Concert Review: Chad Valley, Active Child, September 14, Garrison

Toronto – Leaving the Garrison after the show on Wednesday night, I was asked by Paul what I thought of the show. I said to him, “it was really good, two guys just singing over music” to which he replied “Yeah, but isn’t that everyone?”. While the statement I made applies to all music, there aren’t many that can sing like Hugo Manuel (of Chad Valley) and Pat Grossi (of Active Child).

Opening the night was Chad Valley, a solo project from Jonquil front man Hugo Manuel. Employing a simple synthesizer+ setup, Hugo hit the crowd at the Garrison with waves and waves of ambient notes and drum machines. All the tracks were of course, highlighted by the man’s voice. While I am never sure what the man is singing, he sings it well, hitting all the right notes and generally making me wish I can hit those notes or have that falsetto. Lost among the spacey trippy summer vibe that is his live take on his current EP Equatorial Ultravox, I blissfully nodded my head and moved to the tracks for the duration of the show. I even moved to stand up after securing a sitting spot, that’s big if you know how lazy I really am. Standout tracks include Fast Challenges and Now That I’m Real. Check him out if you get the chance.

Now That I’m Real (How Does It Feel) ft. Rose Dagul by chadvalley

While Chad Valley’s sound laid somewhere in the confines of a drug fueled summer pool party, Active Child’s sound lies firmly within the wreath of heartbreak. In town to promote their debut album You Are All I See, Active Child is the project of Pat Grossi, a man with some extensive choral/operatic voice training. Casually taking the stage with a harp, Pat Grossi was accompanied by a man on keyboards and another on an electric drum. From thereon in, Pat Grossi used his powerful voice as the brush to paint a picture of what might have been a pretty rough relationship. Laid out over simple but unique arrangements (including harps and pre-programmed sequences) Active Child mesmerized the crowd with their brand dark, introspective r&b meets electro music. A stark contrast from the earlier sounds of Chad Valley, but overall a good night of listening to people who can sing really really well.

Active Child – Hanging On

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts

About Ricky

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

2 Responses to Concert Review: Chad Valley, Active Child, September 14, Garrison

  1. Michael Senchuk

    Ugh, I ssssooooo wish Active Child was playing here in Edmonton … absolutely loved their last album “You Are All I See”. Closest they’re coming to me is Vancouver, though.

  2. Ricky

    that is what you get for living in Edmonton, trust me i know how it feels

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