sharon van etten

Concert Review: Junip, November 5, Lee’s Palace

Posted on by Paul in Concerts, Everything | Leave a comment

Toronto – I will readily admit that I knew very little about Junip before going to this show, but I do like Jose Gonzalez.  His solo stuff has a nice, almost hypnotic vibe to it, so I was interested in seeing what he would do as part of a full band.  And after seeing and being totally charmed by Sharon Van Etten’s  opening set, I was in the right mood to hear what they had to offer.

Of course, any talk about Junip kind of refers to it as Gonzalez branching out and starting a new band, when in fact, the band actually existed before his solo career (and apparently met through going to hardcore shows in Gothenburg) so really this is kind of a return to his roots.  Tom Petty did a similar sort of thing with his recent Mudcrutch project, so maybe this is becoming a trend.

So how did they sound?  Well, pretty much like Jose Gonzalez with a full band.  They had a similar sort of hypnotic vibe, but a bit spacier maybe courtesy of Tobias Winterkorn’s synthesizer work.  There was a definite 70s influence on their sound, and the persistent drumming added a touch of Can-style krautrock.  And they had conga drums too!  Everybody loves congas.  Or were they bongos?  Maybe both.  Either way, there was lots of percussion involved.  And if that wasn’t enough, they threw in a really solid cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “The Ghost Of Tom Joad” near the end of their encore … although I have to wonder, does it really even count as an encore if you’re only gone from the stage for like 20 seconds?  Why not just stay onstage and forego the pretense, guys?   


Junip – Rope and Summit by sanfordco

Concert Review: Sharon Van Etten, November 5, Lee’s Palace

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts | 1 Comment

Toronto – if I was writing a year end article about the most charming on stage performers, I’m pretty Sharon Van Etten would be at the top of the list. The singer from Jersey easily won over the semi packed crowd at Lee’s Palace with her laid back and humble personality. I could easily write a few paragraphs about her interactions with the crowd but I won’t. There was, however, a particularly hilarious dedication to a man in the front row who had recognized her “I can’t. believe you know who I am!” she says to the crowd.

Opening for Junip, Sharon Van Etten gave a good sample as to why media outlets like Pitchfork are going balls to the wall for her material. I had previously labeled Sharon as another singer songwriter type with that soulful yet singular sound that while good, sounded samey when compared with other similar artists. However, the live show definitely showed Sharon’s versatility as a musician, switching from folky quiet numbers to rock/shouting ones to beautifully arranged ones. It was very impressive. I haven’t listened to her new record epic yet but if the set is any indication, I’m sure the album is pretty good. A fan requested song – Consolation prize finished the splendid set.

All in all, very impressive opening act. I am thinking it’s just a matter of time before more people will know who Sharon Van Etten is.

Sharon Van Etten – Love More by Henry Coachella

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