Tuesday, May 22, 2012

School Of Seven Bells @ The Hoxton, Toronto (May 2, 2012)

School Of Seven Bells: photo by Michael Ligon
  School Of Seven Bells: photo by Michael Ligon

Several weeks back during Hot Docs (which I was hitting pretty hardcore), I'd also realized that two shows which I'd purchased advance tickets for were taking place during the same week, the first being by New York City group School Of Seven Bells at The Hoxton. The first and only time I'd seen the band live was in October 2010 in their hometown of New York City during the CMJ festival for a headlining bill at Santos Party House. Their set of rhythmic, shoegaze-y, dream-pop was fantastic and the hometown crowd was really enamored with them. That was my last night of CMJ during that year and it was a great way to end the festival. Fast-forward about a year and a half, and here the band were in Toronto promoting their recently released third full-length entitled Ghostory.

With founding member vocalist/keyboardist Claudia Deheza having left the band in 2010, members guitarist Benjamin Curtis and and singer Alejandra Deheza performed as a trio with a drummer during CMJ that year. But as apparent this time around, a fourth member on keyboards and background vocals had been added back into the fold, with the added background vocals melding seamlessly with Alejandra's dreamy vocals. What started out in some ways as a bit mundane, soon picked up steam. I'd only had the pleasure previously of hearing their second album Disconnect From Desire so hearing songs like the ethereal, dream-pop of "Windstorm" were real treats. A respectable-sized crowd was on hand, although not as large as one would hope, but one gets the impression that the band's popularity in Toronto is strictly within cult status. On the contrary, I was thinking the band were more popular than they are, but then in conversation with Chromewaves who was also in attendance, he revealed that the last show he attended back in September 2010 at The Mod Club was quite under-attended. Running through a set and encore in about an hour and change, it was a good set overall. It kind of felt in some ways like the band was running through the motions, but I guess it's a bit discouraging when they still can't fill venues in Toronto.

Chromewaves also has a review of the show.

Photos: School Of Seven Bells @ The Hoxton, Toronto (May 2, 2012)
MySpace: School Of Seven Bells

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