Posts Tagged ‘mod club’

Local Natives at The Mod Club in Toronto

October 22, 2010

19 October 2010

L.A. scenesters Local Natives played their Toronto debut to a sold out crowd at The Mod Club this Tuesday, and wowed with strong vocals and a tight live performance. The young band was brimming with energy and enthusiasm as they showcased tracks off of their critically-acclaimed album, Gorilla Manor.

The crowd sang and chanted along with the band, making it feel as if Local Natives were seasoned veterans in the scene, rather than rising stars on their first headlining tour. What impressed me most was their live vocal chops, as they effortlessly hit every note, whether in chorus or alone, reminding me at times of the powerful harmonies of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young — which is no small feat.

The band emitted an air of subtle class on stage, void of rock star status, letting the music speak for them, which I found very refreshing. Highlights for me were “Wide Eyes” and “Who Knows Who Cares” (which the entire crowd sang along with), their version of the Talking Heads hit “Warning Sign”, “Cards and Quarters”, and “Sun Hands”, which they played as their encore and brought the crowd to a frenzy.

I almost didn’t go to this show due to an early morning, yet I was super glad I did, as it ended up being one of the best live shows I’ve seen this year, and at the same time reminded me how much I love Gorilla Manor. I’ve been listening to the album every day since the show, and have fallen in love with it all over again.

Funny concert moment: Singer-keyboardist Kelcey Ayer saying: “It’s great to be here in Vancouver!” and then quickly realizing his mistake and running red-faced off the stage . . . we’ll let it slide this time since his voice sounded so damn good during “Cubism Dream”.

Local Natives are definitely a band to watch because they are only going to get bigger and better. Awesome album and amazing show. Check ’em if you’ve yet to do so…

Jóhann Jóhannsson at The Mod Club in Toronto

May 8, 2010

4 May 2010

Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson played his long-awaited Toronto debut at The Mod Club this week to an intimate yet enraptured crowd. Joining him on stage were three violinists, a cellist, and his long-time collaborator Matthías Hemstock, who manipulated sounds and live samples, and the result was a subdued, and beautiful set of neo-classical ambience. Playing compositions from his critically acclaimed Fordlandia, and In the Endless Pause There Came The Sound Of Bees, Jóhannsson sat pretty much motionless behind his gear, allowing the roving emotions in his music to speak for themselves. The string quartet helped make the live show a much more organic experience, and Jóhannsson’s music is so very much alive, this would have been lost if it had been just him up there with his laptop and electric piano.

The set began with the title track from Fordlandia and they played much of the quieter material first. Black and white films played on the wall behind the musicians, which was odd considering there were two large projection screens set up to the left and right of the stage, which remained blank. Tables and chairs were set up for us to sit comfortably through Jóhannsson’s minimal yet swirling arrangements. The highlight of the night was “Guidelines for a Space Propulsion Device” which relies on a loop of bassy synth and patiently grows into an orchestral frenzy, the strings building to a feverish climax, as Hemstock created head-bobbing percussion through live samples.

It was a beautiful show on a warm Tuesday night in Toronto. Very nice.

Jay Reatard Doesn’t Really Act Like One

July 1, 2009
29 June 2009 - The Mod Club (Toronto)

29 June 2009 - The Mod Club (Toronto)

Anyone who likes Jay Reatard already knows all about his ‘legendary’ Silver Dollar show in Toronto last spring. If you’ve never seen it, peep it below from 1:30 onwards. Rock and roll!

Then he came back to town in the fall for a Fred Perry sponsored show at Wrongbar and stormed off the stage after a pedal malfunktion. Watch it too, it’s funny.

So when me and my friend Stew got tickets for his show at the Mod Club we were expecting some rock n roll smackdown dramatics with spit and violence and pretension and blood. Unfortunately for us, there was nothing but a little ego – nevertheless, flying vee’d Jay Reatard, afro’d bass Steve Pope and drummer Billy Hayes still tore it up with attitude and style. They played it safe and I loved it anyway. ‘Cause in the end It was still balls out sludge rock with tight musicianship the entire set from the trio. At one point, as I slammed back a Corona, they looked like the animated criminals from the cartoon “Superjail”. Freaky and Southern. Kinda sweaty and fat. But I’m sure Reatard still gets retarded with the ladies, especially after they see him jump up on a green gear box at the end of his sets and wail out! I definitely thought their was some sex to him, but in a Jon Spencer kinda way. Not sure if I’d buy the whole package . . . but you can bet yer bony ass I dug the head-banging, short but sweet, fuck you you piece of shit set the band delivered this time around in the T-drizzle. Even if the crowd stayed away…

EDIT: RIP J.R.