The Love Machine will be a major addition to the ‘4in1’ Music Sessions in November. (Photo: Kronick Photography)
As we slowly move into the colder months, we have decided to keep going with the ‘4in1’ Sessions indoors at various venues throughout the city. This month’s session (Nov. 25th) will be held at Antique Skate Shop on Florence St., and will feature a mega line-up of great musicians. The Love Machine are looking forward to playing some new material and getting close with fans in this intimate atmosphere, and Peas & Carrots will play some of their new material as well. And if this wasn’t enough, Montreal’s JF Robitaille is coming into town to play for us too. His presence is always welcome here, and I’m sure all who show up will be in for a big treat from him.
We are anticipating a pretty big turnout, so be sure to get to Antique early so you get nestled into a good spot up front. We will be starting promptly at 2PM, as the shop closes around 5 and we don’t want to be inconveniencing the generous staff and overstaying our welcome. So spread the word, this will be one of the best ‘4in1’ sessions we’ve had yet! And we’ll also be announcing a HUGE December edition too, as we’ve started to get things together for that. Here’s the current line-up as it now stands:
On Thursday, Ottawa welcomed Delta Will with special guests Kira May and More Please! to Mercury Lounge. If anyone has been upstairs at Mercury Lounge (which I hadn’t previously), it’s high ceilings, ambient colours/lighting and ominous giant sea monster painted on the wall were a perfect setting for what would be a night of on-stage theatrics, exploration of different musical ideas, and alter egos.
The night opened with Kira May, a Toronto-based musician who seems determined to make an impression not only with superb vocals but also an intriguing way of going about her performance. She rejects the conventional approach to playing music on stage, where energy and showmanship are a big factor in what makes the experience. Instead, she captivated the audience immediately only using looping pedals and her vocals. Her music seemed to draw from Imogen Heap-style songwork, but maintained it’s own character and uniqueness throughout. She also did some beatbox loops that she used as percussion, which added a whole other element to an interesting performance. Sometimes her kneeling down to mess with the effects was distracting, since it drew the focus away from her music. But overall I think everyone in the lounge was mesmerized, and ended up wanting to hear more from her.
The next act to come on was More Please!, a folky-rock band. Band leader Scotty Mack’s songs had a definite classic-rock influence with hints of The Band and Neil Young. I found that this band was a strange addition to the bill, since their music was more standard and wasn’t as captivating as Kira May or Delta Will. I don’t mean this to say that they weren’t talented or good songwriters – just that it didn’t really fit with the tone of the night. I did find the interaction between the two of them great though, a Guild hollow-body and Fender Strat playing off each other beautifully. The sound was off-base with the theme of the night, but their performance was good and everyone seemed to enjoy it.
The headliner Charles Tilden (Toronto’s Parks & Rec) a.k.a Delta Will is billed as a “space blues” pioneer. If you’re wondering what that is, it’s not really like anything you’ve heard before. I didn’t know what it was either, which was a main reason I was excited to see what Delta Will was all about. What I discovered was a really interesting concept. We expect songs to be written from the musician’s point of view, but he takes this a step further with his debut EP Transcendental Visits and takes on the alter ego of an alien looking upon our planet from an outside perspective. And he went all-out with this concept, taking on this alter ego during the performance. When he became thirsty, he asked for “this wonderful hydrating beverage us humans refer to as H20”. Fuse this with a distinct blues influence and you have everyone’s attention. Also using loop pedals and effects, his songs create a symphony of sorts. The way he brought together an old blues sound with the technology of today and a futuristic identity was entertaining on so many levels. Songs like “Darma Blues” and “Ways to Enchant” are perfect examples of this. Sometimes the simple blues riffs are all we hear, and other times layers of instruments and great vocal harmonies take over as the intensity builds. He lets you believe you’re listening to a blues performance and then rips it away with a barrage of modern instrumentation looped through the pedal. By the end of it I was so refreshed, having heard a totally original set of songs inspired by such a bizarre concept. Transcendental Visits appeals to so many different people, whether you’re a fan of Sonny Williams (to whom he dedicated his first song), big on experimental music or just love a good melody.
Here’s Transcendental Visits for your listening pleasure:
In the weeks and months leading up to the Herd Mag release party, I had created an idea in my mind of what the magazine itself would be. Having contributed an article to the first issue, I knew what the spirit of this unique new mag would be: raw, provocative, with local intellectuality seething from its pages. But what does that mean? How can a few people throw together some words, photos and art and realistically expect to have a publication that captures the essence of Ottawa’s cultural nuances? Not that I was skeptical, but this was certainly no small feat.
