Monday, December 13, 2004

I Feel Love

  • concert review: The New Deal w/ Madrid @ The Opera House(Toronto, Ontario), December 10, 2004

    The New Deal @ @ The Opera House(Toronto, Ontario), December 10, 2004: photo by Mike LigonIt's been quite a while since I'd been to The Opera House. I believe the last time I was there was during the summer to see Zero 7, so it was nice to be back. I just love the atmosphere there. This show was actually a show I went to because my brother was interested in seeing The New Deal live. I had told him I had seen The New Deal live this past Canada Day(July 1) and my brother had mentioned that when he was in Vancouver last year(or maybe the year before; I can't remember exactly) he said that he had seen this band called Velvet whom he purchased a CD from and they had mentioned that he should check a band called The New Deal. So my brother asked me if I wanted to go and I agreed....which reminds me that I still owe him $20.

    My brother and I got to The Opera House about a half hour before openers Madrid. Madrid came onto the stage around 10 pm. Since I had never heard of them, for a moment I thought the three people[two gents and a woman] behind the merch table were actually the members of Madrid. I was kind of excited for a moment because I thought Madrid might turn out to be some sort of female-fronted trip-hop group. No such luck but the four young gentleman that comprised Madrid created some decent music. My impressions of their music conjured thoughts of ambient music, dance music, New Order, Moby and even U2. The U2 influence, at least in my opinion, was reflected in the guitar sound. Madrid's music alternated between upbeat rhythmic, drum and bass driven tunes and more ambient textured dance songs. The vocals were neither here nor there but they were pleasant enough. To compare them to another band, I'd say that Madrid were a rock-ier version of Junior Boys.

    Hometown lads, The New Deal delivered the goods that night, as I suspect they do almost every night. I must repeat a phrase I used previously: "shit, their music's HOT". There was no discernible difference in the energy level of the band during this show and their show I attended on Canada Day this past summer. The guys were just full of energy, and considering how long these guys could play[upwards of two hours], I'd like to know what they're taking. Keyboards/sequencers were setup to the left of the stage, the bassist at the center and the drums to the right. This was the same setup as their Canada Day concert, so I'm assuming this is their usual setup. My brother and I were basically right up in front near the keyboards; well actually I sort of got separated several feet from my brother because I decided to position myself right up front near the stage to take some photos. And when the music started, it was quite trance inducing. The house beats and break beats really took over. Throw in some creative keyboards/electronics noodling and the rumble of the bass and the music over the course of two hours was stylistically quite varied. Less of a jazz influence this time[considering the band was playing the Toronto Jazz Festival this past Canada Day], the band was much more dance-oriented, choosing for the most part, upbeat house-influenced numbers with playful keyboard arrangements. On one number, the keyboardist segued into the melody of the Dead or Alive song "You Spin Me Round". On another number the drummer showed off his adequate beatbox skills while he accompanied himself on the bass drum. I'll say I wasn't too shabby on the dance floor that night and that's the strength of The New Deal; the compulsion to dance is so strong, that it's hard to deny. And if you're afraid that you might be the only one, well from standpoint I'd say that at least 5 rows of people back from the stage, if not more, were getting jiggy[I know the term is so 1997, but screw it]. Towards the end of the set, the band surprised the audience with guest vocalist Martina Sorbara who performed with the band on a down-tempo trip hop number. The played their set until around 1 am and I would have thought the marathon of a night would have ended there, but the band came back for a brief encore. I usually judge the success of a good live show by my adrenalin level at the end of the night. Considering that the show ended around 1:30 am and I'd been dancing in one form or another for a good 2 hours, I was on quite a natural high at the end of the night. ...And it did wonders for my cold, at least temporarily.

  • SHOT has his top concert picks for 2004. SHOT also has news that Feist will provide guest vocals on an upcoming Massive Attack album.

  • I don't know Portuguese, but I found it interesting that Karmageddon's[from Lisbon, Portugal] favourite CD's of 2004 include the likes of The Dears("No Cities Left"), Feist("Let It Die") and Rufus Wainwright("Want two"). Yes, Canada rules...even in Europe.

  • And lastly, on a personal note I must express that Christmas for me has swung into full gear. The giddiness of Christmas wore off long ago for me and I primarily enjoy it vicariously through the enjoyment of the season by my nephews and cousins' children. Shopping is just a pain in the ass though, and I really hate crowds. I have to get off my ass and finish my Christmas shopping; I've only bought one present so far. Over the weekend, I had two Christmas dinners, and if you count last Friday when a friend and I went to Tucker's Marketplace, well that's alot of food. By the end of next week, I will have had 3 office-related Christmas lunches. And my worst habit during December: buying myself things when I should be hinting to people to buy them for me. ;-)

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