Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Hidden Cameras @ Harbourfront Centre, Toronto (July 1, 2012)

  Joel Gibb: photo by Michael Ligon

Toronto's loss is Berlin's gain ever since The Hidden Cameras Joel Gibb moved to the latter about 7 years ago, so when comes back to Toronto to play a hometown show, it's an extra special treat. The last time they rolled through town was in 2009, timed around the release of their last album Origin: Orphan, when they played shows in October(@ Goodhandy's) and December(@ The Opera House) of that year, so when the band came to Harbourfront Centre to play the annual Canada Day show there, I had to be there. Gibb alluded to a new Hidden Cameras new album, which subsequently I'd came across an interview Gibb did with  Signal in which he reveals the album will be out in 2013 and will be a "...darker and more experimental affair."

The show wasn't as raucous as their live shows in year's past but still it was an enjoyable show. Lost count of the number of people on stage but there was Joel and his band, plus a horn section and a 6 member, equal parts male / female backup choir. And they had Toronto drummer of The Bicycles and Sheezer, Dana Snell behind the kit which was a nice surprise. Overall it was a great way to spend Canada Day.

Brief review of the show over at Gray Owl Point and Mechanical Forest Sound has a few recordings from the show.

  the choir: photo by Michael Ligon

  The Hidden Cameras: photo by Michael Ligon

More photos at the link below.

Photos: The Hidden Cameras @ Harbourfront Centre, Toronto (July 1, 2012)

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Nellie Mckay, Becca Stevens Band @ Horseshoe Tavern, part of Toronto Jazz Festival (June 30, 2012)

  Nellie Mckay: photo by Michael Ligon

I'll try to roll out the rest of photos from the the shows I went to during the summer and forward starting with the enticing Nellie McKay. She played an intimate show at the Horseshoe Tavern at the end of June on the second last night of the Toronto Jazz Festival.

Brooklyn artist Becca Stevens and her band, playing as a trio, played a set of jazz-inflected pop and folk including their ace Smiths' cover of "There is a Light That Never Goes Out". Stevens and her vocals were obviously the most intriguing components, and her bandmates competent but not all that distinct but it was a fine set for the most part.

Looking back in the archives I found that that night was the exact date in 2004 that Nellie played Lee's Palace to what I  recall was a sold out crowd. Back then she had an appeal that had crossed over to the indie crowd that had Pitchfork and the like fawning all over her. However, six years later, and  found the Horseshoe crowd unusually light - not empty, but not sold out by a long shot. Playing solo, on keyboards and occasionally on ukelele she was as charming I'd remembered her, maybe more eccentric than  remembered her. She played a bunch of songs from her debut "Get Away From Me" and a bunch of others I wasn't familiar with. She played a Beatles medley. She did a little reggae, complete with crowd participation. It was all very charming. She ended the night with a crowd request, Sari that completel annihilated the crowd as at one point she screamed "Die Motherfucker". Completely and utterly amazing.

Lithium Magazine and The Panic Manual were also at the show also and their reviews are much better articulated, so check them out.

Photos: Nellie Mckay @ Horseshoe Tavern, part of Toronto Jazz Festival (June 30, 2012)