Cut Copy

2013 Year in Review: Ricky’s Memorable Concerts of the Year

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Here are the shows I found memorable for one reason or another this year.

Cut Copy, Danforth Music Hall

A raging good show that puts an exclamation mark on just how good Cut Copy’s live show is. From synth pop classics such as Heart on Fire to the completely epic sing along that was Need You Now, Cut Copy had the excitable, dancing crowd in the palm of their hands. Toronto has a reputation of a boring crowd. Anyone who was at the Danforth Music Hall on a chilly night in November would suggest otherwise.

Haim, Cedar Courtyard, Filter Party, SXSW

Filter’s annual SXSW party at the Cedar Courtyard is one of those benchmark parties in Austin where at least one or two of the acts that play there become big. This year was no exception. Haim played a pretty nutty set at the party that really proved to people they were more then just a very slick pop music machine. There were plenty of guitar solos, crazy rock faces and just a nice feeling of rawness to the set and it definitely had people talking. According to Paul, Pharrell, who was watching the show from the vip/media area, busted into the bar afterwards and said something like “what the fuck was that!?!” with some manic enthusiasm. All in all, a definite memorable show.

Bjork, Echo Beach

The most visually insane show of the year, it’s hard to categorize Bjork with any other artist. Who else brings a tesla coil on stage?

Foxygen, SXSW

Awful show. Started late (a big no no at SXSW), confronted the crowd, sounded awful and seemed like he was just taking a piss at the whole thing. I really liked Foxygen’s album before their piss poor showing in Austin. I haven’t listened to it since.

TURF, Toronto

TURF was basically how I envisioned all mid-level indie rock music festivals should be operated on. It had a heart, a vision and was operated by industry veterans who put on shows in Toronto all the time. It had a well curated set list and had a nice crowd size to personal space ratio. The absolutely highlight for me was seeing Belle and Sebastian again. Even though this is the third time I’ve seen them in two years, and I had already seen some of the tricks that Stuart Murdoch does during a show, it was still fascinating to see how the crowd reacts to them. The band didn’t close the set with Sleep the Clock Around, but it was still a great way to close off the fest that featured among other things, She & Him vs photographers, crazy weather and the poor beer people having to tell everyone that they ran out of Creemore.. at 2pm.

Tegan and Sara, Austin Music Hall, SXSW

“oooo they are so fun! and cute! and so charming!”. These were the imaginary words I had vision people saying about this duo when I decided to make a really late night jaunt to the Austin Music Hall to catch their set. All those things are completely true and it was a joy to watch the super slick pop production that was Heartthrob manifest itself live.

Pet Shop Boys, Sony Centre

LASSSSSSSSEEEEEEEEERS. EIGHTIES MUSICCCCCCCCCC. GO WEESSSSSSSSSST. Pet Shop Boys are forever awesome, and their show in September merely enforces this fact. There wasn’t a sitting person in the crowd (despite a seated venue) from the moment the duo took the stage. The set closer (pre-encore) of Always On My Mind had one of the best singalongs I have seen.

Bob Dylan, Molson Amphitheatre

Despite warnings, I went. So I guess it was all on me. He’s probably best remembered from albums then his live show.

Sigur Ros, Laneway Music Festival

Under a gorgeous pavilion, on a magically warm night at what was an amazing music festival, Sigur Ros delivered a stunning set that was somehow just perfect for it’s surroundings. I had essentially seen the same show in March at the ACC, but that was in a cavernous soulless arena. Somehow, at an outdoor pavillion, surrounded by peaceful music lovers and located in suburban Detroit, Jonsi’s out of this world voice and the rest of the bands theatrics (and light show) seemed to be the perfect compliment.


Only at SXSW will you get a chance to see one of the biggest all girl K-Pop bands in Korea in a dive bikers bar. Totally different, totally awesome.

Til next year!

