Concert Review: Dido, June 15, Danforth Music Hall

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While introducing the song “See You When You’re 40″ off of her 2003 album Life For Rent, Dido mentioned how she wrote the song back in the day with the notion of wanting to hurt someone who hurt her and how she imagined that “the most insulting thing I could say to them is that they would one day be 40. Clearly that’s not old.”

No, it’s not. And a quick survey of the crowd would seem to indicate that this was an audience where perhaps the majority of people in the place were, if not over 40, at least somewhere in the vicinity of the big four-oh. You could easily tell it was an older crowd because while they stood up for certain songs, they happily sat back down when those songs were over. And for those on the other side of 40, this show was definitely a bit of a nostalgia trip. A trip back to a time when Dido was still in her 20s, 40 really did still seem old, and we were all just happy to have survived Y2K.

On the subject of nostalgia, while I do recall enjoying all of her hits from back in the day, I’ve never really been that big of a fan of Dido. With this in mind, I decided to refresh my memory a bit on her career before the show. In doing so I was reminded that “Here With Me” used to be the opening theme for the old WB series Roswell (which has of course recently been rebooted – yet another form of nostalgia) and also that the video for “White Flag” featured David Boreanaz, which seems like a very 2003 thing to do. Of course I needed no reminder on her breakthrough hit “Thank You,” which was also famously sampled by Eminem on “Stan.”

It wasn’t all about nostalgia of course. About a third of Dido’s set was taken up with songs from her latest release Still On My Mind. Live, Dido and her band did a good job on the new material, which fit in quite nicely with the oldies, though as is the case with most artists who’ve built up a decent back catalogue, the biggest reaction was for the older stuff.

While I was never more than a casual fan, it was clear upon walking into the sold out Danforth Music Hall that Dido has a fair number of diehard fans who were eager to see the English singer live on her first tour in fifteen years. I get the impression those fans did not walk away disappointed.

Song Of The Day: Lonely Parade – Index Finger

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Hey, did you hear about The Raptors? They won last week. It’s kind of a big deal – they’re having a parade and everything. Yeah, you probably heard. Anyways, in honour of today’s parade, here’s a song by a band with the word ‘parade’ in their name.

The Lonely Parade are a Montreal-based trio originally out of Peterborough. They may or may not be Raptors fans. They released their second full length The Pits in September of last year via Buzz Records and “Index Finger” is the latest single off of that album. Check it out below:

Song Of The Day: Julia Shapiro – Shape

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In the video for “Shape”, the latest single off of her upcoming solo debut Perfect Vision, Chastity Belt singer/guitarist Julia Shapiro has chosen an appropriate setting, filming the video in the Australian outback.

The video reflects the mood of the song quite nicely, as scenes of the seemingly endless landscape match up perfectly with the hazy, dreamy quality of the music. Check it out below.

Perfect Vision is out June 14 on Hardly Art Records.

Concert Review: Nightmarer, May 29, Lee’s Palace

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Though its members have played in several other bands (including Gigan, War From A Harlots Mouth, and The Ocean) Florida death metallers Nightmarer are a relatively new band, having just released their debut album Cacophony of Terror in March of last year.

Nightmarer are currently on tour behind that album and were the first band up on a stacked bill for the Devastation On The Nation tour that also included Dark Funeral, Belphegor, Incantation, Hate, and Vale of Pnath. Starting things off at the not very metal hour of 6:30pm, the band played to a relatively sparse crowd, but those that showed up early were treated to a fairly intense performance that definitely stood out as unique from the other bands on the bill. At times sounding very reminiscent of Quebec’s Gorguts, Nightmarer created a certain mood with their music and managed to impress within the short time they were given on stage. Over the course of their roughly 25 minute set, singer John Collett spoke not one word between songs, not even to introduce the band, choosing instead to gesture dramatically during each song and basically let the music speak for itself.

That music, as exemplified in songs like “Cave Digger”, “Bleach” and “Fetisch” is really best described by the title of the album on which it appears. As album titles go, Cacophony of Terror is quite apt as this album is indeed pretty damn cacophonous. I mean that, of course, in the best way possible – on album and in concert, the band plays around a lot with dissonance, creating something that is full of different textures, expansive and experimental but at the same time just heavy as fuck. And also very good.