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Stereo Freeze 6.09

June 9, 2009

Another round of concert reviews this time, featuring Monotonix, Clues, and Dog Day.

Concerts You May Have Seen. Winnipeg and Toronto, May, 2009.

Monotonix, Pyramid Cabaret, Winnipeg, May 21st:

Tel Aviv’s Monotonix brought their rock and roll madness to Winnipeg for the first time recently. How this band puts down the type of show they do night after night, in front of crowds both large and small in cities all over the world, is something one has to ponder with a certain degree of awe. Said shows have earned a reputation as one of the most exciting concert experiences going, and even though the band were playing to a small crowd in a big empty club this particular night in Winnipeg, they put on a show that nobody in attendance will forget.

I first saw Monotonix nearly a year ago in Toronto, in a small club packed tightly with people anticipating their performance. This show in Winnipeg was pretty much the opposite, being that it was a big club with a small audience who were not that familiar with the band. I was wondering before they started how it would go, but the show ended up being quite excellent. Well, the Monotonix portion of it, anyway. The night was opened  up by two unbearable nu-metal sort of radio hard rock bands that I have to assume were friends of the promoters. Now, any band that opens for Monotonix is placed into an undesirable position by default, but when those bands are completely lame, it just exacerbates the blown-the-hell-off-the-stage effect.

Anyway, after sitting through over an hour of everything that’s wrong with rock and roll, the crowd was treated to some of what’s so right about it. The Pyramid Cabaret is a large club, full of things to stand or hang on and jump off of, as the crowd was shown. They did their whole schtick, even the playing out in the street, which resulted in a scene that the baffled tenants of the apartment building next door won’t soon forget.

A Monotonix show is an interesting subject of study for numerous reasons that won’t be pursued here, but, suffice it to say that it is an experience which offers some remarkable blurring of lines and loss of self. Nobody else is putting on these kind of euphoric, orgiastic, downright chaotic and dangerous shows, and the band’s reputation is both hard-won and well-deserved. They must see a tremendous amount of smiling faces at every show they do. They’ve got a new record coming out in the fall, too, and from the sounds of what they played at this show, it’s going to be one to watch out for.

*****

Clues, Pyramid Cabaret, Winnipeg, May 25th:

Montréal group Clues had an early tour stop in Winnipeg in support of their brand new record and played to a small, but receptive Monday night crowd. The show was actually quite well-attended for such a new and fairly unknown group who are going the route of minimal internet presence.

The show was opened by local faves Haunter, who have a winning mix of 90s college rock greats going on. They’re one of the best up-and-coming Winnipeg groups, check ’em out. Some matter-bereft noodling, courtesy of another local group came next, and brought everything down a bit. The playing of some quality Israeli [edit: most likely Turkish, actually] psych pop over the PA while Clues set up, however, brought everything back up. Before they played, a couple of their entourage hopped up on the stage to sing what I have to assume was a traditional Hebrew song. No info was given from the stage, so it was a bit mysterious and unexpected, but wonderful, and it captured everyone’s attention for the few minutes they were on.

The Clues set went over well. They played most of the album in great live renditions, with the members all switching instruments for each song. They’re an odd, talented band that will hopefully find an audience and keep going with what they’re doing. Maritime readers can catch the band at this year’s Sappyfest.

*****

Dog Day, Soundscapes and Lee’s Palace, Toronto, May 27th & 28th:

Two shows in two days. The in-store was totally unexpected, actually, and I was fortunate to see it, as I had no idea it was going on. I went to Soundscapes, as it’s one of the shops you have to go to while in Toronto, and bumped into the members of Dog Day outside. Turned out they were getting ready to play an in-store show and I got there right in time. Anyway, they played a short set of songs from Concentration and it was great, and members of Horses and the Constantines, along with Julie Doiron and Fred Squire, who joined Dog Day for the western leg of their tour, were also there to enjoy the performance.

The next night they played a show at Lee’s Palace to a receptive crowd that included many of the same people who were at the in-store. The Concentration material sounds great live, and some of the Night Group tunes made appearances as well. They even covered the Nils. Keep on keepin’ on Dog Day, it’s all working.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 10, 2009 8:40 am

    I’m disappointed all the Monotonix shows out east got cancelled, even though I probably would have missed them anyway due to being in Boston for the Melvins.

    • passerine songs permalink*
      June 10, 2009 5:37 pm

      Yeah, those cancellations stunk, but they’ll be touring again before long. If they ever really stop touring, that is.

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  1. 2009 – The Shows « Gunshy

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