despite numerous technical failures, scheduelling issues and the presence of too many greying industry hacks, things seemed to work out for Dan Burke's Canadian Music Week showcase last night at The Silver Dollar. flying the stellar Zoobombs in from Japan for a three night stand was an ambitious plan, but by the looks of it, burke has played his cards correctly.
accompanied by german art punk critic olivier sunnyday (who insists on remaining visually obscured when photographed), i set out to put together a solid review of the night's transpirings (mind you, olivier is far more picky about his music than i am).
here it is, act by act...
THE DISRAELIS - 9:27pm
these guys were booked last minute to replace the oiginally slated no dynamics as the show's openers, but it was a nice change of pace. having an intense group like no dynamics perform at nine is like shooting off fireworks in the afternoon. (thanks to the band for posting two of my reviews on their site. i love you crazy ass motherfuckers.)
collin (bass, vocals), cameron (guitar) and stew (drums) are three nice looking gents with a Mancunian flair who deserved a larger audience than was present at the time. their relaxed pace and wide open electric sound marked the highlights of what was only their second performance since getting together. look for these guys to make more appearances in the future, and dig it to the utmost, ya hear?
olivier's comment: not available at press time.
LADIES AND GENTLEMENT - 10:26pm
in their coordinated pearly-white attire, the ladies and gentlemen played a set that built momentum with each passing song. they were not afraid to have fun even during periods of crisis, declaring a "percussion party" after the power cut out on the right side of the stage. despite technical difficluties experienced by four of the five members, Ladies and Gentlement pleased my yearning ears with their bright organs and tambourines. olivier, on the other hand, did not share the same sentiments.
olivier's comment: "you like these guys? sheesh."
BRUTAL KNIGHTS - 11:24pm
a fifteen minute machine gun shower of acid rain. "i hope you're wearing gasoline masks," said frontman / comedian Nick Flanagan (read his blog here), "because we're going to sodomize your face!" and that they did, making it absolutely sure that the stiff audience didn't get off easy. having witnessed broken bottles, exposed beer guts and stage gymnasitcs, all perpetrated by flanagan, the audience was perhaps ready to get out of their stupor and throw down for the Zoobombs.
olivier's comment: "it's not fair for me to say, they're my friends and they put me on the guest list...but they're fucking excellent!"
LES SIX - 12:04am
nothing too special from these fellas and ladies, but they set off a steady and emotive bass heavy sound that played to the audience's darker side. the lead vocalist evoked some nostalgic sentiments by enticing audience members to take part in a "grade eight slow dance" during a later number.
olivier's comment: none, as the bastard was nowhere to be seen...
THE ZOOBOMBS! - 1:15am
after several minutes of tension over shorted patch cables and other shortcomings in the equipment department, the main attraction finally set it off. rocking toronto for the first time in a long time, they took the anxious audience, now reaching full capacity, on a rainbow ride through highway city.
singer / guitarist Don Matsuo, perhpas the nicest guy you could ever hope to meet, set the tone for the rest of the band: calm and poised on stage, but relentlessly energetic from start to finish. though fast and at times excruciatingly loud, the band's extensive psychadelic jams radiated a beauty often unseen in the brash and metallic sonic world of rock music. directing the drum section on the final number with whispy hand gestures, Matsuo suspended the energy for a few magical measures, then brought it back to blasting levels for the band's final minute long thrust of pogo power. the audience were thoroughly in tune with the band's groove throughout the set, changing their steps at every transient and shaking the mites out of their long hair.
undoubtedly, this has been a great rock n' roll moment for toronto and there's more where that came from. make sure to check these guys out this weekend. you've got two more chances: tonight at The Silver Dollar with The Creeping Nobodies, The Diableros, Snowy Owl and Anagram, and again on Saturday at the Comfort Zone (next door to The Silver Dollar) alongside Femme Generation, Boy Ballz, Gentleman Reg, Shikasta and the Two Koreas. With the exception of tonight's Sixtoo gig the El Mocambo (which, as rumour has it, might feature a guest appearance from Outkast's Andre 3000), there's not much else woth checking out at a largely disappointing CMW.
olivier's comment: none...he had already left by then to go see Guitarwolf, the other Japanese band in town last night, at Lee's Palace. he'll never know what he missed.
more pictures from the Zoobombs' set below...