Concert Review: Sebadoh, April 6th, Lee’s Palace

Photo courtesy of Daniel Vella

If the concert patterns of the past couple of years has taught us anything, it’s that everything old is new again. Last night was no exception, with Sebadoh’s Lou Barlow, Jason Loewenstein, and Eric Gaffney’s replacement Bob D’Amico playing my 90’s wet dream sets of Harmacy and Bakesale.

Hearkening back to our tendency to focus on food consumed prior to or following a show, we happened to go to Guu Izakaya‘s new location at Bathurst and Bloor before the concert. The business model of this fine dining establishment is simple: encourage your customers to gorge themselves on as much seafood slathered in butter, cream, and melted cheese as humanly possible.

Melted cheese, cream, and mushroom stuffed oyster

I suppose it goes without saying then, that after polishing off about a half dozen cardiac-arrest-laden dishes and a giant draft mug of Sapporo beer, our serotonin levels were skyrocketing. Did this have beneficial skew for my perspective about the show? Probably, but that doesn’t change the fact that it was a killer show either way.

First, let me say that you can always tell when a seasoned musician who has devoted half their life to their craft is simply much better at working a crowd. Is it any wonder that I am still in love with men like Lou Barlow and Jason Loewenstein? They’ve aged well. They’re gracious without seeming smarmy or insincere. They’re human. They’re real. They’re not afraid to laugh at themselves. They appear to love Canada. They can charm the pants off any-damn-one.

That said, the caliber of the music floated a helluva lot of the set–the impromptu song we got about “trying to bring the word washroom to the United States of America” and every other memorable moment was just the cherry on top. They started off with Harmacy’s On Fire and Ocean, going into Bakesale’s Dreams (one of my favorites of the performance). Musically, it doesn’t feel like these guys have skipped a beat. While loud as hell, there was an energy and variation in the set that I can only describe as really good.

One of the odder moments was when a female friend of the band joined Barlow onstage to perform (what I think was) Skull (sorry my memory is fading a bit). When the Loewenstein-penned songs came up, we noted that the setlist probably could’ve factored in his poor vocal chords. It’s probably not the best idea to have four scream-singing tunes in a row for the sake of preservation (S. Soup was particularly hard on the pipes I think), which by the way, has not seemed to be an issue for Mr. Lowenstein in any other respect. Has this guy been sleeping in peat moss, because he doesn’t look like he’s aged one day since 1994.

Dispersed throughout all this, we were treated to Lou-God-Barlow’s observations about Toronto, the new release of Skype, and how he prefers the word washroom to the word bathroom for accuracy’s sake. For those of you blissfully unaware, the Skype’s latest version now informs you when someone on your list “came online”. Par exemple, “Jason came online”, which is also illustrated by a wet “splash” audio effect. Tee hee hee.

Other standout moments:

Lou’s smooth as silk voice stepping up to the plate after the vocals were cranked up a bit
Nothing Like You
Too Pure
Give Up
Magnet’s Coil
Together or Alone
Explanation of the “fake encore” rouse and short wait time for this

All in all, a beautiful evening with some beautiful people.

Posted on by Allison in Concerts, Everything

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One Response to Concert Review: Sebadoh, April 6th, Lee’s Palace

  1. Paul

    Such a good show. Also, two days later and i still laugh when I think of the “came online” comment.

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