Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Dears @ Sonic Boom, Toronto (February 17, 2011)

The Dears @ Sonic Boom

In celebration of their most recent full-length Degeneration Street, and touted as a comeback of sorts, The Dears played an entertaining instore set in the basement of Sonic Boom last Thursday night. With founding members and husband and wife, Murray Lightburn and Natalia Yanchak, welcoming back into the fold were keyboardist/guitarist Rob Benvie, guitarist Patrick Kief, bassist Roberto Arquilla (who'd been in an early incarnation of the band prior to 2001), and current drummer Jeff Luciani. The band was in good spirits, especially vocalist Lightburn dressed in all black including his nerd-chic eyeglass frames. Acting like a loveable goof, Lightburn exclaimed "aww snap" when just before the band was to start Benvie was experiencing technical difficulties with his keyboards. Later Lightburn would call out Pitchfork on their recent 2.4 rating of the band's new album, then jokingly exclaimed to the audience that they're still 'indie-rock'. The band played four songs from the new album, stripping away some of orchestral/athemic qualities of their past work and the dourness of their previous album Missiles for a more upbeat direct approach. Don't get me wrong - they still sound like The Dears, Murray still sings with a certain Morrissey-inflection, and the music still has an Anglophilic feel, but the new songs I'd heard thankfully were more direct and weren't mired in cacaphonic wankery. The band ended the short but sweet set with an invigorating version of "Hate Then Love" from their album Gang of Losers.

NOW Magazine has a a clip of The Dears from the Sonic Boom instore. has a review of the show plus audio of the whole Sonic Boom instore set available for download.

Photos: The Dears @ Sonic Boom, Toronto (February 17, 2011)
MySpace: The Dears

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