Thao Nguyen and Xiu Xiu, Sneaky Dees, March 17

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts, Everything | 3 Comments

thao.jpg

Toronto – Wade wrote about Thao Nguyen about a month ago and we were both quite impressed with the album. So naturally, when Thao Nguyen and The Get Down Stay Down rolled around the dot on Monday, we had to go. It was weird, because neither of us had been able to find tickets for the show. I was under the impression that it was one of doors only shows.

WRONG.

Apparently, this was a Xiu Xiu show, and Thao Nguyen and the Get Down Stay Down was just the openers. BOOOoo. Of course, being the concert veteran that I am, I had expected them to be the main act, so had scheduled my arrival time around 11:00 pm. Well, 10:50 rolled around and I got a text message letting me know the show has begun! Shit. So me and some peeps quickly got there. Still, we missed about half the show, which really sucks. My fault. I liked what I saw. They were quite energetic and played a nice sounding set. Thao had quite the energy for the lead vocal, and definitely played the part well and she was cute. It’s hard to form a good description of the show, since I wasn’t there that long. I did like what I see though and I would definitely see them again. Funny, now that I think about it, I had vermicelli with spring rolls before I went to the show, and then saw Thao Nguyen. All I needed to do was go sing some karaoke and I woulda had a nice little Vietnam themed night.

Xiu Xiu – I have never been into them, they are from San Francisco and seem to be this artsy, ambient / thrash kind of band. I didn’t really like their part of the show, as to me, it just seems to be random noises. The guys singing seemed a bit over dramatic too. To each their own, I guess.

CMW – The Pigeon Detectives, March 08, Lees Palace

Posted on by Ricky in Canadian Music Week, Concerts | Leave a comment

Pigeon Detectives

Toronto – CMW was a lot like the storm that hit up Toronto this past weekend, it was quick, it packed a punch, mostly white and left just as quickly as it arrived. The last show on my slate, and the one I was most excited about, was The Pigeon Detectives @ Lees Palace. Upon making my way to Lees, I had already seen Maybe Smith, Said The Whale and Jenn Grant at the Horseshoe and the Rivoli. Seeing as how there was no streetcar to be seen going up Spadina, cabbing was our only option. w.T.F. These are the times you need public transportation the most, and they weren’t there.

Upon getting to Lees, I was informed that my Media Pass was no good there and that they had already let in 50 passes already. Then a couple of people in performer passes weren’t allowed in. “But we are performmmeeeeeeers!” they cried. NOPE. Rejected. Lees Palace definitely fell about eight notches in my book for their mishandling of this affair. Dejected, I went in there and bought tickets at the door for 15$, or as Id like to say … ‘food for a child in Africa for two weeks’. I then went back to my local bar (The Tap) and complained to my friends about it. No sympathies though.

So around 12:10 we entered the half packed Lees and the band came on. Did I mention the show was half packed, and they couldnt allow anymore passes in? W.T.F. All my bitterness ended when the band came on though. They were exactly what I expected, which was a louder version of their album. They were very energetic and often engaged the crowd to get them going, having them clap and saying ‘Toronto’ and having the crowd sing the chorus for ‘I Found Out’. It was a decent show, the singer was everywhere to the point of stage diving at the end of the set.

They played about 50 minutes and probably exhausted their library of songs. My friend took a video of the show and here is the last song.

Overall, a very good way to end off the night. I am sure everyone who went to the show was glad they had went.

4/5

Canadian Music Week Recap

Posted on by Wade in Canadian Music Week, Concerts | 1 Comment

Rickys notes in italics

Thursday

Ricky and I started the evening off trying to see Jason Collett at Lees’. We quickly got rejected at the door because they were only letting in 50 passes for the entire evening. We had media passes. The only way to get in was with a ticket. As we stood there contemplating where to go, Hayden steps up with 3 ladies, says something to the bouncer, and just like that, they are in. Then this happened:

PM: Hey, are you letting passes in now?
Bouncer: No.
PM: Shit man, why did you let Hayden in?
Bouncer: Who’s Hayden?
PM: You’re retarded

The Lees Palace people sucked a big left nut this Canadian Music Week. More on this in my other post

besnard lakes

Then it was off to get rejected at the Sloan show, then over to the El Mo to watch the Besnard Lakes ask for more vocals before, during and after each song they sang. I’m glad I caught them, but will definitely be checking them out again when they come back through town.

The Besnard Lakes were pretty decent, very atmospheric/droney kind of sound. The lead singer looks like he’s from some 70s rock band. The amount of photographers were crazy.

The Superfantastics

It was a slippery hike down to the Cameron House to have a seat and enjoy the musical stylings of The Superfantastics. And really, I thought they were super fantastic. A cute, snappy dressed, duo from Halifax who pulled off the in-between song stage banter like pros. One might even say ‘charming’

Superfantastics: We just did a Fuse session on CBC radio a few weeks ago.
Audience Member (shouting): Hey, I heard that.
Superfantastics: Really?
Audience Member: Yep.
(pause)
Superfantastics: Mary, is that you?
Audience Member (Mary) : Yes.
Superfantastics: Hey, how are you doing?