But founders Steph Vicente and Pat Bolduc weren’t fucking around either. I had been in touch with Steph for a few months before I actually got to meet her and Pat at the Arboretum Festival in September. I immediately felt the passion they were putting into this magazine. Excitement and ideas began to unfurl as we talked, and the anticipation that I had for Herd Magazine grew into a need for it. I simply couldn’t wait any longer for what was to be the new and definitive publication for people like us – those who give a shit about Ottawa, it’s artists, it’s creative visionaries, and those who make this city an interesting and desirable place to be.
As the author of the article titled “The Unconventional Playground” in the first issue, I was originally looking forward to having my first published work included in a magazine. I felt proud about what I had written. But this began to change as the first issue of Herd started coming together, with the release date of October 12 getting closer. I can say now that my sense of pride completely revolves around the team that brought this together and the quality of work that went into making this magazine a piece of art in itself. The final product is incredible – not only for its aesthetics and articles, but because the hard work that went into it is so blatantly obvious with every turn of the page.
I have a tremendous respect for Steph and Pat, as well as the other contributors who poured some of their soul into Herd. You don’t always meet people like that. Herd Mag will become a mainstay for Ottawa and the arts community not only because it is relevant and necessary, but also because it is symbolic (and perhaps the product) of an artistic renaissance here in the nation’s capital. Things are happening here that demand to be heard, read, seen and experienced. That’s why it isn’t going anywhere.
I won’t say too much about the release party for Issue 01 held at Fall Down, just that if you weren’t there then you should have been. Lineups down the block, beats filling the gallery and drinks to celebrate the culmination of the work put into this magazine over the last 7 months. DJ INA was in charge of spinning all night, and Amos the Transparent played a great set as always (the cello always gets me). The raffles were lots of fun, although I didn’t win. I was so impressed with the turnout, it really showed how many people are in support of this kind of publication. Awesome night all-around. I still think there should be a release party for every issue… just saying.
Here are some totally unprofessional photos of the night’s events. Enjoy.
We’ve got a great lineup for the first fall edition of 4in1, and what better place to hold this session than the Dominion Arboretum off Dow’s Lake?
Matias Munoz (me) will be at the Arboretum at about 1:30 PM to help bands settle in and set up, and signs will be put up along the path starting at the right side of the restaurants building (Guadalaharry’s/Malone’s) on Dows Lake. After a short walk along the path (there will be signs along the way too), you will see us settled in just off the path in a perfect nook.
If it rains, the tunnels beside Mill St. Brew Pub (555 Wellington St) – but we’ll make this call the day of so until then, Arboretum it is.
With the recent release of their brand new EP Inferior Ghost, Toronto’s Papermapshave proven themselves as one of the city’s premier up and coming acts. Personally, the 6-track album left me wanting more and should prove to be a taste of things to come when a sophomore full-length release comes to fruition. We were treated to a couple of sample tracks on their Bandcamp leading up to the August 28th release date (which were fitting precursors to what the rest of the songs offered), but for me the EP really stood out because of the final track called ‘Reaction Formation’. Marino’s vocals bust into the chorus beautifully as the band takes us on a ride that includes intervals of soft and thunderous percussion and great instrumentation. It’s a perfect ending to a successful EP, and a song that I’ve blared many times for my wonderful neighbours to enjoy (no complaints yet). I always try and gauge how I feel after listening to an album, and with Inferior Ghost the first thing that came to mind was that this band really has an identity, a true sound. Not that they didn’t before, but this album really solidified it.
Leading up to the CD release party that happened at the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto on August 28th, the band embarked on a 3,000 + kilometre Canadian mini-tour that was filled with excitement and some overnight stretches of highway that probably seemed never-ending. They were also one man down, as synth/guitarist Todd Harrison stayed back (partially because of personal commitments and partially because the van rental company screwed up and gave them one that was a little bit too small). However, when Papermaps hit Zaphod’s on August 17th the rest of the band filled in nicely as they played a stellar set in front of a smaller than expected crowd. This only made things more intimate, however embarrassing it may be that Ottawa folk in the Byward Market are hard-come by to walk in off the street to see a good show.
