Friday, November 12, 2010

Concert Review: Grinderman, Armen Ra - The Phoenix Concert Theatre - Toronto, ON - November 11, 2010

Grinderman kicked of their North American tour last night in Toronto to a packed house at The Phoenix.  The supporting act was Armen Ra, a Theremin player who looked like Pee Wee Herman and played what I can only describe as music to play while levitating.  This was, without doubt, the most out-of-place opening act I have ever seen.  It would be the equivalent of having Zamphir open for Slayer.  Ra did his thing, whatever the hell it was, and went on his merry way.  I have never seen a crowd so angry and confused at the same time... truly bizarre.  The only question I have is, why?

After a quick sound-check, Nick Cave and the rest of Grinderman took to the stage and turned it up to 11, well, more like 14 actually.  I could feel the bass in my chest as the band opened up with "Mickey Mouse and the Goodbye Man".  In true Cave fashion, it was aggressive and powerful.  Throughout the set, Grinderman delivered a healthy selection of tunes from their new album including "Kitchenette", "Heathen Child", "Worm Tamer" and "Palaces of Montezuma". 

They also played material from their debut album, including an inspired version of "No Pussy Blues", "Get It On" and "Honey Bee (Let's Fly to Mars)".  For those who are familiar with Nick Cave, you know he is a showman.  He always puts it all on the table and leaves nothing behind - and last night was no different.  Overall it was a great show. I will look forward to the next time Cave comes to town.


Mickey Mouse and the Goodbye Man
Worm Tamer
Get It On
Heathen Child
When My Baby Comes
What I Know
Honey Bee (Let's Fly to Mars)
No Pussy Blues
Bell Ringer Blues


Palaces Of Montezuma
When My Love Comes Down
Man in the Moon
Love Bomb

Monday, November 8, 2010

Concert Review: Joel Plaskett, David Myles - River Run Centre - Guelph, ON - November 5, 2010

On a brisk November night in Guelph, the vibe inside the River Run Centre was warm, lighthearted and electric, in anticipation of the 'Rock N' Roll show'.  Entering, stage right, with his gray suit, glasses and geeky, yet GQ style (he looked like a banker) - David Myles opened up the show with a short, but engaging set. This included some of his older songs, mixed in with a couple of tunes from his new album, "Turn Time Off" (produced by Joel).  His witty anecdotes fit right into the mood of the evening and the sold out crowd definitely warmed to Mr. Myles.

Joel took the stage after a brief intermission and jumped right into his set with a killer version of "Make a Little Noise".  He was in fine form, and mixing it up chronologically - playing plenty of tracks from "Three", but also a healthy balance of tunes from his entire catalogue.  After a few tunes by his lonesome, he welcomed his father, Bill Plaskett, on stage to join him.  Their harmonies were bang-on, it was certainly an enjoyable twist to the evening.

Some of the show highlights included "Down at the Khyber", "Every Time You Leave", "Heartless, Heartless, Heartless", "Nowhere With You", "Sailor's Eyes", "Deny, Deny, Deny" and a couple of brand new tunes - "Island Girls and Harbour Boys" and I think the other one was called "I'm Yours".

Other highlights included Joel rocking out to a back-track of "Fashionable People" playing on his iPod, the Casio styling of "Rewind, Rewind" Rewind", a rocking acoustic rendition of "Through & Through & Through" and a brilliant combined effort from Joel and Bill on "Rollin', Rollin' Rollin'" to cap the evening!  Thanks for a fantastic evening - Joel, Bill and David.  I should also mention that the RRC in Guelph is a great place to see a show.  The acoustics were fantastic and there was not a bad seat in the house.