Concert Review: Dilly Dally, April 10, Wise Hall

Dilly Dally

Toronto’s Dilly Dally nearly didn’t make it this far; after the success and touring schedule of their first album Sore, the band very nearly imploded. The second album, Heaven, is all the better for that experience – the darkness and doubt is well balanced with hope, beauty and optimism. Surprisingly, they seem just as busy promoting and touring this album. They played 15 gigs in Europe in early 2019, followed by over 20 dates in a month in North America, not to mention the dozens of gigs in 2018.

The audience are pleased Dilly Dally has made it this far and were up for it from the get go. Opening track “I Feel Free” starts slowly and builds and builds. Lead singer and guitarist Katie Monks expresses pure, raw emotions with her vocals, which have a contradictory combination of sweetness and aggressive screeching. The band are often compared to Pixies and Hole, which, while being a massive complement, is also a bit of an unfair comparison as Monks is a unique singer who is far from being a Black Francis or Courtney Love wannabe. On this evening, she has a Flying V style guitar and is dressed in white with bleached blond hair while bassist Jimmy Tony is wearing a black vest and shortish mini skirt and guitarist Liz Ball is wearing all black; short black dress, short black hair, short black stockings. Drummer Benjamin Reinhartz could have been wearing anything, as everyone’s eyes were fixed on the front three, but mostly on Monks. They sound great and they look great, and it works.

The set was a mix of songs from the first two albums and the audience were as excited by the new album tracks as they were for most songs from the band’s impressive debut, Sore. The venue, Vancouver’s Wise Hall, is dark and intimate – perfect for this gig. The sprung dance floor is great for dancing and the reasonably priced craft beer selection on tap is better than your average music venue. It was far from full though, which was disappointing.

The last song of the set was the intense “Desire”, with the lyrics “I’m coming at you from against the world” feeling apt in these modern times. The crowd chanted ‘one more song’ and promptly got two. Even with the two song encore, the performance lasted less than an hour.

The closing song of the night was “Heaven” and with the opening lyric “I’ve been dead for seven years,” it is not the most optimistic finale. The first verse finishes, “Sleeping with my best friend, it don’t feel like heaven,” which sounds about right. Dilly Dally’s lyrics are honest, truthful and not afraid to tell it like it is. They make such a refreshing change from many of today’s jaunty indie folk bands.

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Posted on by Martin Alldred in Concerts

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