The set included some staples from their debut album, the most recognizable being ‘Reunion’ which sounded even more catchy live as well as most of the new tracks from Inferior Ghost. Despite the smaller turnout and road weariness, the band still put on an energetic show that could have easily gotten a full house riled up. They were supposed to play with Amos the Transparent the night before but had to change plans due to scheduling conflicts, which I also attended.
At the end of the night, I stuck around with the band for drinks at Zaphod’s and got to know them. All I can say is that I made some new friends that night, a great group of people were a pleasure to see perform and get to know. I actually felt really bad that the turnout hadn’t been what was expected, and almost (inexplicably) at fault. I assured them that Ottawa has a unique music culture that, if you’re a smaller band from out of town, needs to be cultivated. Although Ottawans may not walk off the street into Zaphod’s, Papermaps is a band that so many people would love seeing live. They said they’d come back, which put my worries to rest.
After a fun-filled night that ended up being a riot, we parted ways and promised to keep in touch. I had the chance to interview lead singer Dean Marino after the fact about where the band is at right now and what the new EP means to them. Here it is:
With their latest LP Goodnight My Dear…I’m Falling Apart, Amos the Transparent have sent a message that their music knows no bounds. Having received critical acclaim for their previous two albums, their most recent release is a testament to their ability to fuse diverse instrumentation and more experimental songwriting tactics with the honesty in lyrical content that has come to define the band’s music. While tracks like ‘Says the Spark’ and ‘Sure as the Weather’ have infiltrated the eardrums of indie music lovers across Canada, the album in its entirety is a journey through tame melodies, percussive onslaughts, and complex vocal patterns that never leave the listener unsatisfied. Variable instances of tranquility and vigor define the character of this album: both light and dark. These contrasting features make for an effective and balanced record.
The band is beginning its fall tour with multiple Canadian tour dates, the second of which was last night (August 16th) at Zaphod’s. Friends, family and a dependable fan base crowded into the venue in what felt like a fraternal gathering of sorts. Halifax native Ben Caplan started things off, with a voice that CBC’s Chris Norris describes as having a “rough around the edges, bar room salooney, Tom Waits vibe to it”. Caplan was sans his usual band, The Casual Smokers, but managed to rile the growing crowd up with just his acoustic guitar and pure vocal power. He is a true musician, creating unmistakably unique sounds that just happen to go well with bands like Amos. He also assured me he would be back to Ottawa in the coming months.
The night continued with Toronto’s Battle Mountain Band, a group that was formed by friends who also belong in other bands. For a side-project band that seems to be around just for the sake of a creative outlet, their opening performance of “My Weekend” gave the impression that this band had been around for years. Their set was fun, free-spirited, and laden with bits of humour as they encouraged everyone in the crowd to get closer to the party on stage. Echoes of folk rang through in many of the guitar riffs, and flowing bass lines gave many of their songs a classic feel. In the footsteps of bands like Good Old War, all the members of Battle Mountain Band are lead vocalists, trading verses and bringing a different style and sound to each song. Even in songs like Detroit, which is about one of their ex-wives, all members shared the stage equally. The only shortcoming was some missed vocal harmonies; while not a major issue, it was distracting at points. The overall performance, however, was rhythmically sound and well executed. Ottawa native Trevor James explains, “Now all engines are firing, we’re back writing lots. We just recorded three new tunes, doing lots of shows… but typically we’re always working and writing no matter what. While transitioning from Montreal to Toronto there was a bit of a lull, but yeah everything is very casual with the Battle Mountain Band since we all have our own projects outside of this one.”
Amos the Transparent came on as the headliner, opening with the song ‘Title Track’ from their debut album Everything I’ve Forgotten to Forget. Their band chemistry was apparent right away as Chandler’s vocals carried perfectly with the variety of instruments on stage. Much like their latest album, their set flowed through peaks and valleys of emotion. Eloquent cello playing by Mike Yates tempered the crowd’s liveliness, which was quickly invigorated by the triad of guitars and two-piece brass. Throughout the entire set it was obvious that the band and audience were thriving off each other. During the performance of ‘Lemons’, Chandler got the crowd singing the background melody without having to persuade them. This dynamic reached a new height when the crowd screamed the refrain “I was meant to go alone” during the song ‘Greater Than Consequence’, which I found to be surprisingly different from the album version I was familiar with.
