Toronto – Our monthly podcast continues. This issue’s topics range from the Canadian/American elections, Pop Montreal, the rash of concerts that have been in Toronto lately and the Polaris prize. Also features a special guest.
Julie Doiron – I Woke Myself Up
Puressence – I Suppose
Montag – No One Else
Hefner – Good Fruit
Hot Lava – Apple Option Fire
Kaiser Chiefs – I Predict a Riot
Flight of the Conchords – Foux Du Fafa
Final Fantasy – The Butcher
Metronomy – Heartbreaker
* Midnight – Darren Hayman (Hefner) [Gymnase] – Saturday
** As Dan Church pointed out – Girl singing in Hefner song is Amelia Fletcher
*** Hot Springs broke up apparantly – click here for details
Toronto – I am pretty concerted out right now. Long story short, my friend Nick visited from Edmonton last week to see a bunch of shows – James, Mogwai, My Bloody Valentine, Gemma Hayes, Hot Chip and Nick Cave. I decided to tag along for some of the shows, and man, I might be getting old, but thats a hella lot of concerts to go to. So Wednesday night, I was feeling all tired and grumpy, I threw three INTs in my Madden 09 game (still won though..haha) and the thought of going to the Kool Haus for the third time in a week was about as appealing to me as sitting on a porcupine. However, Nick Cave only comes around once every so often and thus, I said my prayers, drank my milk and ate my vitamins and headed off into the night.
First of all, the Calamari at the Jersey Giant Pub was weak sauce. Seriously. Dry, overcooked and too much batter. If I was a squid, and I died, I would at least want my dead ass carcass to be cooked in a nice proper manner. This chef did lil o’ ten legs no justice in death. Avoid that shit.
Okay, onto the show. Josh always points out that sometimes I write more about the food I eat before the show then the actual show itself. I write that stuff to tell the readers what kind of mood I am in, so they can experience the show from my point of view. Okay, so the show. This was an old crowd. Just like last week at James, there was no ID check and no pat downs at the door. The previous night at Hot Chip (same location), this husky ass woman patted me down so hard I think her palm print is still embedded on my back. So yes, old crowd. I would say the average age for the show tonight was probably 37.5. Grey hair was everywhere, if I was a marketing person for a hair dye company, I would have handed out free samples at the show tonight …you might have gotten new customers. The show was sold out, which I thought was impressive.
The Bad Seeds came on promptly at 10:15, wearing nice suit and outfits and stuff. Totally professional. There were two (!) drumsets, a bassist, keyboardist and a guitarist. However, they all used a variety of instruments thru out the night, so I can’t really label them as just that. There was a guy up there who looked like Rasputin, as well..if Rasputin was wearing a suit. Shortly after, Nick Cave strolled onto the stage to a rather large applause and immediately launched into “Night of the Lotus Eaters”. The Bad Seeds are a solid band, they sounded rather crisp and the timing was perfect for almost everything. The night was off to a good start. I didn’t even feel compelled to pay eight freakin dollars for a beer.
The second song of the set was the hit single off the latest album (and also the album title) – “Dig Lazarus Dig!!”. Now let me tell you – Nick Cave.. that dude has stage presence. He’s a bit manic, a bit menacing and definitely a showman when he’s out there spewing his ferocious lyrics. He’s all over the stage, pointing at fans in the front row, cowering down and singing right in their faces. This is a man that knows how to deliver his lines. I now understand why they sometimes reference it as “The Church of Nick Cave”. That man sings his songs like he’s a reverend. He tells his tales, like a pastor would tell his church about the tales of the lord (think Paul Dano guy did in There Will Be Blood. We were being given a sermon and the crowd was loving it.
The next hour and a half saw Nick Cave going back and forth between his current music (Hold On To Yourself, We Call Upon The Author, Midnight Man, Moonland) and his hits (Weeping Song, Mercy Seat, Deanna, Tupelo, Love Letter, Ship Song, Red Right Hand, Henry Lee). The crowd was mostly there for his older hits, including a sing along to “Red Right Hand”. Nick Cave’s banter with the crowd was one of the highlights of the night. For example, after one song, he threw his towel into the crowd..one song later, he asked for it back, which the fan complied. Then he asked her for her name, and then said “Jessica….Keeper of the Towel”. Through out the night, he would throw the towel and then get it back. A nice touch. “Ship Song” was also a request. I think it was written on a sign that a fan brought in, Nick looked at it and said “I guess we could do that”. For a sold out show in the Kool Haus (which looks more and more like a good Halo 3 multiplayer map), the show felt surprisingly intimate.
