Klaxons, Opera House, November 10

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts, Everything | 4 Comments

Toronto – It is not often that I go see a band twice for the same album tour (off the top of my head .. Franz Ferdinand … The Pipettes .. the Rapture). So when I do go, it is often because the first show was awesome. Such was the case with the Klaxons. A lot has happened to this band since I last saw them in April, more specifically, they won the Mercury Award, which is the most prestigious award to win if you are an UK band. It is like the HGH for the music scene. Once you get it, its all home runs baby, all home runs.

So naturally, when they returned to Toronto, they played a much bigger venue – The Opera House (capacity: 850) which is significantly larger then Lees. Wikipedia lists Lees capacity at 600, but I highly doubt that. I would say 350 max. Anyways, so point is, they played to a much larger crowd this time around.

I am not the biggest fan of the Opera House, it is far away, there is realistically only one bar to pre-drink and they got those black guys in the bathrooms. I HATE that. Okay, maybe those guys aren’t always black, saying that would be racist. I hate the bathroom attendants they have at various night clubs. Its like dude, i might be drunk, but i can wash my own f’n hands and dry myself off. I just don’t see why clubs have to be like that, and the people who do that, is that really the best they can do? Wash the hands of drunken people every friday and saturday night? Might as well end it right there buddy, life is certainly throwin ya to the gutter.

I guess its more of a social problem, because maybe if those guys arent washing our hands and giving us towels, then they are on the street and maybe they might mug people and stuff, so on second thought, perhaps its not that bad. I can deal with not tipping them once in a while.

Onto the show. Man was it completely different from last time. Last time, as you can read in a previous post of mine (here) was pure shenanigans. Glow sticks, surfers, stage divers, people dressed like they were colorblind..everywhere. This time around, typical Toronto crowd. I don’t even think people knew what the first tune was (the bouncer) because it wasn’t on the album. So basically, this was a ‘lets go to this hyped up band and check them out’ kind of crowd. The person standing besides me was just obsessed with taking pictures with his dinky little point and shoot camera, from quite a bit away. I wanted to tell him to give it up, but I’ll let him soak in his disappointment when he loads the crappy pics he took on his imac. Him and his girlfriend were both wearing earplugs too. Man, if you are gonna wear earplugs at a concert, it just proves that you should be seeing rod stewart or clay aiken or something. Get out of there.

musically, the band was solid, and the concert was pretty solid. but it didn’t have the same energy level as the first time. I guess that can be expected, as the venue was bigger and the crowd was definitely different. Perhaps my expectations were too high, but I have noticed a trend – the second time around, not always as good. I still enjoyed the show however, my only real disappointment (other then the ones i’ve mentioned) was that there really isn’t a good chinese restaurant near the place, as I was craving congee after the show (soul food for us china mens).

Review: 3/5, if I had not seen the other show, probably 4/5. so depends.

PS: I WISH they played this song, which is a cover of one of my favorite 90s tunes

The Hives, Phoenix, October 3rd

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts, Everything | 1 Comment

Toronto – It’s been awhile since the Hives visited Canada’s best city, so when it was announced earlier this summer that the Hives were returning to Toronto to open for Maroon 5, I am pretty sure most fans were all like ‘whaaaaaaaa’ then probably went on to make some joke about Maroon 5 being pansy ass bitches. Luckily, the Hives recognize this slight, and scheduled a show at the Phoenix for a mere 13$. Awesome. Naturally, given this city’s massive Scandanavian population, the show sold out within weeks.

The atmosphere at show was quite excitable. If you know anything about the Hives, you know they put on a good show. It was Wednesday, which is statistically the hardest day of the week, so I am sure the crowd was raring for a good time. I am sure the Hives are a band that really, really, really want to please its fans, as they came on at 9:30. NINE THIRTY. Who comes on at nine thirty? (well the Beautiful South did last year) but seriously, that’s awesome. Maybe I am showing my age here, but really, that is quite delish.

