Concert Review: Los Campesinos, August 7, Horseshoe

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Toronto – On a hot and sweaty night, several acts plied their trade around the great town known as Toronto. Among them included ipod darlings The Fratellis and buzz band The Cribs. Having seen the Cribs, and not really interested in seeing the Fratellis, I opted to go check out the latest from the Arts and Craft label, a quirky happy rock act from Wales known as Los Campesino. Why you ask? well, it was free. How can you turn that down. Really.

I am glad that the Horseshoe has a great air conditioning system, otherwise this show would have been a lot worse (as would any show). The band came on around 10:30 (I arrived about 3 minutes prior) and instantly launched into one of their happy happy rock songs. From what I recall, they were a six piece band, including a violin player. Two of them wore truckers hat , which I think breaks some sort of fashion rule. One would later discard the hat.

Los Campesino’s music can only be described as happy happy rock. Every song is full and soaring, making use of violins, synths, xylophones and everything. I guess I would be happy too if I lived in Wales and somehow found an easy way out. The lead singers voice sounds like a mix between the guy from hefner, geneva and clap your hands. So its realtively high pitched. One of the chicks in the band provides backing vocals. I thought the band played a good set, they were very energetic and were obviously very happy to be here, despite the oppressive heat and the fact that they weren’t probably making too much money from this show.

They played about 45 minutes, and I think they exhausted everything they had in their catalogue. Highlights include their hit singles ‘’ and ‘we throw parties, you throw knives’. The crowd seemed pretty into it, and I was able to get a good view and a seat, and also managed to sucker the people I was going with to go eat pho afterwards. So overall, a pretty good showing from this band. I expect the crowd to be larger next time, and they might want to charge a dollar or two.


CD Review: Kate Nash – Made of Bricks

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I love the song foundations, but then when someone pointed out that this album sounds like someone copied and pasted some live journal entries over the some really did feel like that. So basically, the album was kinda disappointing. I can see where the Lily Allen comparisons come up, but this is far inferior and far less original. However, she’s only 19 or something, so I guess its a pretty good start regardless.

Concert Review: St. Vincent, July 20, Horsehoe

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Toronto – St.Vincent is a band based out of Dallas, Texas. Yea I know, kinda weird. The main event of the band St.Vincent is the lead singer/guitarist, a pixie sized girl by the name of Annie Clark. She is also a member of Polyphonic Spree and plays for Sufjan in her off time, so she is probably pretty talented.

The show was at the Horseshoe, which immediately scores about 100 points on the goodness meter. It guarantees a small, cozy environment. Also, I know where the AC vents are, so I am guaranteed maximum coolness if need be. The Horseshoe is also close to Burrito Boys, and seeing that I was rather hungry before the show, this provided the necessary kick needed to stay focus on the music thru out the concert, otherwise I would spend half the show debating on what to eat afterwards (most likely pho).

The band came on around 12:15 am, which is moderately not early. The band was a four piece set, featuring a violinist, a drummer, annie clark and a bassist/keyboardist. They were quite the multi-instrumentalist. Annie had two mics for use, one was normal, one was distorted. This would provide for much amusement for most of the night. MAN, she is talented. Considering her small size and skinny frame, you would never think she can rock a guitar…but does she ever. The second song concluded with like a seven minute jamming session where she just ripped into the thing. Crazy. The outro is something a band plays at the end of the show, and they were doing it in the second song. This was a good thing.

The band pretty much played thru their entire catalogue (which is one album). It was an extremely impressive show and Id definately be there whenever they play again, unless its at some crappy venue. I might still go anyways.

There was a helluva lot of photos taken that night, by other people. I thought all the flash was a bit excessive. Anyways, that would annoy me if I was on stage.


Here is a link to another review: Another Review

Concert Review: White Stripes, July 5, Molson Amphitheatre

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Toronto – Shows at the Amp are always kinda nice, unless you are out in the lawns. I like how you get a nice breeze coming in off the lake thru out the show, and how its kinda outdoors, but you are still covered from the rain..unless you are in the lawns, or the 400s. Either way, I wasn’t in either section for the show, so that is a moot point. They really need to have a subway line along the lake shore, as it is an absolute bitch getting there.

Going to the White Stripes concert, I was moderately excited. I am one of those people who prefer their earlier stuff then the later albums, so I was wondering how much of the back catalog they would be playing at a show clearly designed to promote their latest album (r)icky thump. Well, they answered that question by playing “Dead leaves and Dirty Ground”, “Hotel Yorba”, “You’re Pretty Good Looking” and “Jolene” virtually back to back to back. For us long time fans, it was like ‘yeaaaaaaah awesome!!’. For the 15 year olds in their Hollister shirts, it was like ‘whaaaaaaaaaa? they had songs before 7 nation army?’. Quite the dichotomy of fans at the venue, i must say.

The band played for roughly 90 minutes, drawing songs from every album. Notable songs they did not play include “Hardest Button To Button”, “Blue Orchid” and “Apple Blossom”. Compared with their last show here, I think this show was a little better.