3/4's of Holy Fuck @ Harbourfront: photo by Michael Ligon
Part of the Beats, Breaks and Culture festival down at Harbourfront Centre last Friday Night, openers Winter Gloves and headliners Holy Fuck took to the Sirius Stage.
Montreal electro-pop act Winter Gloves brought some fun to the stage with their opening set. Sporting nifty melodies, enthused playing and vibrant vocals, the band combined hi-hat drum rhythms, subtle guitar, humming keyboards and a bit of xylophone. Vocalist maintained the most consistent energy at one point standing precariously on his keyboard stool before jumping back down to the floor. Good points aside their sound seemed lost on the large stage and more likely would be better enjoyed in a small venue.
That last point holds the same for Toronto instrumental band Holy Fuck. At the same time, as Holy Fuck are veritable music festival veterans having played many festivals including Glastonbury, I'd expected a more intense live set. Holy Fuck's brand of instrumental beat driven music combines live rock instrumentation like drums and bass with analog keyboards and other effects doodads creating the impression of electronic beat-driven music without using samplers. Sonically it's as exciting as one could imagine. However, the band positioned themselves and their instruments centrally onstage and while they'd exude enough energy locally I don't think the band made much of an effort to extend that energy towards the outer reaches of the audience. My impression was that there was a good amount of audience energy especially those directly in front of the band(and I was one of those in the front as I'd had a photo pass for the first 3 songs) but there was a dirth of energy especially near the back and to the side (where I ended up after the first 3 songs) where people seemed more concerned about talking and drinking rather than listening to the band. A comparison to last year's headliners Crystal Castles is useful - though Crystal Castles are only two persons, they(especially vocalist Alice Glass) created such an intensity with their energy(combined with their bordering-on-epileptic light show) that you couldn't be helped but be drawn in from whereever you were standing. So Holy Fuck did rock, but they could rock so much harder I'm sure.
Photos: Holy Fuck, Winter Gloves @ Harbourfront Centre - Sirius Stage (July 10, 2009)
MySpace: Winter Gloves
MySpace: Holy Fuck
Going to see Neko Case tonight at Massey Hall and I have a front row seat!
Also I'm excited about Echo and The Bunnymen coming to town on October 20 for a show at Queen Elizabeth Theatre to perform their classic album "Ocean Rain" with an orchestra! I bought my ticket last Friday just in case, and although I don't think it's a rapid-fire seller, I suggest not dawdling too long.
Finally, the lineup for this year's Virgin Festival Ontario was announced today. A 2-day fest happening Aug 29-30 at Burl's Creek Park in Orillia.