Concert Review: Junior Boys, Caribou, Miracle Fortress, June 9, Phoenix

Junior Boys in a Boat

Toronto – Miracle Fortress is a side project by Graham Van Pelt, keyboardist of Think About Life.  Van Pelt hails from Montreal and is touring after the release of his sophomore album Was I the Wave off Secret City Records.

I went into this show expecting more of a shoe gaze, electronic sound.  Miracle Fortress is from Montreal after all and those French people love their electronic music (Chromeo etc.).

I was pleasantly surprised with the 80s, pop show that Miracle Fortress put on.  Van Pelt’s voice has been likened to that of Brian Wilson, which is complete poppycack (Ricky put a ban on swearing, I’m being creative here).  While the music is catchy and interesting, Van Pelt’s voice is pitchy and breaks a lot, no where close to that Beach Boys falsetto.

Miracle Fortress: Raw Spectacle (Diamond Rings Remix) by -gaga

Good friend and touring partner to Junior Boys, Caribou (Dan Snaith), had a DJ set in between Miracle Fortress and Junior Boys.  What I thought was going to be a 45 minute show turned out to be a 1.5 hour never ending ordeal.  He was very good, but I think a DJ set is better suited to the end of a show.

Junior Boys have been a mainstay in the Canadian music scene since 1999 (read: they’re old) and have 4 albums under their belt.  They opened with my favourite tune, Parallel Lines, one of the most played songs on my iPod.

Miracle Fortress had hints of 80s sound, but Junior Boys have the 80s, New Order sound down to a T.  That being said, I feel as though Junior Boys’ love lies in studio as they have absolutely zero stage presence.  Which is okay, but this is an electronic show, with some relatively upbeat songs.  People will dance regardless but on a Thursday evening at 12am I definitely need some inspiration (yeah, next thing I’ll be telling teenagers to get off my lawn).  Junior Boys played songs from all 4 of their albums and saved their new single Banana Ripple for the encore. Their new album It’s All True is out today (June 14) off Domino Records and you can grab a free track off that record from Domino Records here.

Junior Boys – Banana Ripple by DominoRecordCo

It’s nice to see a sold out show consisting 3 solid Canadian acts,  however the only one I’d see again is Caribou, and for his studio material…not a DJ set.

Additional Junior Boys + Miracle Fortress Tour Dates:

06/16 Washington DC – Black Cat
06/17 Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s
06/18 Charlottesville, VA – Jefferson Theater
06/20 Atlanta, GA – The Earl
06/21 Nashville, TN – Mercy Lounge
06/22 Louisville, KY – Headliners
06/24 Chicago, IL – Metro
06/25 Detroit, MI – Crofoot

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Posted on by sarahw in Concerts

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