‘We always look at it in two ways’, says lead vocalist Jonathan Chandler, ‘there’s live Amos and there’s studio Amos. Live Amos always plays the songs that we come up with in the studio, but we kind of take a no-borders approach. We can go ahead and have two drum parts going at the same time as well as a quartet of vocals and three guitar parts in the studio, it sounds cool through the speakers but how are we going to do that live? I think that’s where having seven of us up there allows us to do more, we can each add our own thing on stage.”
One aspect of the show that cannot be overstated is the presence of Kate Sargent. Being the only female on stage, Sargent’s vocals compliment Chandler’s in such a way that it adds another layer to the band’s identity. In songs like ‘Up & Out’ and ‘Sure As The Weather’, her singing is just as pervasive as Chandler’s is, bringing more depth and beauty to their performance. I was as impressed as the girl standing next to me, who happened to be screaming “You are blowing my mind” repeatedly to Sargent between songs. I don’t blame her. Her stand-alone verse in ‘The Stale Scent of Old Beer’ made the entire crowd go silent, after which drummer Chris Wilson took the opportunity to end the song with thunderously climactic percussion. Chandler explains, “We added Kate and Mike after the album was recorded, and I really wish they had been there through that process, because they really do have great ideas and a neat perspective on things”. Wilson also says that, “It’s allowing us to explore more sonic possibilities than we did as a three-piece or four-piece. It’s allowed us to reach greater heights, dynamically and in the intricacies of our songs”.
As far as indie music goes, Amos the Transparent is arguably Ottawa’s greatest export, having their music heard nationally through CBC Radio 3 and on shows like Studio Q (where Jian Ghomeshi referred to the band as “The Canadian Wilco”) and internationally at SXSW Music Festival. It isn’t hard to imagine that this is only the beginning.
This past week has been pretty hectic, moving into a new place and helping friends move apparently takes a while. I wanted to write about a show I went to last week, one that was probably one of the funnest I’ve been to all summer.
The bill was a wild one, with The Dead Zone starting things off with hardcore punk and then the Musettes calming things down with their beautiful harmonies and melodic music. I had been meaning to see them play for a while now, hearing great things about their live performances. Not only were they happy to be on the bill with a few punk bands, they got the crowd at Zaphod’s on their side immediately. I was curious how the contrast in genres would play itself out, but I was completely blown away with how talented these girls were. Check out their CBC Music page here.
As far as ska/punk goes, it’s a really tough genre of music to break into. It’s one of those things that has been done so many times that it’s hard to imagine anything original being brought to the table. Not to say that these bands don’t have something to offer, reggae and punk-influenced music by nature is limited in terms of style. Ottawa’s own Cardboard Crowns are an example of a band that refuse to be part of the herd. They get that it’s not always about the music, but about the identity of the band as a whole. What separates them from the pack is their character on stage, and the fact that their primary goal isn’t to get money or fame. It’s to get people together and have the best time possible, not taking themselves too seriously. Between the goofy clothes and funny on-stage banter, it was pretty evident that Joel, Matt, Frank and Tokyo were having as much fun as everyone watching the show.
The obvious highlight of the show was the encore. The lead singer Joel told everyone to come on stage, and almost the entire crowd got up and danced the rest of the night away. The last time I saw something like this happen was when Iggy & The Stooges did the same at Lollapalooza in 2007. Getting the crowd involved in the fun made the night that much better, as the energy from their set reached a peak. Their set included my personal favourite, “Down To Earth” as well as great new tracks “Global Citizen” and “Long-Armed Bandits”. As far as shows at Zaphod’s goes, this one was the most fun I have been to. Keep an eye out for these guys playing in Ottawa again, the Crowns do not disappoint.
Independent music is something that is not easily grasped by the masses. I don’t mean to imply that there is anything categorically abstract about it that makes it less accessible to the general public. And I certainly wouldn’t group all indie music together into a genre per se (that is a huge pet peeve of mine), but I’ve always been intrigued by the way in which these bands approach the songwriting process and expose their work to the public. In many ways, there is a double-edged sword to becoming an indie artist.