Concert Review: Cut Copy, November 15, Danforth Music Hall

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts | Leave a comment


Honestly I was so busy dancing at the Cut Copy show on Friday that I wasn’t entirely sure what they were really doing on stage. I did take the time to take that picture but it pretty much says it all – people were having a blast, there were pulsating lights and the four members of Cut Copy appeared to be thoroughly enjoying themselves. I believe at one point the guitar player was using his guitar to hit the cymbals. FUN!

The Australian group was in town to promote their new album Free Your Mind, their new album which I am slowly absorbing. It doesn’t have the immediate catchiness of the first two albums but appears to follow in the line of Zonoscope which ditches the original formula for a more drawn out payoff. Nevertheless a sold out crowd was more then ready to experience Free Your Mind live as well as the rest of Cut Copy catalog.

And what a back catalog it is. It’s easy to forget how awesome those first two albums were since they are both a bit old (by internet standards) but the second the opening lines of Hearts On Fire hits, you are immediately transported back to that age when you discovered them and it’s magnificent. That Was Just a Dream and Strangers in the Wind soon followed and added to the crowd’s already ecstatic level of energy. For a sold out show, the crowd was exceptionally awesome – people were there to just dance and have fun. Seems like a rarity but should be noted.

The ninety minute show was a non stop dance party that had everyone moving. Even the people in the balcony were up and doing that awkward “dancing in my seating area” dance. For me it all led to their closer, the wonderful Need You Now. It’s essentially a 60’s pop song that has been transported into the world of electronics and given the good standard (but drawn out) buildup/payoff treatment. The slow build of the song coupled with everyone singing along to the lyrics followed by the gentle explosion will definitely be among my favorite concert moments of the year.

Top notch show, Cut Copy are now on my “never miss them live” list. They should be on yours as well.

Song of the Day: Architecture in Helsinki – Desert Island

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Toronto – Australian band Architecture in Helsinki has had quite a spring. First off, the Melbourne five piece released an absolutely amazing cover of Cut Copy’s Need You Now, then they followed that up with releasing a lovely summertime album with Moment Bends. Now they are about to bring their sun kissed indie dance pop tunes over here to North America, where it seems to be perpetually raining (seriously, what is up with that?).

Desert Island is the first track off Moment Bends, the forth album from the group. Featuring synthesizers, pan flutes and a gentle dreamy 80s laid back vibe, it’s a great preview for the overall upbeat feeling that is the album. Definitely check it out.

Desert Island by Architecture In Helsinki

Tour Dates:
06/01 Henry Fonda Theater – Los Angeles, CA
06/02 Great American Music Hall – San Francisco, CA
06/03 Slim’s – San Francisco, CA
06/04 Wonder Ballroom – Portland, OR
06/05 Venue – Vancouver, BC
06/06 Neumo’s – Seattle, WA
06/09 Varsity Theatre – Minneapolis, MN
06/10 Lincoln Hall – Chicago, IL
06/11 The Mod Club – Toronto, ON
06/12 La Tulipe – Montreal, QC
06/13 Paradise – Boston, MA
06/16 Webster Hall – New York, NY
06/17 Black Cat – Washington DC
06/18 World Cafe – Philadelphia, PA

Coachella Day 1: Your Itinerary, and probably your day.

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Toronto – Technically we aren’t at Coachella, but that doesn’t mean we don’t like telling people what to do. This will be your day at Coachella. I’m sorta psychic.

1:00 PM – Parking Car

Ideally, you would be seeing the Rural Alberta Advantage play tracks off their fantastic new album Departing, but let’s face it, theres going to be a mile long lineup for cars to get into the parking lot. So instead, you will be sitting in traffic and waiting – the true California experience.

2:00 PM – Lining Up at Entrance

Despite the fact that the site organizers make it pretty clear what you can or can not bring, there is bound to be a handful of idiots that forget you can’t bring outside food and drink, which will lead to a bunch of pretty girls trying to sweet talk the security guards into allowing them to bring their Arizona Green Teas into the venue, delaying the lineup by forever.

