Summerworks Review: Evening Hymns, August 17, Theatre Centre

Anticipation was high amongst many in attendance at Friday night’s Evening Hymns show as part of Summerworks. A record release show for the band’s latest, Spectral Dust, it was also being recorded by the CBC for their Canada Live series. When frontman Jonas Bonetta mentioned this fact, some guy in the audience interjected “CBC Sucks!” Dude, who cares what you think about the CBC? I get that you want everyone to know that you’re oh so cool and beyond things like listening to the radio, but so what? Plus, if you were hoping that you’d be able to infiltrate the airwaves with your comments, they’ll probably edit you out anyways. Regardless of what anyone thinks though, it’s still pretty cool that the band’s getting their show broadcast across the nation. For the record though, I do think that CBC2 was way more interesting back when they had Brave New Waves.

Anyways, back to the show itself. Bonetta may have been a bit nervous, but it didn’t really have any bearing on the performance itself. With the band expanded to a full seven piece to better replicate the songs as recorded,it all sounded great. And in addition to the aural aspect of the show, in keeping with the artsy, theatrical nature of the Summerworks festival, artist Sean Frey provided some visuals in the form of projections on a screen behind the band. Bonetta was actually a bit bummed that he had to face the crowd and couldn’t watch. To digress a bit, I’d just like to point out that the projections at times brought to mind Horsebot 3000 from Community. I liked Horsebot 3000 …

Another aspect of the show that one couldn’t help but take in was the lyrics. Sometimes I don’t pay the closest attention to lyrics – There’s some songs I’ve loved for years that I just never learn the words to and especially live, hearing songs for the first time, I don’t necessarily focus on words. But knowing the backstory behind the songs on Spectral Dusk, the fact that the songs were inspired by the death of Bonetta’s father, I had to pay attention. That several of Bonetta’s family members were also in attendance that night probably made the songs more significant to him personally. They certainly seemed to strike a chord with the audience. With those up front sitting on the floor, the whole thing had a comfortable love-in vibe that meshed well with the band’s warm sound … even if the floors weren’t actually all that comfortable at all.

Posted on by Paul in Everything, Summerworks