the national

Concert Review: The Antlers, June 8th, Massey Hall

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts | 4 Comments

Toronto – Just like a really long Quentin Tarantino movie, I’m breaking this concert review into two parts.

The other day, whilst at work in the middle of some hardcore coding (my day job), something dawned on me.. Tuesday night will be my fourth time seeing The Antlers. Have I seen any band more then four times? I then quickly switched to this site, took a look at my concert list, did some thinking, did some counting, and quickly realized – no, I have never seen a band more then 4 times in a row. I then checked my fantasy sports teams, read some random wikipedia articles, watched some 80s tv sitcom intros on youtube, made some snarky comments on people’s status updates on facebook, wrote a post on the blog and then I went back to more hardcore coding. It’s so weird to think that Tuesday night was the fourth time I had seen the band the Antlers, seeing how at this time last year, I had never heard of them. I believe it was Allison who first realized how good this Brooklyn band was, and how great their debut album Hospice was. I was then slowly converted, ever so skeptical of my fellow PM writer’s musical taste. Well, as it turns out, she was right and I have taken to this band like a mongoose to a cobra.

So Tuesday night was my fourth time seeing the Antlers. They were at Massey Hall opening for The National. I had arrived earlier then expected, and thus was able to soak in the atmosphere of a somewhat empty Massey Hall. The architecture in that place is quite nice. I like the nice arching roof. I was reminded of that fight scene in Bioshock. You know the one. The band took the stage shortly after 8 to a pretty empty crowd. It was a good thing that the lights were dimmed because then the band could imagine that they were playing to a packed house. Much like a horse with blinders.

The band played a stellar 45 minute set, featuring the songs from Hospice. It was great to hear them in the Massey Hall setting, because unlike their quiet-ish album, the Antlers live set consist of a massive wall of sound. There is a constant feedback kinda sound (much like a jet engine) throughout the set save for the more tender moments (Bear, some parts of Two). The set seemed to start off slowly, as the band was feeling their way out on the massive stage. Massey Hall’s stage is a large space, especially for a 3 person setup. They seemed to hit their stride with the song Bear, which as always, was great. The outro for the song featured about five minutes of noise layering on top of more noise that tested the volume limits of the venue. I think the crowd who didn’t know the band was in kind of shock over the amount of volume that the threesome was generated. By this time, the place was starting to fill up.

Their standout track Two followed shortly after. As I had stated in my sxsw review of this band, this song live is a bit different then on record. The song starts off with a choir-ish oos before the music plays and then is followed by a brisk chance of tempo that moves the song along at a much quicker pace then that of the album, still really good. Ending the set with the song Wake, the band delivered a great and heavy set that wowed anyone who was there, as evident by the massive applause that they got after their set.

I don’t think you can ask for anymore for an opener.

The Antlers – Bear by gpferrero

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