On the one hand, there is total artistic freedom with respect to style and composition. Artists have the ability to produce incredible music from their bedrooms, and build hype through music blogs or streaming sites without necessarily spending a dime on physical albums. Many bands create their own mega-specific genre of a sub-genre of a sub-sub genre…, which demonstrates creativity and musicianship in a way that is almost unheard of in the Top 40 world. This creates (in some, not all cases) niche audiences and devout fan bases that are sparse but committed. On the other hand, it is a barren desert of obscurity for most independent artists out there. Just because there is true passion and inspiration in music does not necessarily pave the way for success – it is a difficult process developing a fan base from an already miniscule percentage of the music-listening population. Most offer up their work free to stream and download on sites like Bandcamp or Soundcloud, and allowing the listener to pay whatever price they are willing to fork out for the music. Plus, most venues for music exposure (such as festivals or radio stations where bands can market their sound) have an interest in showcasing artists who are already established. Getting gigs isn’t always easy for the lesser-known ones, and attracting new faces is even more challenging. For me, anyway, this is a big problem.
Enter the Break North Festival. It’s mission is to “showcase independent and emerging Canadian musicians over a four day run of concerts in the National Capital”. It’s purpose is simple – bringing local independent artists into an intimate setting in order to give them exposure as well as provide fans with an opportunity to experience new music in a way that won’t destroy your last paycheque. I spoke with organizer Mark Isbrandt about the purpose and motivation behind the four-day festival. He emphasized the point that there are not many ways for local, independent bands to show off their material to new audiences – a series of shows that bring people to experience new and different music can provide a way for artists to promote themselves and garner some more support.
There are many music festivals in Ottawa, and Mark didn’t shy away from acknowledging the fact that competition is stiff – especially in the summer. He pointed out that there is a lot of diversity in the music scene in the nation’s capital, and that having a variety of bands gives the festival an edge over some others. Hosting shows that aren’t genre-specific give the audience a chance to expand their horizons and get a good idea of what kind of local music is out there. With so many larger festivals such as Bluesfest and Folkfest, the intimate atmosphere at Elmdale Tavern and Rainbow Bistro is a refreshing change where musicians and fans can interact more easily.
Little Stella @ Break North Festival
I was able to make it out to the opening night of Break North at Elmdale Tavern on June 14th, and got to see things kick off first hand. Little Stellawas the first band to play and their set was a strong start to the festival. Their Canadian folk/rock sound also earned them a spot at the Live 88.5 Big Money Shot competition this year, one they hope to advance through to the later rounds in the coming months. The band was happy to be playing the festival and seemed very comfortable on stage, with all members contributing to a great sounding set. It was nice to meet the guys and hear how excited they are to be playing in front of new people, as they were genuinely stoked to share some of their experiences as a young band and some of their future plans. Hear their EP Songs For Spain and catch them live at Feverfest next Saturday at the Clocktower Pub (Glebe) 9:30 PM.
The night continued with After Funk playing next, a group of young talented guys who made the long trip up from my hometown of London, Ontario. Lead singer Yanick Allwood wasted no time getting the crowd involved, and playing funk/soul music that even got the older bartender lady out dancing. Like me, I heard many people in the audience say how impressed they were with the set, which included a mix of originals and covers of Jimi Hendrix, Beatles, Bob Marley, and Michael Jackson, amongst others.
The Ticket @ Break North Festival
Arms of the Girlplayed next and performed some of their folk-rock songs off their album Versions of Happiness. They didn’t hold back, as lead singer Carolyn Côté kept the energy going with good stage presence and strong vocals. I met them after the show and they were very down to earth, even nice enough to give me a sample of their music. Check them out June 28th at Zaphod’s with Bleeker Ridge. The Ticket closed things out with their original sound and style. Lead singer and guitarist Adam broke a couple strings on the first song, but avoided that brutally awkward pause while waiting for the other guitar by providing some impromptu banter. Throughout the rest of their set, Adam let the guitar do the talking and blew away the audience as both he and Jack (on drums) poured every inch of their soul into the set. I was also totally impressed with the sound at Elmdale too, getting it right in smaller venues is not a common occurrence. Props to sound guys, who don’t get enough credit.
Overall, the night proved to be a reminder of how important these lower-key festivals are for local independent artists. Having the opportunity to meet some of the artists and organizers involved reminded me that so much passion for music as an art form exists at the grassroots level, and that true music lovers have something to gain from being part of an intimate, small-venue festival such as Break North. Not only is it a great way to meet those involved, but fans also become part of the experience in a way that isn’t quite the same at larger shows. For me, the absence of anonymity was a very positive thing – it was as if you could feel everyone listening and have the bands feed off that connection. I hope Break North becomes a regular fixture amongst Ottawa’s festivals, because I think it is necessary to balance the emphasis of larger events with ones that are solely focused on the local. Supporting our independent artists is the only way to ensure Ottawa remains an artistic centre and an ever-growing source of new musical talent in Canada.
