Concerts

Concert Review: The Good, The Bad, and The Queen, Kool Haus, March 11

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Well, I can’t really say anticipation was high for this supposed super group, but I was looking forward to seeing this band on Sunday. Right on the heels of the great and fresh Pipettes show not even 24 hours ago, I wondered how these aged men would perform in what now must be a fairly routine show. I mean, when I first started coding, I would code stuff up on the spot and think ‘thats kinda cool’, now I just copy and paste anything I could find from what I’ve previously coded. I imagine it’d somewhat similar.

First of all, this place was packed. I had expected it to be half empty since I haven’t really read or heard much about the GB&Q in the public eye. I guess that fact that there were members of Blur, The Clash and The Verve in this band really helps. Also, there is a black guy in the band, and black people are all the hype in indie music now (bloc party, noisettes, tv on the radio). Haha just kidding. When some veteran Brits play anywhere in Toronto, you can never underestimate the amount of ex-pats that will attend the show.

The band came on about 10:30. They started off with some song from the album. I must say, I have only heard the album 3 times since it was released online, and considering I might go thru four or five albums a day, asking me to recall song titles from albums is like asking Shawn Kemp what his 8th kid was named. They were really crisp live, obviously, I guess. The music was a lot more rock-ish live then it was on the album, and Damon and the Clash dude came out in suits with Top Hats, which was very anglo of them. They started off with some songs off their album, then Damon went on the piano and they did some more songs off the album, and then he got up and they finished the set with some more songs off their album. It was alright, although I did check my phone clock more then once during the show, which is not the greatest sign on Earth.

Some random dude standing about five feet to the left of me kept on yelling out ‘Scotland’ during the act. I mean what the fuck is that? this ALWAYS happens during some UK act, someone will yell out “WALES!” or “MANCHESTER!” or some random UK city. I don’t yell out “HONG KONG” during the set, I don’t think you should either. Also, there was also some older white male standing in front of me to the left that was pretty much the WORSE DANCER EVER. i was not sure if he was having a seizure, drink out of his mind or just whatever, but he was the most uncoordinated person I have ever seen. I was not alone in this observation, as most people in the vicinity witness this atrocity to human movement for most of the night. It was really distracting. Think Seinfeld Elaine dancing, times that by ten and you have this guy.

Concert Rating 2.5 / 5

- might have enjoyed it more if
a) it wasn’t after the best show I have seen this year
b) if I knew the source material better
c) Damon sang blur songs
d) dancing dude was shot
e) scotland dude was mute

Concert Review: Pipettes, Rivoli, March 10

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Pipettes

As anyone who knows me knows, I was very excited about this show, to the point where I emailed people who were interested and told them about the show, provided some mp3s and even the link to the ticketbreak site that sold the ticket. The night did not start out too promising, as there was a block long lineup leading into the Rivoli. Anyone who actually has been to the Rivoli will know that the concert area is small to say the least (or as some people will call it..’cosy’). We were wondering if they had done what CMW always seem to do and oversold the show. I would have been very pissed off.

As it turn out, they just had to kick people out and that after about 40 minutes of waiting in the freezing cold, they allowed people with advanced tickets in (and only allowed them in). This left a lot of people probably angry outside as they weren’t selling tickets and it was advanced tickets only. Preparation is key bitches!

As it ended up, the place was only half capacity, which is truly odd, as people on craigslist were willing to pay like 5x the ticket price to this show, which was labelled as ‘sold out’. Typical CMW bullshit i guess. The Pipettes came on at about 1 am and then performed what I deem “quickest 1 hour + set” ever. Seriously, it was like they came on, and boom they left. Thats how good the show was. I remember one show in May in 2005 when the Dears were playing at Lees and they launched into like a 15 minute jam session, and I thought I could have finished the book War and Peace by the time they had finished that song. Anyways, this was the opposite.

Seeing how they have only one album and a few singles, you could probably guess their set list. They pretty much played every song they have. As expected, the girls came out in polka dot dresses and had the whole retro-60s kinda look and setup. They had choreographed (but not that choreographed) moves for every song and were in general very enthusiastic thru out the entire show. The crowd was more involved in this show then your typical Toronto crowd, and that was nice.

Overall, awesome show. Happy times. – 5/5

Awesome pics of the show here

blogTO review

Concert Review: Ben Kweller , Phoenix, March 6

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It’s always pleasant when you go to see an opening act and the act plays over an hour. This was what happened last nite at the Phoenix. The place was nearly at capacity for the opening act that is Ben Kweller, despite the fact that he is about 4’3 and has what appears to be a jew-fro, this little midget can carry quite a tune. The crowd seemed quite into it as he showed off his repertoire of talents which included a solo acoustic set, stuff with the piano and some bluesy guitar playin.

I thought the show was quite good, and aside from the fact that ‘wasted and ready’ was not played, the setlist was quite good. I did not stay for Gomez, as I was tired, did not want to wait 45 minutes for them to setup and my back was tired, which indicates to me that i shouldnt be sitting at a 45 degree angle all day.

4/5

2006 Concert Review

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Hard to believe the year is coming to a close. Its been short, yet, long. I mean, I saw Hard Fi in January. Who’s Hard Fi? haha Jokes. That show seemed eons ago though. Overall, this has been my least active concert year out of the three or so years I have been here. Maybe I am getting old, but there was a lot of shows I was going to go to (Mates of State, Lilly Allen, Yeah Yeah Yeahs) but didn’t end up going for some reason.

Highlights

  • Massive Attack, October 6, Carlu – I wrote about this one already.
  • Charlatans, May 22, Phoenix – These guys put on quite a good show, playing lots of classics as well as new stuff (which sounds good live). Good energy, and its the first time I have ever seen them, so thats fresh.
  • The Strokes, Sept 10, Island – Part of the Virgin Festival experience, they played an extremely tight set that had everyone going.
  • Radiohead, June 6, Hummingbird
  • – Man oh man. Radiohead in such a small venue…aces.

Low Lights (is that a word?)

  • Belle and Sebastian, Feb 25, Docks
  • – one of my favorite bands in the worst venue ever plus 45 buck tickets = bad time. I can’t even begin to describe how shitty the docks is for a show, or any show. Sometimes, I wonder, if terrorists can only attack places we don’t like, like the docks…then it would be a win-win situation for everyone. we lose something we don’t like, and they successfully attack something on democratic soil.

  • CBC See Vous Play, October 1, Kool Haus – Way too loud, and the bands played too long a set. I mean, there was like four bands playing, and you give each act over an hour? No one likes to be at a concert for more the 2 hours and you make people try and do double the time. I wanted to go see Joel Plaskett, but never made it that far (he got on at like midnight on a sunday). I have never been a big fan of emily haines, and having to listen to her metaphorically dissect her pains on a piano for an hour just to get to Joel Plaskett was too much to endure (I left about 10 minutes into her show)