Concert Review: Elbow, Danforth Music Hall, May 17, 2014


It is most certainly odd that an Anglophile music fan like me has never seen Elbow live. This is after all, a band that in the past decade has captured the love of many and won a Mercury Prize. The release of their latest album The Take Off and Landing of Everything allowed me to rectify that situation however, and on Saturday night, I found myself at the Danforth Music Hall surrounded by most likely older people, awaiting my first live Elbow experience.

An Elbow show feels like a gathering of friends at your local pub. The vibe is completely friendly and inclusive and the entire night is orchestrated by Guy Garvey. This is a man who in his spare time probably drinks at his local and regales others with his tales, all while sounding like a gentleman. In another life, he was probably a MC or something. The set list of the night was heavy on the new material, which seamlessly blended into the old material. Some might take that as a lack of say, musical progress, but when you do music as well as Elbow does, it’s hard to register a real complaint. With a live string section on stage, the song’s arrangement’s soared and it’s easy to see why the band has received such accolade over the years. Of the new tracks, Real Life (Angel) stood out in particular with it’s almost dancey beat and it’s segments of “hallelujah”.

Other particular highlights include a stirring rendition of The Night Will Always Win which is one of the great shut’em songs I’ve seen. A shut’em up song is a song so delicate and good that it shuts up everyone in the crowd. You would have to be a severe douchebag to talk during that track. Luckily, Elbow fans are not douches. The set closer was obviously On a Day Like This, their biggest hit and as obvious a set closer as I’ve seen. A rousing sing along (a brit band requisite) followed the crowd spilled out of the Danforth happy and satisfied.

It is a shame that this was my first Elbow experience, but I can say it won’t be my last.

Posted on by Ricky in Everything

About Ricky

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

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