When I heard that PS I Love You was making a stop in Ottawa, I was determined to check them out and see how good they are live. I got the feeling that they would be one of those bands who would surpass their album sound with a live manifestation of their material. With their 2010 debut Meet Me at the Muster Station garnering attention and acclaim (not to mention a place for them on the 2011 Polaris Prize Long List), Paul Saulnier and Benjamin Nelson are on a worldwide mission to top that with last month’s release oftheir new LP Death Dreams. This album has proven to be a massive success so far, providing listeners with both experimental aspects combined with the style that most of us grew to love on Muster Station. But anyway, this isn’t an album review so my suggestion is if you enjoyed Muster Station and are into the garage-rock sound then you have to check out Death Dreams.
So last night PS I Love You played at Maverick’s alongside Try Harder & Army Girls. The night started out a little rough as my friend/photographer lost his wallet (still yet to be found), thus causing us to miss Try Harder. I saw Ming of the Photogmusic blog between sets and he said it was great, so it’s too bad we missed them but sometimes these things are out of your control.
Army Girls definitely knew what they are doing, even though lead vocalist Carmen Elle being admittedly nervous before the set. Each having been in a number of bands before their current one, as well as collaborating with Ben Cook (Fucked Up producer), their spot as a fixture on the Toronto DIY scene is well-deserved. The duo seems to be an inevitable pairing, combining Andy Smith’s dynamic and powerful drums with Carmen’s attitude and rawness. They have done what many other up-and-coming DIY artists have, pulling together all different aspects of their musical inspirations and styles to make music that won’t be forced into any specific genre or category. They began playing as people were still making their way into the venue, so the crowd was still a little quiet and reserved. Except for that one guy who kept yelling in Carmen’s left ear. However, once they started playing the energy level became noticeably higher. Her comfort with the fretboard and laid back demeanor gave the impression of “I’m a bad ass and I’m going to make you love our music”, the same kind of edge you might expect from The Kills. Although the vocals and higher guitar tones were difficult to make out sometimes (by no fault of their own), songs such as ‘End of Days’ and ‘White Towel’ really set the tone for the night as Carmen seemed to let loose throughout the latter portion of the set. I was really happy I got to see Army Girls perform, especially since I was still kicking myself for missing Try Harder. I get the feeling they will continue to go on doing great things, and hope that they come back to Ottawa soon.
Check out a great Blog T.O. interview with Army Girls here.
When it was time for PS I Love You to take the stage, Maverick’s had filled out a bit more. After a 10-minute wait for a piece of equipment, the band cranked the volume and began to play what would turn out to be a powerful set through and through. What originally attracted me to PS I Love You was some similarities with the band Fucked Up with respect to the style and composition of their music. There is an unmistakable punk aspect at the core of both of these bands, but each has transformed their music into something more. The lead guitar punches out arpeggios and riffs that mesh so well with the rhythm and drums, not to mention the vocals that are anything but ordinary. What I also found funny is last summer I could not stop listening to David Comes To Life by Fucked Up, and songs like Queen of Hearts. Fast forward to this summer and I can’t stop listening to Death Dreams, particularly the songs Princess Towers, Don’t Go and First Contact. There are so many good reasons why Fucked Up won the Polaris Prize in 2009, I see no reason why PS I Love You wouldn’t be a contender this year.
Seeing Paul Saulnier showcase his guitar talents on stage live was a treat. No wonder he was voted #99 in SPIN Magazine’s Top 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. His style is really unique, making it look easy to do tricks on the upper frets and sing at the same time. His work with the double-necked guitar is masterful. The duo is now a trio, as they added instrumentalist and van-driver extraordinaire Tim Bruton. It seems as though their relentless touring schedule over the past couple years is paying off, as each song was played with perfection and its own complexity. Drummer Benjamin Nelson was in a percussive trance state throughout the show and carried Paul’s melodies to the audience all night long. They ended the set with First Contact, which is probably my favourite off the new album. The show was, as expected, amazing. One of the only downfalls was that my friends and I probably have permanent hearing damage. I suppose I can forgive them for this, and maybe I’ll be smart enough to buy $1 earplugs at the door next time.
Check out this performance of ‘Don’t Go’ at Studio 211 Session for CBC Radio 2’s Drive: