Concert Review: Bag Raiders, August 1st, Kool Haus

Toronto – Ten months after releasing one of my favorite electro pop albums of 2010, Sydney’s Bag Raiders finally made their Toronto debut in front of a semi packed Kool Haus on Monday. The duo, consisting of DJs Chris Stracey and Jack Glass were there to open for UK darling Ellie Goulding. I had waited anxiously for the duo to make their live appearance in our city since listening to their single Castles in the Air, a nintendo meets synthesizer mashup that set off the imaginary dance floor in my head. Their self titled album would spawn a few tracks that have been my rotation since including Sunlight, Snake Charmer and Shooting Stars.

With a less than favorable starting time of 8 pm, the duo took the stage and delivered an energetic thirty minute set that had the crowd dancing by the halfway point. The two shared vocal duties while manning the many electrical devices it required to produced their eighties-video-game-dance-club-on-the-shores-of-a-beach sound. Most of their tracks have a lovely build up to a pulsating chorus, which is a perfect tonic for the pop happy, completely willing to lose it Ellie Goulding crowd. Despite Dan Black’s absence, the track Sunlight was the highlight for me. It’s got a great beat and is just ridiculously catchy, also the music video of the song features a monkey.

Bag Raiders – Sunlight (feat. Dan Black) by modularpeople

It came to me as a surprise that the set closing track Shooting Stars is apparently their most famous song, since I prefer some of the other tracks on the album. There were more than a few hands in the air when the first notes dropped for that tune, which in it’s favor, has probably the biggest build up/pay off moment of any song in their repertoire. I felt however, some of that build up was dampened by the fact that the duo was playing at the cavernous Kool Haus. Some music is just made for a club (or a beach), I think Bag Raiders is one of them.

While playing at 8 pm at the end of a long weekend in a large warehouse before a budding pop starlet isn’t the most ideal situation for a band such as Bag Raiders to make their debut, the duo made the most of it and help feed the crowd’s enthusiasm by providing them with a relentless set of upbeat dance tracks for rapid consumption. More than a few people asked me who the band was afterwards, which is always a great sign. Here’s hoping they return soon with their own headlining tour.

Bag Raiders is opening for Ellie Goulding at these venues.

Tuesday August 2nd || Royal Oak Music Theatre || Royal Oak, MI *
Monday August 8th || Ogden Theatre || Denver, CO *
Thursday August 11th || The Wiltern || Los Angeles, CA *
Saturday August 13th || Anaheim Convention Center || Anaheim, CA

Bag Raiders – Snake Charmer by modularpeople

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts

About Ricky

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