Concert Review: Bad Bad Not Good, July 3rd, Adelaide Hall

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Usually on Thursdays, I don’t really go to shows. This is because I play Ultimate Frisbee on Thursdays, so timing doesn’t really work out. Luckily, my game started at 7:00 pm and since it’s an 80 minute game, I actually had time to go home, change, get my shit together and haul ass to Adelaide Hall for some Red Bull/Arts & Crafts cross promotion show that featured local band Bad Bad Not Good.

Despite the fact that Bad Bad Not Good have been around for a few years in the Toronto scene, I had not seen them live until this March. I just happened to be in Austin at that time and I caught them play a free show from my VIP perch at the Filter SXSW party. What a pleasant surprise they were! I’m usually quite inebriated in Austin so I wasn’t quite sure if they were actually good or just a figment of my imagination. Since the show was cheap due to being subsidized by the same company who made that guy jump out of a plane in space, I decided to pay three dollars and see if the band was actually good (or if they were bad bad not good…..muhahahahhahahaha)

It turns out they were totally rad. Adelaide Hall is this really weird multi level venue where the people on the balcony can just gaze down to the lower level to watch the musicians perform much like how plantation owners would probably look down into a pit to watch mandingo fights centuries earlier. Either way, the crowd on hand seemed rather stoked to see Bad Bad Not Good. If I had to put a defining characteristic about the crowd, I would say they are mostly “younger then me”. Despite the night being branded “Red Bull Select” I don’t think they were handing out free Red Bulls. Beers were a rather pricey 8 dollars but I managed to convinced myself that I should have two of them. This is what alcoholism does to you, my dear reader(s).

It was just after 11 when the trio took the stage. I cannot state this enough. BBNG were awesome. I think they are like a Canadian Massive Attack, only if Massive Attack liked jazz, snorted cocaine (instead of doing weed) and also, didn’t have all that political junk or vocals to their music. So basically, not like Massive Attack. Maybe an Ontario DJ Shadow. The drummer, Alexander Sowinski is absolutely amazing. His drumming is so skilled and fast I wonder if he would have better off being a master pickpocket instead (given the state of the music industry, that may have been a more financially sound career). Whatever. His drumming propels the band and delivers a dose of energy to the crowd that you would not have expected.

The craziness started happening during the song “Can’t Leave the Night”. It’s a song that starts off like the theme music to Unsolved Mysteries but then twists and turns into an epic jazz meets hip hop meets Calvin Harris if he wasn’t using a synthesizer/mailing it in vibe. It’s a great track and people started god damn moshing to it. MOSHING! to Jazzy stuff! At first, I was just like “white kids” but seriously, BBNG’s just brings this energy to their live show that can never be captured on album.

The moshing sustained throughout the entire set and led me to think about all the reasons why people mosh. Do all these kids have so much pent up aggression that they enjoy pushing and being pushed in a tight confined heated space? Why would they want that? Either way, BBNG seem to inspire this type of behaviour in the kids. Their music, with the pulsating drums and well timed highs and lows was a great vehicle for people to let off some steam and maybe since it has jazz associations to it, they can let off some steam and still feel classy at the same time. It’s like all those murder scenes in movies that are soundtracked by classical music. Violent, yet acceptable. I dunno. There even was this short lil asian dude beside us and he got so jacked up he even decided to go downstairs and stage dive! A lil Asian dude! wtf! What about his wallet? That’s what I would think. He inspires me to do greater things and ponder my own life decisions.

Seeing how it was a homecoming show of sorts, the band brought out members of River Tiber who played the horns on some of BBNG’s tracks, adding an extra emotional depth that made everyone question their own existence or something. It was a nice touch. Honestly, Bad Bad Not Good are a phenomenal live act that is completely unique. They are worth checking out any day of the week.

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Posted on by Ricky in Concerts

About Ricky

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

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