LIVE: Blood Brothers Get The Indie Kids Screaming Friday March 30, 2007 @ 04:30 PM
By: ChartAttack.com Staff March 28, 2007
by Shehzaad Jiwani
Nobody sees it coming, but we all become less excited to go to concerts as we grow older. Somewhere down the road, you stop lining up in the bitter cold for your favourite band and you begin to stroll in after the headliners have already started, content to cross your arms casually somewhere in the back.
I'll admit to being guilty of this, but that only makes it that much sweeter when a band can lure me to the front row. The Blood Brothers
are one of the few bands who manage to do this every time they come to town, and they did so once again, only four months after their last stop in Toronto.
A huge reason for this was having such an incredible supporting bill. First up were Toronto boys DD/MM/YYYY
. Considering the amount of shows they play around the area, it's uncanny how I've managed to miss them each time, but I'm glad I caught this set. Trying to describe this band's sound is impossible. The guys play a weird mix of groovy, mathematical, electronic, quasi-danceable post-punk that's augmented with Nintendo-sounding keyboards. Sound weird? That's because it is, but in the best sort of way. Once you see them collectively writhing on the floor, you'll have witnessed a live experience unlike any other. I implore anyone seeking a unique rock act to check them out the next time they play your town, which will undoubtedly be very soon.
Next up were Chinese Stars
, a post-punk act featuring ex-Arab On Radar members Eric Paul and Craig Kureck. The quartet's caustic dance-punk was perfectly suited for the Blood Brothers' audience, and they won over most of the crowd with songs from their latest album, Listen To Your Left Brain. Between Paul's suggestive pantomimes and guitarist Paul Vieira's inventive guitar playing, the Stars were one of the most engaging bands of the night.
The weakest link were easily Celebration
, who joined the headliners when they played the Phoenix last November. The trio's percussion-heavy indie pop was entertaining, but considering the strength of the previous two acts, and the fact that every one of their songs sound exactly the same, most of the audience was ready for them to leave by their fourth or fifth track. That they weren't booed off the stage seemed solely due to the fact that Morgan Henderson, Cody Votolato and Mark Gajadhar of the Blood Brothers were filling in on various instruments and everyone was probably just being polite.
The Blood Bros are known to throw curveballs in their sets, but it still came as a surprise when they opened with two Burn Piano Island Burn favourites, "Guitarmy" and "Ambulance Vs. Ambulance." From this point on, the crowd was in a frenzy. Every song broought raised fists and mass singalongs, and considering neither Johnny Whitney nor Jordan Blilie talk that much, it's a testament to just how damn catchy their songs are.
Catchy, yet still aggressive as ****. It's interesting to note that the band's hardcore fanbase (that is to say, their fans who got into them when they were a "hardcore" band) has almost completely dwindled over the years. They're a rare band who have 75 per cent screaming in their songs and still get the indie kids to show up to their concerts.
This doesn't mean people weren't going crazy, however. The Seattle boys stuck closely to songs off their excellent last album, Young Machetes, and songs like "Vital Beach," "You're The Dream Unicorn!" and "We Ride Skeletal Lightning" sounded twice as, er, vital as the Crimes cuts they've been playing for the last few years. It's obvious the fans think so too, as they went absolutely nuts during album opener "Set Fire To The Face On Fire" and didn't complain when they left out fan favourite "Trash Flavored Trash."
After leaving the stage with a phenomenal closer, "Giant Swan," the guys came back for a rousing encore with the now-obligatory "Cecilia And The Silhouette Saloon." Even though they barely played for an hour for their first Toronto headlining gig in almost two years, the Blood Brothers put on a wholly satisfying set. They're the kind of act that warrants repeated viewings for two reasons: They'll always be playing with someone interesting, and they'll keep things fresh no matter how many times you see them.