3:00 PM – Exploring/Merch Table

As much as the chance to see New Jersey civil war enthusiasts Titus Andronicus interests you, you will spend the next hour or so walking around the grounds, scoping out potential merch, buying bottles of water and looking for any potential celebrities. Is that Ryan Gosling? Is that Lindsay?

4:00 PM – The Drums/Odd Futures

Finally, you say, a band I kind of want to see. The Drums were darlings last year with their 90s Cure-inspired self title debut. They’ll play the song Let’s Go Surfing and you’ll be thinking “hmm, I’m probably in the only place I would visit in California where I can’t go surfing”. Then it’ll hit about 4:30 and you’ll see a mass migration and you will follow them to see Odd Future, the most talked about band at SXSW. You’ll wonder why until you see the band’s stage show, which will probably involve several crazy antics. The lead singer might jump off a scaffolding or something. After 20 minutes though, you feel hot. This is because you are in a desert and its 32 degrees outside and with the crowd, it’s probably reaching 40 degrees Celsius. You leave and find shade somewhere.

5:00 PM – Cee Lo Green

Needing some fresh air and a less intense show, you will go see the muppets on acid show that is Cee Lo Green. Needing to fill the big stage, Cee Lo will most likely trot out a bunch of random characters for a more colorful stage, you wait patiently through all the songs you don’t know and finally, the opening notes of Fuck You come on and you scream like a little girl. If you are a bro, this is your first high five moment with another bro. The happiness ends quickly though, as Cee Lo introduces the guest singer for the song – Gwyneth Paltrow. She mangles the song entirely before urging you to buy the DVD version of the movie Country Strong.

6:00 PM – Waiting for Lauryn Hill

Shortly after Gwyneth Paltrow leaves the stage, you contemplate getting food, but then you realize that it is dinner time and everyone will be hitting the food stalls for food. You look at the little schedule in your hands and decide you should see Lauryn Hill since you liked that Fugee’s song Killing Me Softly and remember how awesome her solo record was. What you don’t remember is that she is completely insane and thus, does not take the stage until 6:30. She’ll then ramble on for about fifteen minutes before playing two tracks and leaving.

7:00 PM – Scrambling for Food / Sleigh Bells

By this time, you will realize that you need to get food before all the big acts play. You don’t even have much time to do it, so you just go grab whatever has the shortest line. You will then instantly regret whatever overpriced food you just got but then try to salvage this hour by catching the closest act playing, in this case, the 2010 hyped Sleigh Bells. You wonder what the hype was about

8:30 PM The Black Keys/Cut Copy

This is going to be a hard decision, it all depends on whether you feel like dancing or rocking out. You might remember Cut Copy trotting out a Gorilla on a late night tv show not too long ago, and decide to go see the Australian band based on that. The dancing begins.

9:30 PM Crystal Castles

As much as you want to hear Kings of Leon play Use Somebody, the frantic energy that is Alice Glass is too hard to miss. You will go see Crystal Castles and it’ll be an insane experience. Despite having a broken ankle, Alice Glass will do all in her power to put on the greatest show in the time slot. She might even trot out a guess singer for their superb cover of Platinum Blonde’s Not In Love. Hopefully it’s not Brandon Flowers

10:30 PM Robyn

Immediately after the last beats of Crystal Castles last song, you and about fifteen thousand people make the mad dash to the Mojave tent to see Robyn, the Swedish singing sensation who is playing a venue that is way too small. You get to the area only to realize it’s completely packed. Still you find a little spot to elevate yourself and see her from about half a mile away. “This is Coachella!” you think to yourself. Then someone taller stands in front of you.

11:30 PM Chemical Brothers

Friday nights headliners will truly test your stamina. It’s late, you have been out in the hot sun for eight or nine hours and you are TIRED. However, the Chemical Brothers have a legendary live show and you really can’t miss them. You are worried that you’ll be too tired, and then Block Rockin Beats comes on and you start to lose yourself.

2:00 AM – Parking Lot

Wow that was a great night you thought, but why am I still in the parking lot?

Well, there you have it. Obviously, we are a bit envious, but have fun and stay hydrated!