All in all an excellent show. The band was tight (allbeit a bit loud at times – two drums!), the new album sounds fantastic live, the older tunes held up and I am 100% sure everyone left the show satisfied.
4.478 / 5
ps. I’m freakin tired of the Kool Haus.
ps. no “Where the Wild Roses Grow” either, but that was expected.
Toronto – Last nght, Hot Chip visited Toronto for the second time this year. If you read my review on their show here in April, you will know that I really enjoyed myself at the last show. For those not in the know, Hot Chip is an electro band that excels in making cool music for you to dance to. Go to their myspace page, or hype machine, to find a bunch of tunes by them.
This time around, Hot Chip played the Kool Haus, a venue that has a much larger capacity then the Phoenix. One of the surprises of the night was how empty the venue was. I kind of expected a sold out show, that was not the case. Tokyo Police Club and Weezer playing the ACC a few blocks down probably stole a good chunk of people. The venue was roughly about 2/3 full, which was great, more space to dance. I think, to truly enjoy an electronic act live, you have to go in with the mindset that you are gonna bust a move at the first sign of a bass line. Otherwise, you are there just head bobbin or something, wondering if you should be dancing, then thinking its awkward that you just started dancing after standing around for so long, then you become self conscious, and you retreat to your regular head bobbin mode. No F’N Fun.
Hot Chip took the stage at 10:15, to a decent ovation. A simple hello from the singer and they immediately launched in the Caribbean vibes of “One More Thought”. This time around, Hot Chip had a drummer, I am not sure if they had one at the Phoenix. This definitely gave the live versions of their songs some variation. The band pretty much played all the hits over the next hour and a half, including another incredible rendition of “Over and Over”. It even prompted my friend Nick to say “That was the best live song I have ever heard”. He’s a bigger music snob then me, so take it for what it’s worth. “Over and Over” is incredible live. Its got a killer beat, sing-a-long qualities and just a great buildup. You know as soon as the song starts people are just waiting to hit the massive chorus line, but Hot Chip takes their time getting there and by the time the drums kick in for the “over and over and over” chorus, people are ready to explode. Simply awesome. That song was a highlight last time they were here, and that did not differ this time around.
One of the best things Hot Chip did last night was have a good mix of kickass dance tunes, followed by slower numbers. This is good for resting/catching your breath. For every “Ready for the Floor”, you would get a followup “Wrestlers” or something. Good tactics.
I thought the sound was a bit muffled for awhile and the bass wasn’t nearly as loud as it should be. Those would be my complaints for the night. There was no “Colours” though, which was a mild disappointment for some I guess.
After a cover of “Nothing Compares 2 U”, Hot Chip left the stage, leaving the crowd happy, sweaty and exhausted. That’s a sign of a good show.
Here is kinda what I am talking about with Over and Over
Toronto – The first week of October is known for a few things..mainly, the start of the NHL season, which results in many fantasy hockey drafts, and the start of MLB playoffs. Why do I keep making sport references in a blog whose demographics clearly do not care about sports? I have not a bloody clue. For music fans, the first week of October also means Pop Montreal, the annual music festival that celebrates both French and English music. This year marks the sixth time that Pop Montreal has occurred.
So if you are heading to Montreal this week, here are some of my suggestions for today and tommorrow. I don’t tread in the Canadian Indie Pop waters as much as Wade does, so he’ll probably know better acts to see. Hopefully he’ll provide a list too.
Hot Chip (Wednesday, Metropolis, 9:15) – Hot Chip is awesome live. Review of Toronto’s show will be up shortly. Not really a Pop Montreal band per say, but they are still awesome.
Dirty Chinese Thieves(Thursday, L’Escogriffe, 1:00 am) – I don’t even know anything about these guys, but they have ‘Chinese’ in their band name. That can’t be that bad.
The Chinese Stars(Thursday, Le Divan Orange, 2:00 am) – Ditto.
Why are these bands with the words ‘Chinese’ in them playing so late? probably so you can go grab yourself some Chinese food after. Do they have 24 hour noodle shops in Montreal? I don’t really know.
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds(Thursday, Metropolis, 9:15) – If you don’t have tickets to this show, you probably aren’t getting in. Fresh off the successes of Grinderman and Dig Lazarus Dig, Nick Cave is strangely, riding a wave of momentum about 10-12 albums into his career.