Concert Review: Titus Andronicus, July 14, Horseshoe Tavern

Toronto – You know, Titus Andronicus frontman Patrick Stickles is a pretty funny guy at times.  Early in their set, an audience member shouted out, “I love your beard!”  Stickles’ reply: “Thanks.  this next song is about what’s going on behind that beard.  All will be revealed.”  He’s an interesting character, the sort who’ll ask an audience if their needs are being met tonight or announce guitarist/violinist Amy Klein’s recent purchase of some guitar pedals (and then go on to explain what pedals are for “any laymen in the crowd”)  He’s a pretty engaging frontman. 

Based on previous reviews of their shows as well as comments Stickles made about “respecting personal space” and how they had to adjust their setlists for the last couple shows (but not for us), it seems that a Titus Andronicus crowd can get a tad rowdy.  This crowd was pretty into it, and a bit rowdy, but not too much so … although i swear I saw a beer bottle go flying into the crowd during their set.  And there were multiple occurences of crowd surfing, which is something I just don’t see enough of these days.  So, OK, maybe it was a pretty rowdy crowd.  But mostly in a nice way.

The audience was enjoying  themselves, and the band certainly appeared to be having just as much fun onstage.  They had a raw, ramshackle sort of vibe, while at the same time demonstrating that they’re all great musicians.  This was especially evident during the third last song, “Titus Andronicus Forever,” which saw each and every member of the band, plus members of openers Hallelujah The Hills,  taking a solo.  Hallelujah The Hills, by the way, also put on a really good show. 

For those who haven’t heard them (and really, why haven’t you?), I would probably describe Titus Andronicus as sounding like The Replacements meets Against Me! meets Conor Oberst (with of course, a whole whack of other influences thrown in there too).  They play the kind of meat and potatoes rock that’s practiced by a number of bands these days, including fellow New Jersey-ites (New Jersians?) The Gaslight Anthem ,who were also playing a show in town that night.  Stickles thanked us for picking them as our Jersey-rock choice for the night and dedicated a song to those who had a hard time deciding.  When a few people booed The Gaslight Anthem, Stickles jokingly said, “OK, this is dedicated to nobody then.” 

Full of mostly upbeat choruses and shouted gang vocals, the dedicated fans in attendance couldn’t help but sing along, as people belted out “You will always be a loser!” along with Stickles during “No Future Part Three.” (Casual fans, however, might have felt the show was a bit too long, but hey, these guys have several songs that run over eight minutes, so you should have known what you were getting into.)  Also ripe for singalong material was the band’s cover of Weezer’s “The Sweater Song,” which saw them inviting former guitarist and current Toronto resident Liam Betson to join them onstage.   They closed off with the epic “The Battle Of Hampton Roads”  from their Civil War referencing album The Monitor.  Axl Rose once sang, “I don’t need your civil war.”  But Axl Rose sucks now, so who cares what Axl thinks?  Go listen to Titus Andronicus instead. 

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Posted on by Paul in Concerts, Everything

2 Responses to Concert Review: Titus Andronicus, July 14, Horseshoe Tavern

  1. Pingback: Concert Review: Au Revoir Simone, Alexa Wilding, July 15, Great Hall | The Panic Manual

  2. Pingback: “My God, It’s Full Of Stars” AKA Paul’s Best of 2010 | The Panic Manual

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