Concert Review: The Big Pink, Lee’s Palace, November 29

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts, Everything | 1 Comment

bp

Toronto – There are so many Asians in the golden horseshoe area of Toronto, it boggles my mind that there is no pho or chinese (or even thai) places along the 401 from Toronto to Montreal/Ottawa. Are you telling me if you are driving along the 401 and there is a service station with some pho there, you won’t instantly get it? We have really limited options when doing that commute. I think the only time I ever eat at Wendy’s is when I’m in a car from one place to another. Did u know their chicken salad now features breaded chicken? How healthy is that? (I had a bacon cheeseburger…mark had the chicken salad)

I got back from an exhausting party trip from Ottawa at about 8:00 pm on Sunday night. I wasn’t too sure about whether or not I had it in me to go see The Big Pink at Lee’s Palace. However, I decided that I only live once and it was too close to not go. Lee’s Palace had conveniently said that the band was going to go on at 10. Great! I thought, I could be home by 11.

Arriving at around 9:45, I saw a moderately packed crowd at Lees. Not too many ‘lads’, which is a pleasant surprise considering its a British band. You know who you are. Stop screaming out whatever small English village you are from whenever you see a Brit band show. No one cares. Anyways, I chatted with a few friends for a bit and then 10:00 rolled around. Then 10:15 ..then finally at around 10:25, the four piece band (guitar, drum, synth, bass) came on to a cloud of smoke and strobe lights. Great! Seriously, I don’t know about you, but if I was going to make a presentation at work and I was 25 minutes late, I might as well start packing my bags. I wonder why this is acceptable for the music industry. All in the name of rock n roll, I guess. I sound like an old man.

I was fairly impressed with their live set. Robbie Furze plays the guitar like a machine gun. If there was a game called “Rock Star Concert Poses Hero”, I think him and his bassist would definitely be able to get a pretty good score on “hard” and maybe a decent score on “expert” levels. The constant strobe lights and smoke machines nicely complimented the wall of sound shoe gaze j&mc feel to their show. I would dare say, the show would only be half as good if there wasn’t smoke and lights. Maybe that says something about the band. I don’t know. They were a bit heavy on the shoegazing and never interacted with the crowd at all, but that is of no surprise given their influences and the fact that they were British.

The live renditions of upbeat songs like Crystal Visions were quite good and just different enough from the album to make you think that they aren’t a studio/production band. I think the slower numbers dragged, but I might be a bit bias because I had been on the road all day. The show was about 45 minute long and closed with the extreme crowd pleaser single “Dominos”. There was no encore, but I think the band had no songs left anyway.

Overall, a decent show. Would have been better if they started at 10 as promised.

Chromewaves was also at the show.

Concert Review: Imogen Heap, Queen Elizabeth Theatre, November 26th

Posted on by Wade in Concerts, Everything | 5 Comments

I’m not a big Imogen Heap fan and not familiar with most of her work, but when the opportunity arose to check her out last week, I said what the hell.

I had never seen a show at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre either. Is this a new venue in Toronto? Hanging out in the bar before the show, I saw the guys who book/run the Mod Club hanging out in the office. Outside of the downtown core, it is easily accessible by the Dufferin bus and very close to Medieval Times for those of you who know the area. I would guess that this is a mostly Live Nation venue by looking at the acts playing there; it is similar to Massey Hall in that respect. The seats are very comfortable and well spaced, unlike Massey Hall. The only draw back to this venue is it that it has no character. Is reminded me of my high school auditorium. There is a big stage, baron walls and lots of seats. And once the show is over, you are stuck waiting for the bus, but if you are a bit ambitious, the good bars Parkdale are walk-able.

Imogen Heap has a solid following. Those who like her, love her. She was nominated for two Grammy Awards in 2006 and has had lots of commercial success from having her music featured on The O.C. (when that guy got shot) and as the Heroes theme song.

For the show, the stage was littered with musical instruments. She had two tiny microphones attached to the inside of her wrists, which allowed her to literally run around the stage, sampling and looping different instruments at will. This is how most of her songs started. It was neat.

Imogen also has a couple of songs that require a cello. In tune with all things social-networky, she is really in touch with her fans. Do you follow the Imogen Heap vBlog? For every town that she has gone to on this tour, she has held on-line cello auditions. If you are good enough, you get invited to play with her in your hometown. Really neat.

Imogen has a great voice and likes to experiment with music. That was obvious at the show. She also has that superstar quality about her. She is tall, good looking, confident, and pretty funny in-between songs.

Here is the song she opened the concert with, Home. The video is a bit over produced, but the song is good. I have been told that she played some songs from Speak For Yourself, which was evident by incisive clapping once the first chord had been struck, but most of the songs were from her new album, Ellipse. Encore included Hide And Seek, and Just For Now.

