Concert Review: Arcade Fire, May 15, Massey Hall

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Toronto – What can you say about Arcade Fire that hasn’t already been said about Jesus? Just kidding… yesterday nite, the Arcade Fire played one of their two Toronto shows and I was lucky enough to be able to score a few tickets to attend this show. The show was at Massey Hall, which is always a plus. Me and my peeps (which I will refer to as Meeps) had tickets in rows D and H, which is pretty good, only they were way off to the side so the speakers were in the way. That became a moot point though, because as soon as the Montreal band took the stage, Win was all like ‘yo, get yo asses out in the middle’ and then all the people on the floor with crappy seats made a beeline for the front. Using a combination of size, speed and amazing football moves courtesy of flag football/madden 07, I was able to maneuver me and my friend to pretty much the middle of the stage, about five feet back.

Anyone who’s a fan of their music will know that Arcade Fire rules live. They rule hard. The band started off with Black Mirror, then whipped thru a bunch of their newer songs, all of which sound great live. The only complaint I’d have is that some of their slower songs don’t really translate as well. I mean, their powerful songs are so intense, its a bit of a let down when they go to their more mellow stuff.

They played for slightly over an hour…maybe 80 minutes or so, going back to their older (and more popular songs) as the concert progressed. My big complaint with the show was that they didn’t play Wake Up. Last time I saw them at the Danforth Music Hall, they ended the show with that song and invited peeps on stage. I was totally anticipating that, and I was looking forward to rushing the stage at Massey, but that didn’t happen, which kinda sucked.

+ massey hall
+ freaking intense show
+ five feet away

- no Wake Up
– person in front of me kept on backing up, instead of moving forward. why move up to the stage, if you gradually plan to move away from the stage as the show progress?
– rain outside
– forgot my crappy camera

show rating 5/5

some other persons review

Concert Review: The Cribs, April 30th, El Mocambo

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Toronto – going to a show at the El Mo makes me wonder…how much business does the Red Room get on a night of a concert at the El Mo? I mean, its about as default a meeting place as one can get. If you go to the Mod Club, theres plenty of places to predrink, same with Lees or Horseshoe or to a certain extent, the Opera House. You don’t really meet up with friends before a show at the Phoenix because of this chart i made right now:

Anyways, with the El Mo, its always the Red Room. I have to say, their all day breakfasts are really really cheap compared to a lot of places. I only had tofu puffs tonite though, as I was trying to channel the inner vegetarian, for no particular reason.

I really enjoyed the first Cribs album, I remember it sitting in my downloads folder for the longest time, and I didn’t listen to it because I thought it was some rap group. Anyways, the Cribs are a trio of brothers (real ones, unlike the Fratellis) that sing guitar-pop/rock songs. The first one is more guitar pop, whereas the second album is more of a rock album.

The concert was not well hyped, and the capacity was about 70%, which is good. I arrived shortly after they began was still able to push and shove my way to within 10-ish feet of the stage. The Cribs started off with some song, I forgot what it was..maybe ‘mirror kisses’ off their second album. The crowd seemed to like them, there was a hardcore squad of people in the middle doing the usual stuff big fans of any band do. The rest were being typical Toronto like, which means .. immobile. At one point in time, one of the members actually said ‘so most of you have our album, so how come none of you are dancing?” BURRRRRRRN.

They played for about an hour, and played some of the big hits ..namely the Telus tune (“Martel”) and some other stuff. They didn’t play my favorite song, so that was a major bummer. I did get stickers though. That was cool. I think the problem with the Cribs is that most of their songs are pretty similar, so over the course of a show, it kinda all gels together. In the end, they probably need to expand their song to achieve any sort of success beyond what they have now. I enjoyed the show, it was good energy, but after watching the Klaxons destroy the crowd a few weeks ago, this one seemed a lot less awesome.

Review: 3/5

Here is a the music video of the song i like most from them, it was made for probably 12 dollars

Concert Review: Klaxons, Lees Palace, April 9

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Toronto – Man, that was quite a show. As you may noted by my previous posts, I have been listening to the Klaxons for quite a while and I was a fan of theirs, and coming into the concert, I was expecting your typical Toronto crowd..quiet, subdued, too cool for school. You know the type. However, I was very very wrong.

Maybe by now you have heard that the press has labelled the Klaxons the leaders of nu-rave (a term they despise, and I don’t understand). Anyways, that means one thing..glowsticks and there were plenty of glowsticks that night. Before the show, I scanned the crowd, it seemed to be pretty normal crowd, I did a few people wearing their baseball caps sideways, which is always odd. I mean, how many shows have I been to where people wear their baseball hats sideways? Am I in Woodbridge? Missisauga? I didn’t know.

