, bassist, percussionist, and certainly vocalist, it’s just better to have the back-up instead of (as our friend Danny Taylor of Zaza says) “dancing around like a clown onstage“. There were a couple of people on strings who joined him onstage a couple of songs in, and the drummer of the opening act ran in to help him out spontaneously a couple of times (which brought a much needed energy to the show). Watching him play a sample, record a sample, and layer it into a song in front of us was impressive, but when I go to a show I’m not really going to see a spectacle. I’m going to appreciate the music.

Couple of takeaways about this show: Having the experience of hearing live instruments played live in front of you is integral to the non-electronic music experience; I will never, ever understand why anyone who wants to talk loudly would stand anywhere near the stage.

Fyfe Dangerfield – She Needs Me by Royalty Central

Posted on by Allison in Concerts, Music

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One Response to Concert Review: Fyfe Dangerfield, May 23rd, El Mocambo

  1. Tanu

    When talking about a group of teenage girls taking photos thinking Fyfe was R-Patz, if it is us you are talking about, I was actually taking that many photos to go with the interview/review im writing up for a UK online blogging site. The show was too laid back to go to the front to take few but good photos, therefore I had to stand back and take alot of average photos until I managed to get a good one.

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