Dressed in matching private school boys uniforms, the Hives quickly went right into one of their trademark two minute songs, whose name escapes me now. I’ll admit it, I can realistically name maybe eight Hives tunes. One of them is ‘Hate to Say I Told You So’, which they busted out early in the set to get everyone going. The lead singer, Howlin Pelle, is arguably one of the best front man doing shows today. He works HARD to get the crowd going, dances and does crazy stuff during songs and consistantly talks between songs. Sometimes I think the length of his between song banters is actually longer then each song. Actually, thats probably true. The dudes pretty funny, and after watching lamewads Alex Turner (of Arctic Monkeys) and Paul Banks (of Interpol) do absolutely nothing on stage at V Fest, this was a nice refreshment.

so the next hour consisted of a blend of new and old songs, leaning more towards the old then the new. Apparantly they have a new album coming out, and according to Pelle, its ‘very good’ and they were listening to it before the show to get them revved up. The only sad thing about the concert is that you know that the Hives are a pretty limited band, in terms of what they can do musically. It’d be awesome to see someone with the frontmans charisma on a err better band. But hey, what can you do?

The first set ended with their current single “Tick Tick Boom” which is currently also on NHL 08, so if its sounds familliar, this is why. The encore consisted of Supply and Demand, Main Offender and some new song which sounds like it can be a hit. Overall, the Hives put on an excellent show and I enjoyed it quite a bit.

4/5

Ulrich Schnauss, Rivoli, September 26

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts, Everything | 2 Comments

Toronto – So last week, my buddy Pike visited our great city from Edmonton. He was pretty hell bent on seeing some shows and went to see the Cinematic Orchestra, Common and Ulrich Schnauss. He offered to take me to one of these shows. I couldn’t go see the Cinematic Orchestra because I was at the cottage and I wasn’t really keen on seeing Common (despite liking his new album) because I have a propensity for saying something like ‘ni**a whaaaa’ when I get excited and really, I just didn’t want to get stabbed in case I said that at a show. Also, I had a ball hockey game.

So, by hook or by crook, I was going to see this german dude named Ulrich Schnauss. I had no idea what he played or what his music was, so this was definately a new experience. I even resisted the urge to download his entire discography before the show. So I was going into this show fresh. and clean.

Read more

Concert Review: Klaxons, Commodore Ballroom, October 1st

Posted on by Vik in Concerts, Everything | Leave a comment

Vancouver – This being my first foray into the Vancouver indie scene, I really didn’t know what to expect from this concert not only from a musical standpoint, but more so the experience. Attending 60+ shows while living in Toronto, the whole concert-going process had become second nature to me – hitting the bar early enough to get a couple of drinks in, timing it perfectly so I wouldn’t have to listen to a shit support band and only to wait another 30 minutes for the roadies to set up the headliner and of course, taking the piss out of Flyerman (man I wanted to punch that dude in the face after watching his movie, what a selfish fucker). Anyways, the experience itself ended up being status quo. The Commodore as a venue is probably one of the nicest I’ve been to, lots of room to dance, plenty of barspace, great sound and sightlines throughout the entire venue. The capacity of the venue is around 1000 and would say it was only 70% full, which is good because the last thing I want is a sweaty indie chick in a tight skirt rubbing against me…gross. Oh the only thing that drove me nuts about the venue, they kept turning the house lights on after every song, what’s up with that Commodore? It kinda took away from the experience.

My concert timing was rusty because when we thought we arrived at the time we expected the Klaxons to come on stage, we actually had 3 more songs of the Mystery Jets to watch. They’re a decent enough band but I’d just throw them in mix of ‘typical’ British indie bands like The Paddingtons, The Harrisons, The Mccabes, The Holloways etc…Lot’s of families are playing in bands together these days, good for them.

Klaxons get on stage around 9:40, at this point I’m expecting ‘quite a show’ as per Ricky’s review but after watching their set, I’d just like to add ‘fuckin’ after ‘a’ and before ‘show’. Those kids are amazing. Right off the bat they had people rush to the floor to hip-shake to the ear bleeder ‘Bouncer’ and kept the dancefloor masses consistently moving throughout the entire gig. In order to avoid writing a duplicate review I’ll just kindly ask you to refer to Ricky’s, which pretty much expresses my sentiments, although I felt the crowd slightly more subduded, maybe because it was sparse or the BC bud was more primo than usual.

4.5/5

Here is the setlist:

Bouncer
Atlantis to Interzone
Hall of Records
Totem
Golden Skans
As Above So Below
Two Recievers
Magick
Gravity’s Rainbow
It’s Not Over Yet w/Mystery Jets
Isle of Her
Four Horsemen

Next show: Shout Out Louds, October 12th