NXNE Review: Tobacco, June 19, Massey Hall


What the NXNE Press Guide said about Tobacco:

On his third album, 2014’s ‘Ultima II Massage,’ the Pennsylvania snake-synth-charmer deepens his approach to aural depravity. It widens a jagged swath through a weird catalog that already includes collaborations with Beck, subverting pop urges in favour of analog weapons of distortion. It’s difficult and jarring, but also fulfilling and fully realized. You may hear disembodied bits of Boards of Canada, early Def Jam records, and Gary Numan – or maybe just public-access TV and bad VHS dubs of 80’s horror flicks.

Tobacco is Thomas Fec though on this night he was joined by a partner on stage. They were behind a pixelated screen that was quite small for such a large venue like Massey Hall. It displayed various bizarre scenes from what looked to be ’80’s infomercials and B-movies.

Everyone tends to stay in the comfort of their seats at Massey but by the beginning of the third song this all changed.  People live to dance and sometimes it just takes a couple brave souls to get the rest of the party started. Two dudes  slowly made their way to the front and started the dance party and livened the place up.

Tobacco had a hypnotic light show and mixed this with their fast electro beats while incorporating vocal samples that sounded like a robot. It only kind of worked. What they need is a proper venue that’s much smaller and without the seating.

Posted on by Brent in Concerts, North By Northeast