NXNE Review: Young Galaxy and The Besnard Lakes [June 17, 2010, Mod Club]

Young Galaxy, NXNE, June 17, 2010, Mod Club

Toronto – Ricky had previously covered the Young Galaxy. Indeed, they sound totally UK and that’s totally OK when they’re from Quebec. When I heard Long live the fallen world I thought Ladyhawke had worked her magic and implanted one of her cat souls. Or maybe they ate a Cranberry that floated across the Atlantic (alright I’ll stop the stupid puns). Unfortunately I had arrived late for the show, and heard only 3-4 songs. One thing I did noticed was that they were very pensive in between, and engaged the crowd intelligently from the periphery. I recall something along the line of “this four word band name conjures up the imagery of X”. The singing was purposeful, not that I was comparing to myspace from the few that I heard, but it flowed well. I will definitely listen to the new album. And they made some great shots during the livelier numbers. There was one shot where it really looked like a galaxy up there.

Besnard Lakes, NXNE, June 17, 2010, Mod Club

The more I look at that picture above the more it looks like a crusader clash; and that’s probably not a bad imagery to have when listening. The word “Nickelback” somehow always floats behind in that cesspool of my mind when Besnard Lakes is mentioned, like some unwanted 1980s relic tv-show. It’s demeaning to even make that connection, but the word association survives the concert. Maybe my brain works on a broken syllabic rhythm. There were more things out of expectations for me. Neither the guitarist Jace Lasek nor his wife, bass/vocal Olga Goreas, looked their voice. That surprise is actually very welcome – Lasek had an even-tempered voice that always hits the notes he writes for, and Goreas fluently shaped her voice to the songs. And I was happy that the concert was never overly rock-n-roll in attitude. I may be wrong, but I don’t recall a really nutty number that the pair rocked out and acknowledged each other endlessly on stage (maybe in the middle of one song… And you lied to me?) Rather, Besnard Lakes methodically worked through their emotional but restrained songs, breaking with ease in-between to check on the audience and time. I think that was actually a very smart move – too often you’re stuck in a string of doleful twists and walk out of the concert feeling like you need to spend another $40/hr to see a psychiatrist. There was a 30 seconds discussion on how the audience would not want them to play too long (for fear that Goreas will come out wearing something funnier than those glowing ACDC horns?) Plus I don’t believe they are overly melancholy. Like most stories, they usually have an uplifting ending. Mod club, at this point, was gradually filling up with people… and smoke. The fog machines were put to good use this night, and together with the resplendent lighting, successfully set the melodramatic atmosphere required to enjoy this music. Sitting down at the tables in Mod Club WHILE taking pictures was a luxury I often do not get to enjoy. I would see them again – they are going to European tour in August – so that might be awhile. Check them out CBC radio3 – Disaster, Albatross, and Devastation are several good ones that they played at this concert.

Posted on by Gary in Concerts, Everything, North By Northeast, Reviews