Concert Review: Bat For Lashes, February 22, The Phoenix

Bat For Lashes at the Phoenix Concert Theatre
Photos by Stephen McGill

It’s been over a decade since Bat For Lashes last graced the city of Toronto, so when this show was announced late last year I was super excited. Their last show, which we covered, was on the heels of 2009’s phenomenal album Two Suns and coincidentally, this show follows the release of last year’s excellent Lost Girls, which is my favorite album of theirs since Two Suns.

As the show approached, its description changed from a straight up concert to what was then labelled as “An evening with Bat For Lashes.” I was like … what does this mean? Aren’t these types of shows usually reserved for Michael Buble fans?

As it turns out, “An evening with Bat For Lashes” meant a stripped down show featuring Natasha Khan and another musician instead of her usual band. On top of that, Natasha dove into the inspirations behind some of her songs, not just telling us the meaning behind them but often presenting some accompanying material with the song in the form of a reading or poetry.

Now normally this type of activity can come off as a bit pompous but Natasha Khan has always had this mystic, artistic quality to her – Bat For Lashes records mostly trend towards the conceptual and you can actually sense that yes, going into the Death Valley to visit a ballerina there can inspire an entire song. For most other artists I would say this would come off as overindulgent, but with this show I think it added to the unique experience.

Given that Lost Girls has a nice “beaty” element to it, I was intrigued to see how the stripped down versions would fare. The answer: quite well. At the heart of it all, Khan has an amazing voice and she has a knack for writing hooks that can be interpreted any which way.

The set list featured covers (“Boys of Summer”, “I Drove All Night”) as well as several older hits including “Laura”, “Joe’s Dream” and “Moon & Moon.” Of course, “Daniel” was the most well received song, featuring the most polite sing along of all time. “Daniel” is an amazing tune – 11 years later and it’s never left my listening rotation.

All in all, a successful evening. It’s been too long since Bat For Lashes was in town and I hope I don’t have to wait another decade to see them again.

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Posted on by Ricky in Concerts

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

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