Friday, May 9, 2008

Live:: The Coast @ The Marquee

I feel a little bad billing this show as only The Coast, but typing the names of the other bands in the title would make it uber long, and in reality it was The Coast I dragged myself downtown on a rainy Thursday night to see. The Toronto quartet was sandwiched between fellow Torontonians The Matavaras and Halifax odd squad Heavy Meadows. It was a slightly strange mix, considering the different styles of the three bands, but overall I think the smallish crowd was pretty pleased with the evening.

The Matavaras kicked things off, and although based in Toronto, three of the members hail from Nova Scotia. They seemed pretty happy to be back in NS and even happier to be playing before a decent sized, receptive crowd. Sounds like they've played some less than stellar gigs on this tour, and I'm sure they were doubly pleased by all the friends and family that showed up. I knew nothing about these guys, but as I discovered, they play a riff-heavy, almost 70's sounding rock that was warmly received by the crowd. I thought they were solid, if not spectacular, but they seem, to me at least, to be a young band still learning their craft. Their stage presence is developing too, and if I could offer them one piece of surely unsolicited advice: if you're going to bring up a dude to make a cameo on the mandolin, perhaps it should be plugged in. At the very least make sure we can hear it.

The Coast were on next, and quite frankly, they killed it, even though only a few people noticed. I wasn't even sure it was them at first to be honest, as they ripped through three songs before identifying themselves. But even when I wasn't sure if it was them or Heavy Meadows (of course after seeing Heavy Meadows it would be impossible to ever mix them up again), I was thinking to myself "man, these guys are good". Other than perhaps some witty banter, they had pretty much everything you like in a love act - tight sound, efficiency (they went from one song to the next in mere seconds), and boundless energy. The whole band brought the energy, but frontman Ben Spurr led the charge, bouncing from his electric to acoustic for a great version of Killing Off Our Friends, and on to the Piano to do Nueva York. Just a great set in my opinion, despite the fact there were a lot of people talking while they were playing. I'd certainly recommend checking out The Coast if they're playing your town (check their dates in our show preview post).

Heavy Meadows finished the evening. Boy did they. I knew nothing about them, other than hearing their name a couple times, so although I was tired and saw what I came to see, I thought I should stick around and see what the Meadows are about. They're kind of about strangeness, as they tried to add an eclectic/arty flair to their set. It was kind of an odd setup, that brought to mind an Arcade Fire song being done on the Christmas Daddies telethon. That sounds meaner than I intend it to be, but that's what came to mind. They started with some slower songs, and gradually increased the tempo with some loungey rock songs that got some people out grooving on the floor - they definitely had some fans in the crowd. They also had their female tambourine/shaker/clapper boards player bring our a big bag of balloons and bat them into the crowd, which kind of went over like a balloon of the lead variety. It was interesting, but I don't have much else to say as I bailed about five songs in.

Anyway, it was a solid evening and I should say big up to herohill associates Malcolm, Barbara, and Kimber for making it out to the show.

Posted at 10:10 PM by naedoo :: 2 comments

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At 11:52 AM, Anonymous matthew did sayeth:

A love act, eh? ;)

 

At 12:08 PM, Blogger naedoo did sayeth:

Of course. When I love a live act I just cut out the middle man and call it a love act. It's efficient, everyone should do it.

 

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