Tag Archives: phoenix concert theatre

Concert Review: Torres and Okkervil River (September 29 2013 @ Phoenix, Toronto)

Torres live in Toronto

Despite the physical height of Torres‘ Mackenzie Scott, her clean-cut appearance and pleasant demeanor are unassuming. It’s her voice that commands attention. Veering between a smooth-lower register butter knife and a machete of emotion in the highs, it’s something that sets her and Torres apart from many similar sounding bands. Driven by solid percussion from Chris DePorter and guitar-work from Scott herself, the set started off on the strength of “When Winter’s Over”, an indie-rock track with a riff reminiscent of early Weezer. The highlight of the set was the hauntingly beautiful “Honey”, a track that was featured by Pitchfork as “Best New Track”:

Scott exclaimed a few times in her set that she was impressed by how nice everyone in Canada has been towards her. If the Nashville band continues to produce music like that, they’ll have a welcome place at any of the venues here for a long time to come.

Okkervil River

Okkervil River followed with a passion-filled set, enhanced by both brass instrumentation and the charisma of guitarist Lauren Gurgiolo. Personal highlights were tracks off of River’s classic “Black Sheep Boy”, particularly “Black” and “For Real”:

Overall, the concert was punctuated by both the exciting possibilites of Torres and the nostalgic memories of Okkervil River. Another great night of music at Phoenix Concert Theatre.

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NXNE Day 3 Recap (Thursday June 16th): Fucked Up/Deerhoof/The Dodos/Gauntlet Hair

Neil Quin (from Zeus)/The Elwins @ Analogue Gallery

Neil Quin at Analogue Gallery

Neil Quin at Analogue Gallery

Neil Quin had a nice, mellow set at the Analogue Galery Slapback BBQ that was topped off by a cover of R. Kelly’s “Ignition”. The venue itself was a quaint little gallery with autographed albums and prints of famous musicians on the walls.

The Elwins at Analogue Gallery

The Elwins at Analogue Gallery

The Elwins had a traditional indie pop sound that got the crowd moving. I thought that the set started stronger than it ended but overall, it was a solid show! Listen to “Propinquity” below:

Gauntlet Hair/The Dodos/Deerhoof @ Phoenix Concert Theatre

Gauntlet Hair at Phoenix Concert Theatre

Gauntlet Hair at Phoenix Concert Theatre

I was excited to hear Gauntlet Hair as I was familiar with their song “I Was Thinking…”:

Their dreamy reverb-filled sound actually translated well to their live show. Though it finished off stronger than it started, they have great potential and are worth checking out. I’ve never seen a drummer ever go so hard on an electronic drumkit.

The Dodos at Phoenix Concert Theatre

The Dodos at Phoenix Concert Theatre

The Dodos followed with one of my favourite sets of NXNE. A very polished sound, a streamlined set, they sounded great and got the crowd into it. The drummer even had a tambourine taped to his foot for added measure. Listen to their song “Black Night” below:

Deerhoof at Phoenix Concert Theatre

Deerhoof at Phoenix Concert Theatre

The venue was packed for Deerhoof to close out the night. I had little idea what to expect as the music I had checked out from their back catalogue was as sporadic as it was random. Though they seemed like great musicians and despite flashes of brilliance during their set, I simply could not get into their sound. It was like indie rock combined with a nervous tick and the random disruptions to any sort of melody left something to be desired. The drummer, complete with his hilarious lack of skilll in talking to the crowd, was a highlight though.

Deerhoof

Anagram/Fucked Up @ Wrongbar

Anagram at Wrongbar

Anagram at Wrongbar

It was impossible to get a great picture of Anagram as a band because the lead singer decided to walk around the crowd the entire set but their hard-hitting sound was a a good lead-in for Fucked Up.

Damian Abraham of Fucked Up

What can you expect from a band with such a loud and brazen sound? A raucous crowd, with people stagediving every 20 seconds, paired with Damian’s passion and not-giving-a-fuck-about-people-in-the-crowd-being-dicks made for an electric set that was one of the highlights of NXNE. Just be sure that you don’t mind being kicked in the face if you intend to get a close look at the band.

Fucked Up at Wrongbar

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