Saturday, October 20, 2007

Don't Make Me A Target

concert review: Spoon, The Ponys @ Kool Haus (Toronto, Ontario), October 20, 2007

Spoon @ Kool Haus: photo by Michael Ligon

I'm losing my patience for the Kool Haus. I have no problems with it necessarily hosting bands/artists that need a large space to accommodate its large fanbase but increasingly it seems that you encounter/observe more and more fuckin' morons at Kool Haus. But more on that later.

4-piece Chicago, Illinois Matador Records band The Ponys opened the show thrashing out a set of tuneful, reverb-charged, punky indie rock exhuberance. I had almost made up my mind before the show that I wouldn't like them based on their ambiguous band name and 2007 album cover, so it was a pleasant surprise they had tunes to back up their hype. If you were a fan of the now-defunct The Rock*A*Teens[who I am only casual familiar with, but who I kniw were also purveyors of a similar reverb-soaked production], you'll probably want to check out The Ponys.

When on-the-brink-of-stardom, band-du-jour, Spoon had their show moved from Phoenix to the cavernous Kool Haus, I underestimated the band's draw. At the show last week, I was towards the front but at least from my vantage point it seemed to be a fairly packed house. And a fair amount of young'uns at that[another thing I wouldn't have guessed]. Ashamedly, I only caught on to the band with their album "Gimme Fiction" (which I admitted was likely my favourite album of 2005), but better late than never. I still haven't explored their back catalogue but I got a taste of it at the Kool Haus last week and it's tempting. But the "Gimme Fiction"/"Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga" songs were exciting, especially when the horn section that were in tow got to play like on the most recent album's "You Got Yr Cherry Bomb" and "The Underdog". Britt Daniel was impressed by the response the band got from the Toronto crowd, expressing that Toronto's always treated them well back to the day when the band performed first performed in Toronto at the Horseshoe Tavern. Britt even gave a special shout-out to local promoter Craig Laskey for always looking out for them. There's no doubt that the audience was one of the most enthusiastic Toronto audiences I've seen in a long time, although the group of kids(well a few of them at least) I had the unfortunate experience of standing beside were plain annoying, and obviously loaded. Their misplaced hootin' and hollerin' and flailing elbows was grating after a short while. At one point, Britt had even acknowledged them for their 'enthusiasism'. Oh, if he only knew.

I have a few photos from the show over at my Flickr.

MySpace: Spoon
MySpace: The Ponys

More reviews(some good, some not so good) of the show over at Eye Weekly, Torontoist, Just Keep Bloggin', the local black and red, Wolves, Hawks and Kites, Thick Specs, and The Panic Manual.

adangca has some video clips from the show.

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