So the Klaxons came on around 10:20, and they were your typical indie act from England, skinny as hell, hair from the 80s, looking slightly drunk. Right away they launched into “The Bouncer”, a song off of their Xan Valleys EP. Not even something off their album. What happened next? the crowd went fucking nuts. Not the entire crowd, but everyone in front of me who were in the little middle area. I was freakin shocked. Like these people went NUTS. It was insane, maybe I am old but I was so glad I was just a few feet. It was an all out mosh pit, which I thought went extinct in the late 90s.

I’d have to say, the Klaxons were very smart with their playlist, they started off with a good rock song to get people going, and just in case you didn’t realize this show was gonna be a party, immediately after “The Bouncer” finished, the sirens started blaring and they launched into another rocker song – Atlantis to Interzone. Now I might not be a crazy music expert, but when sirens go off in a freakin song, you know its time to rock.

Basically, from that point on, the Klaxons had the floor. I mean, obviously people in the back, they are gonna just stand around but this was the first time I’ve seen a mosh pit sustained a good hour AND people were dancing on the sides. The show was awesome, despite some equipment problems. The crowd was crazy, and there was one dude who stage dove 3 times. Now this guy was clearly insane. The first dive was semi cautious, the second time he went a little higher and the third dive was clearly a suicide attempt. I mean the guy jumped on stage and jumped as high and as far as he possible could, and probably did a face plant into someone/the ground.

All in all, this was probably the best indie-rock act I have seen in a while and show wise, better then either Arctic Monkeys or Franz Ferdinand when they debut in Toronto. I’m not saying they’ll be as big as either of those bands, but they put on quite the show.

+ insane crowd
+ sirens
+ good set time (1 hour, no encore)
– picky bouncer wouldnt let my friend bring his camera in
– no swag

on that note, I can’t wait til these guys get some money and have a light show to go with their tunes.

rating: 4.5/5

Concert Review: Say Hi To Your Mom, Sneaky Dees, April 4

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Toronto – Before I ventured out into the night to see the band “Say Hi To Your Mom”, I definitely had some reservations about going to this show. Basically there were 3 factors that really had me not wanting to go.

1. Guitar Hero II
2. Rain
3. 15 Minute walk, including a trip to the cash machine (cash machinnnnnnnnnnne)

However, I decided that if I was just to sit at home, then the terrorists win. I couldn’t have that, so off I went to the show, which took place at Sneaky Dees. As I walked to the place, I cursed myself for not wearing proper footwear. By the time I had reached my bank, the inner sole of my right foot felt like a sponge. Damn you torrential rain. Anyways, my anger at my footwear was somewhat alleviated when my roommate Wade also swore about his shoes. I don’t know why I felt better, but I did.

Sneaky Dees was about 1/4 full when I got there, and all these assholes took all the seats in the place, leaving me to be leaning against the bar. Unfortunately, we arrived way too early, and caught the end of the opening act called “Your Band Sucks”. They were not good. 3.75 Steamwhistles were good, but I think I would have needed about two dozen bottles of beer to enjoy the next act, whose name escapes me (or I had it erased from my mind). They just sounded like feedback. The guy did have a flute on stage, but I don’t think it was used properly.

Say Hi To Your Mom came on about 11:15. To my surprise, it was the lead singer was the same guy who sold me some swag earlier. I guess it makes sense, as when I bought the shirt the dude looked me directly in the eye and said “Thanks man, I Really appreciate it.” He said it slowly and deliberately, trying to hammer the point home that he appreciate me buying the swag. I guess they aren’t doing that well financially. Its a good thing I didn’t tell him I downloaded all their cds on mp3s, so I didn’t have to buy it, allowed all my friends access to download this music so they don’t have to buy it either. I dunno how he woulda reacted.

By the time SHTYM came on, the place was about 1/3 full. Most of the people there were probably OCAD students or people with art degrees (or as I like to call them, people in the service industry..hahaha). Wade made a comment he was surprise that the goth contingent did not make its presence felt, as the most recent album by SHTYM was about vampires. That kinda thinks makes me wonder… do Goths eat Mexican food? Like, when goths gather around at some eatery, do they go ‘so…raven, you want nachos?’. Interesting.

Anyways, the show was pretty good. It was a really short set, like 45 minutes or something. I was disappointed to see that same lead singer dude drink Coors beer. I guess that is what you have come to expect from Americans. You can take an American out of America, but you can’t take their crappy drinking preferences out of them.

Show 3/5 (pleasant while it lasted, but waaaaaaay too short)
Ticket cost: 5$