BRMC Album and Tour Update

Posted on by Vik in Concerts, Everything, Theatre | 3 Comments

brmc black rebel motorcycle club Beat The Devil's Tattoo

It’s been over a year since we’ve heard any news on a new Black Rebel Motorcycle Club album. Something we have been anticipating especially after the heated debate on whether their last release ‘The Effects of 333′ was considered a proper follow up to Baby 81 (or even a proper album for that matter).

According to a recent update the is set to release ‘Beat The Devil’s Tattoo’, on March 9th and is embarking on an extensive tour through North America and Europe beginning February 26th, 2010.

I for one am looking forward to hearing some new stuff. Here are the dates:

February 26 Sacramento, CA Harlow’s
February 27 Reno, NV Knitting Factory
February 28 Las Vegas, NV Wasted Space @ Hard Rock Hotel
March 2 Denver, CO Ogden Theatre
March 4 Boise, ID Knitting Factory
March 5 Seattle, WA Showbox Market
March 6 Vancouver, B.C. Commodore
March 7 Portland, OR Wonder Ballroom
March 9 San Francisco, CA Slim’s
March 13 San Diego, CA House of Blues
March 14 Los Angeles, CA Echoplex
March 18 Dallas, TX House of Blues
March 20 Houston, TX House of Blues
March 21 Tulsa, OK Cain’s Ballroom
March 23 St. Louis, MO Pageant
March 24 Madison, WA High Noon
March 25 Chicago, IL Metro
March 26 Milwaukee, WI Turner Hall Ballroom
March 27 Minneapolis, MN First Ave.
March 30 Columbus, OH Newport Music Hall
March 31 Cleveland, OH House Of Blues
April 1 Toronto, ONT Phoenix
April 2 Montreal, QC La Tulipe
April 3 Boston, MA House of Blues
April 5 Washington, DC 9:30 Club
April 7 Philadelphia, PA Theatre of Living Arts
April 8 New York, NY Webster Hall

Check out their website for the rest of ‘em.

Concert Review: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, El Mocambo, Nov 25

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts | 4 Comments

edward_sharpe

Toronto – Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros played a sold show on Tuesday at the El Mocambo. Prior to Monday afternoon, I didn’t know who they were. Then I got an invite to go. At first, I was like, who the hell are these guys and why is this show sold out ? So I asked Nick, my Edmonton music friend:

me: have u heard of edward sharpe
Nick: sounds like some twilight character?

That was of no help. So I checked out the youtube video provided and it was pretty good, then I asked Wade about them and he was like ‘yeah saw them on Letterman a few days ago, they were good, go check them out or something’ (I’m paraphrasing).

After witnessing the show last night, I can easily say that I think these guys have a chance to be big. They were quite awesome live. Alex Ebert and Jade Castrinos have great chemistry on stage (as lead vocalists) and bring forth memories of Johnny Cash/June Carter in terms of interactions and banter. By memories, I mean stuff I saw off documentaries and tv. Maybe Josh was alive back then, I’m not sure. BURN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Their music is hard to describe, so I’ll use lazy journalism (more then the usual amount) to say they would be what Arcade Fire would sound like if they grew up happy and half of them grew up in the country and the other half grew up in sunny California, and they all listened to 60s music. I’m not saying they are better then Arcade Fire (two entirely separate entities), I’m just saying that’s the first thing that came to mind. Alex Ebbert holds the mic and sings into it like he’s a reverend trying to save your soul while Jade comes off as a flirty retro pixie chick who is always, always happy. They both have pretty good voices.

The crowd was completely into the show and made me wonder why I haven’t heard of them before. It seems that I have not heard of a lot of bands before. Am I losing my edge? Have I become too ‘complacent’ with my musical knowledge? Am I watching too much football? Maybe I should devote more time to discovering new bands and less times analyzing my fantasy hockey teams. I don’t know, it’s like my quarter life crisis or something. Back to the crowd, yeah from the opening song 40 Day Dream to the mid set crowd favorite Home to the confusion over what the last song should be, the band had the crowd in the palm of its hand, an amazing feat considering this is really the bands first tour. I fear to see how much better they get the next time they come around. There was an old dude near me wearing a leather jacket through out the entire show. It was pretty warm in there, I don’t know how he managed it.

They are playing tonight at the El Mocambo once again, I would suggest you try to get in somehow, because the next time they come around, I’m pretty sure it’ll be a much larger venue and it’ll be sold out just as well.

Here is some random youtube video

Here is a review of the same show from the gossip mag the National Post

Check out the music-movie series by the band on Spinner here