Concert Reviews: Cibo Matto, July 15, Lee’s Palace

Toronto – A surprisingly small crowd took up shop at Lee’s Palace on Saturday night to see the Cibo Matto, a genre bending hip hop meets indie rock meets dream pop band from New York best known for their records Viva! La Woman and Stereotype A. It had been many years since the Japanese via New York duo last took the stage in Toronto and from what my friends can recall, that show (a bill shared with Lucious Jackson) was one for the ages. You would have thought that the memories of that show would propel all those attendees to visit Lee’s to relive those moments. Sadly, that was not the case.

Playing tracks off those two albums, Yuka Honda and Miho Hatori put on a stellar show that was energetic and surprisingly intimate. The duo started off the set as the only members on stage with Yuka on the keyboards and Miho behind the microphone (and some funky sunglasses). Sugar Water was played rather early much to the delight of the crowd. Just as I was about to complain about a lack of live instruments, two other members took the stage, assuming bass and drum duties. Now a full band, Cibo Matto’s show took on a more upbeat vibe. Miho’s rapping has to be seen to be believed. You would never think that a Japanese woman rapping in a heavy accent would work, but it does. The band seemed to appreciate the crowd that showed up, perhaps realizing their decade long sabbatical might seem exponentially longer given the break neck speed that the music industry moves at these days. A particularly funny story about 16 dollar pad thai was told (you can read it on their website) and the band introduced a few new songs, including a thrilling dance track that may or may not be called Ghost Girl on the Dance Floor. Apparently a new album is on the way

Cibo Matto finished the set with dance floor igniting Know Your Chicken. It might have taken them almost a decade to return to Toronto, but for those in the crowd, it was well worth the wait.

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts

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Britpop lovin Chinaman, consumer of all things irrelevant. Toronto Raptors fan.