Concert Review: Suede, December 7th, O2 Arena

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts, Everything, Music | 8 Comments

London – What can you write about a concert featuring your favorite band singing 23 of your favorite songs and you are freaking close to the stage even though the show is at the cavernous O2 Arena (a place that has amusement park rides on the concourse). Suede at the O2 arena was amazing, it was as expected, my favorite show of the year and everything was amazing. Let’s start off with the set list:

This Hollywood Life
The Drowners
Animal Nitrate
We Are The Pigs
Pantomime Horse
By The Sea
Killing Of A Flashboy
Can’t Get Enough
Everything Will Flow
The Next Life
The Asphalt World
So Young
Metal Mickey
The Wild Ones
New Generation
Beautiful Ones

The Living Dead
To The Birds
Saturday Night

With the exceptions of Still Life and Europe is My Playground, everything I really wanted to hear was covered. It was an hour and forty five minutes of literally non stop singing action, as the Suede blazed from one song to another.

Let’s start from the beginning. I rarely ever go to arena shows. I have never even been to a show at the ACC, so imagine the look on the security guard’s face when I asked him if there was coat check. Haha. The O2 arena is set up nicely. There’s many restaurants everywhere for food. I kinda wish the ACC had that same setup. I got there at the end of the New Young Pony Club set, just enough time to hear The Bomb, which was all I really wanted to hear from them. We had lodged ourselves to the left of the stage not too far from the front, so the time in between the end of the NYPC set and the beginning of the Suede set was spent making sure no one got in front of us. The crowd was older as expected, but there were still a few younger kids in the crowd. Those kids have good taste.

At 9:15, the lights dimmed and a recording of Introducing the Band played over the soundsystem. The band soon emerged, dressed in all black and they launched into a vicious version of This Hollywood Life. Normally, I am not the biggest fan of that track, but tonight, it sounded so lively that you had no choice but to love it. As you would expect, the rest of the night was one big sing-a-long. Brett’s voice sounded great and he’s a great front man. Between his dancing, microphone twirling, call and response and dramatic singing, it made every song seems so much more epic. Songs like Pantomime Horse had an extra oomph to it, that had you thinking “yeah, there’s still some justine-damon resentment there”.

At 10:15, they played Asphalt World. So at 10:15pm on December 7th, 2010, I heard my favorite song ever live for the very first (and potentially last) time. I was a bit sad they cut it off after the four minute mark, but I didn’t expect them to play the whole ten minute version (or the Bernard version, I guess).

The 1-2 punch of New Generation and The Beautiful Ones was a great way to end off the initial set, as the former was a fist raising rauncher while the latterr inspired what might be the one of the greatest LA LA LA LA sessions of all time. You might make fun of Suede for all the Oooohhs they incorporate into their music, but at a show, those OOhhs are golden. GOLDEN.

All in all an amazing show. Paul went in a bit skeptical about the show and came out wanting to buy a t-shirt. For me, it’s something to be able to finally see a band you’ve loved for about twelve years. It’s something else to see them live and watch them kick ass. I’m not sure where Suede is going from here, but I’m hoping it’s a North America tour, since I can’t really afford to fly to England for these concerts all the time.

The Asphalt World by The London Suede

Concert Review: The Wave Pictures, Maylee Todd, White Suede, March 25, Drake Hotel

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts | 3 Comments

Toronto – On Wednesday night, at Royal Albert Hall in London, England, my favorite band ever, Suede was playing some charity show for cancer or something. It was the first time they had played for seven years or something, and I wasn’t there. Did you know it costs $2500 to fly to England for one night and then come back the next night? Seriously. I know. Too expensive. As I laid there on the floor in a fetal position crying, I realized that I would be watching a band called Suede this week anyway. This didn’t make me feel any better, but that’s the way life goes I guess. The band was actually named White Suede, who were playing a triple bill at the No Shame showcase on Thursday night, also featuring Toronto singer Maylee Todd and British band The Wave Pictures.

White Suede – I didn’t know much about this band going in, so I’ll refer to the PR email for an introduction. According to the email, White Suede “is the latest incarnation of a collaboration between songwriter Daniel Bedard, guitarist and band leader Adrian Traub-Rees and soulful diva extraordinaire Kritty Urinowski”. I don’t know they are, but it so happened that Thursday night was the band’s first performance ever. A band’s first public live performance is always interesting..everything either goes right, or everything falls apart. Luckily for White Suede, it was the former and not the latter. A large 7 piece band, White Suede consisted of drummers, synth player, bass, guitar and three vocalist – two of them females. Joe from Mechanical Forest Sound likened their appearance to that of the Commitments, something I didn’t realize at the time, but is completely true. The fourty minute set consisted of energetic music that is influenced from 70s rock mixed with some soul and Motown vibes. All the songs seemed very radio friendly and had a classic innocent kinda vibe to it. There was synchronized dancing moves between the two female singers and overall, it was fairly entertaining – especially for a first show ever.

Maylee Todd and Pegwee Powe - Next up on the bill was Toronto singer/songwriter Maylee Todd. You may know her as the singer on various Woodhands songs. I would classify her set as a smorgasbord of sounds and genre. A real bass, harp, accordion and various other instruments were used throughout the set, which features elements of pop, jazz, soul, motown and funk. One constant among all the songs is the use of Maylee Todd’s voice – which is powerful, clear and sharp. I really like songs that were more soul/funk oriented and to me, that might be the best use of Maylee Todd’s talents. It seemed like she was dabbling in many different genres in order to experiment or maybe she gets too bored if she consistently does one thing, but to me, her soul/funk stuff is definitely the best. Either way, the set was once again, energetic, sometimes disorganized but all in all very pleasant. The lyrics didn’t really make sense sometimes and the banter was a bit awkward at times, but I still enjoyed the set.

The Wave Pictures – I think the Wave Pictures takes the award for the shortest sound check/setup time ever. I swear, they did it in 10 minutes. It was impressive and made me happy. I guess this is one of the benefits of having a simple drum/guitar/bass setup. It’s a real shame that only 50 or 60 people were in the audience for their set because the Wave Pictures delivered a really honest, catchy dose of folk rock with clever lyrics and observations. Casually talking about the Queen, shopping for vinyl at Rotate this and problems crossing the borders, the band seemed to engage the audience as old friends rather then people who paid to see them, making the show quite intimate. There were definitely some hardcore fans in the audience who seemed to know lyrics to every song and I am sure they are quite happy with the set. The 40 minute set consisted mainly of songs off the recent albums Instant Coffee Baby and If You Leave It Alone. All 3 members of the band shared vocal duties including drummer Jonny Helms, who much to the delight of the crowd, sang Now That You’re Pregnant as the set closer. Good times all around.

All in all, a pleasant night of pleasant music.

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