Concert Review: The Spook School, Diet Cig, January 30, The Garrison


The last time The Spook School played Toronto, they were playing a 1am Friday night slot for Canadian Music Week at Rancho Relaxo (though it was called the 300 Club at the time) where approximately three people were actively paying attention to the band. I was one of them. Despite the low turnout, they still put on an entertaining show that night and upon their return to Toronto, the band played a similarly entertaining, high energy set to a thankfully much bigger crowd while opening for Diet Cig at the Garrison.

During the band’s set, drummer Niall McCamley offered up some gregarious, outgoing banter as well as a tale of how he may have possibly seduced a Canadian border guard. (“We locked eyes … he has my name and address.”) The band played an enjoyable set of tunes from their new album Could It Be Different? alongside older numbers like “Binary” and “Burn Masculinity,” the latter of which the band cleverly referenced with one of the items at their merch table – a mug emblazoned with the slogan “Burn Masculini-tea.” Well played, Spook School.

The size of The Spook School’s audience wasn’t the only thing that was bigger than it once was. Since the last time they were here, Diet Cig has doubled in size. No, they haven’t gotten fatter – rather, the band has added two new members for this tour, presumably so that singer/guitarist Alex Luciano can devote more time and energy to her jumps and high kicks (if that’s even possible). Luciano is one of the most positive, high-energy performers you’ll see in concert – I guess that’s why she stressed the importance of staying hydrated a couple of times during the show. Either that or she’s got a sponsorship deal with some water company. The added bass and keyboards did flesh out the sound a bit, but otherwise, this was business as usual for a Diet Cig show, which is to say, it was a fun show.

Posted on by Paul in Concerts

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