I thought the Superfantastics were great, the in between song banters sounded genuine and showed real enthusiam, the set was full of catchy pop songs. They basically do drums + guitar, but they do it well.

Saturday

Maybe Smith

I think the Maybe Smith show I saw at the Horseshoe was probably one of the best sounding shows that I have ever seen there. It might have been because the room was practically empty, but still, for a guy who goes on stage at 8:30, Maybe Smith gave it all he had.

Good ole college pub music. Maybe Smith has a really strong voice and I really enjoy sitting down and listening to music. I was just happy to be inside after going thru the 8 feet of snow outside. The place was half empty, but that was expected.

Next up was Said The Whale from Vancouver. Their fans came out but… I don’t know. I just wasn’t into them. On this particular night, they sounded like a cover band playing in a bar that started with the words Firkin &… Sorry guys.

They were alrite. I don’t really remember what they sounded like. Maybe thats not a good thing.

Jenn Grant

After that we headed down to see Jenn Grant at the Rivoli. Aside from the smell of leftover fish at this Nova Scotia sponsored event, it was a good sounding show. Right before she played “Dreams”, she handed out homemade, pasta filled, pastille, Easter egg maracas so that we, the audience, could take part in the show. It was odd though when she stopped to tune her guitar for 5 minutes, then kind of half broke into her next song which wasn’t even really a song, then continued to tune her guitar again for another 5 minutes. I guess she didn’t have anywhere she needed to be.

This show was a bit on the short side. Jenn played around a little too much with her guitar and probably wasted much of her set. Otherwise, it was pretty poppy and a pleasant time. The crowd seemed to be into it and the eggs touch was absolutely awesome. MORE EGGS!

jenn grant eggs

Note: We might have a guest writers writing about the Meligrove Band/Sloan show and the Breeders show

My pics from CMW

Concert Review: British Sea Power @ Plaza Nightclub

Posted on by Vik in Concerts, Everything | 1 Comment

bsp

Vancouver, March 5th…I was counting down to this day ever since I heard ‘Do You Like Rock Music’. Loyal readers of this blog will know The Panic Manual loves us some BSP, so get ready for some hero worship.

The evening started out with some pre-drinks at my new favorite downtown hang-out – The Calling. Great food, cheap beers and if you’re there on the right night, you’ll hear some good indie music. The only downside – it’s a hell of a walk to all the concert venues.

This was my first time at the Plaza, which doubles as a nightclub on weekend. I hated the layout. There’s a huge oval bar right in the middle which makes it an annoying obstruction if you can’t fit on the small, crowded dancefloor. Luckily the show wasn’t too packed (around 200 people), so we managed to find a nice cozy spot in the middle of the floor around 8 feet from the stage.

We got to the Plaza at around 10:00 expecting to catch the end of what we thought was the only opening set. It was actually the first of two bands on support – a local band called ‘Elizabeth‘. We arrived with enough time to catch the last 2 songs which were too punky and loud for my taste. The next band, ‘colourmusic‘ took almost an hour to get started due to sound problems. They had me intrigued as soon they started setting up their equipment because they were all dressed the matching white tracksuits. I expected them to be German…they’re actually from Oklahoma. After the long wait the set started off with a grade-six-biology-video-esque voice over introducing the band, which I thought was a unique touch. It continued to come on randomly throughout the entire set telling us little known facts about the band and describing a bass riff that was inspired by Lord of the Rings. The only way I can describe this colourmusic is a hardcore version of Apples In Stereo. Geeky but rockin’. One of those bands that you’re pleasantly surprised with after their set.

11:30 rolls around and British Sea Power finally hit the stage, not that I didn’t enjoy the lead up to their set, but I was there because I indeed Love Rock Music. The lads (and very cute lass on violin) sure didn’t disappoint. Immediately kicking things off with “Lights Out For Darker Skies” they didn’t quit until they left the stage after the encore. The set spanned their entire collection, of course focusing on DYLRM. Although thoroughly enjoying the show I would have to say my highlight was the poor bastard who has mistakenly took the indie fans dancing to the right of us for grunge rockers. Halfway through ‘Atom’ he jumped on stage goat horns extended, yelling at the front row to gather around. They instead spread out and 5 seconds later all I could hear was a loud ‘SMACK!’. The crowd continued swaying around what I would have expected to be a corpse after hearing that rough landing. It took a minute or so when we finally hear an ‘OWWWW!’ (as in Spring Break 2008!! Ow!) and see the stage jumper pop with only enough time to try and high five someone before he was chased, caught and dragged out by the bouncers. Classic.

I would have given this show a 4.5/5 but the doomed stage diver bumped it up to a 5/5. I took a pic of the setlist on my phone because I can never remember all the songs played during a gig. I still missed a couple of them below as BSP’s roadie’s handwriting is as bad as my memory:

Lights Out For Darker Skies
Atom
Childhood Memories
The Spirit of St. Louis
A Trip Out
Down On The Ground
Blackout
Waving Flags
The Great Skua
Remember Me
Favours in the Beetroot Fields
Canvey Island
No Lucifer

Encore:
True Adventures
Carrion