Concert Review: Anagram, Deloro, Bruised Knees, October 22, The Shop (Parts & Labour)

Toronto – I sometimes enjoy catching little snippets of other people’s conversation in passing without getting any of the context.  As I left my apartment to make my way to the Anagram show, I overheard the following: “Some of them are interns, some are doctor, and some are other doctors.”  I have no idea what he was talking about (a plot synopsis of Scrubs, perhaps?) nor do I know why he felt the need to differentiate between “doctors” and “other doctors” – aren’t they all doctors?  And I certainly don’t know what any of this has to do with Anagram.  Maybe I can tie it all together by quoting the sage wisdom of late ’80s Doobie Brothers – “Music is the doctor, makes you feel like you want to.”  Also, one anagram of the word “doctor” is “cod rot,” which sounds kind of disgusting. 

Opening the show were Bruised Knees (something a doctor might treat – see, I can totally shoehorn this pointless doctor concept into this review), a local band who I’m pretty sure are relatively new.  They had a pretty good sound that reminded me at times of Sonic Youth and the sort of tribal sounding drums were a strong element.  However, I think that they might still need a little work.  Maybe I’ll check them out again sometime in the future.

Based on the sound of both the openers and headliners Anagram, I figured Deloro would have a similar sort of sound.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that they did not.  Made up of members of other Toronto bands including One Hundred Dollars, The Constantines, and Castlemusic, they demonstrated a flair for heavy, feedback-laced dark country that was reminiscent of Neil Young or Jon Rae and the River (not surprising since drummer David Clarke and guitarist Paul Mortimer once played in that band).   They had a great sound and really impressed me.  I’ve been looking for a new Toronto band to root for and I think I’ve found it.  In fact, you might say they were just what the doctor ordered.

Finally, it was time for Anagram.  These guys put on an intense show and the audience pretty much reciprocated that intensity despite the fact that it was getting pretty late in the evening (I’m not sure, but I think they didn’t go on ’til after 1:00).  This being a CD release show combined with the fact that they haven’t played any shows in awhile meant that the crowd was good and stoked.  If you haven’t been to The Shop before, it’s kind of a small space.  There is no stage – the bands just set up in the back corner.  Combine this sort of intimacy with a seriously packed room, Jeff Peers’ propulsive, repetitive basslines, and singer Matt Mason’s manic stage presence and things can get a bit out of hand.  Dudes were all pounding on the ceiling at one point, and there was a serious mosh pit going on – Matt Mason had to stop things at one point.  “This is fun and all, ” he said, “But it’s not a therapy session.  Seriously, you don’t have to shove people as hard as you can.  I’m not your therapist.”  His attempt to calm the crowd down didn’t entirely work, but one thing is certain: they were enjoying themselves.  If The Doobie Brothers are correct and music is the doctor, it definitely made the people feel like they wanted to.

Posted on by Paul in Concerts

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