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Amos The Transparent @ Sneaky Dee's (Photos and Review)

28-Jan-2009 05:00 AM Contributed by: pete Concert Reviews
Amos The Transparent
Amos The Transparent
Fox Jaws, Modernboys Moderngirls, AfterpartY
Sneaky Dee's in Toronto, Ontario on January 23, 2009
Full Photo Set (19 photos)

The venue upstairs at Sneaky Dee's showcases some of the more eccentric and experimental music you'll get to see in Toronto (if you disagree, please check out my photos from The Robot Ate Me), but last Friday was a much more regular night there with Modernboys Moderngirls, Fox Jaws, AfterpartY, and one of my current favourite independent bands Amos The Transparent.

Amos The Transparent

For Amos The Transparent, it was their set during NXNE last year that really stood out and got me hooked. I had seen them a few other times, always with a different number of band members (as few as 4 and as many as 8), and the results varied from pretty good to really good, but just hadn't reached that level of amazing that they displayed at NXNE. Now in 2009, they played recently at the Rancho Relaxo, and although I couldn't be there, friends told me that the performance was pretty close to the NXNE show. Seeing them at Sneaky Dee's last Friday resulted in a similar sensation.

Amos The Transparent  Amos The Transparent

I think Amos The Transparent has finally found a band line-up that brings out the best in their music with just the right number of band members, and the band members have figured out the optimal way to play together. Their stage sound has evolved over the past year, and it just feels like it has all come together just right. Even though there is still a strong base of folk-rock that emanates from Jonathan Chandler (vocals, guitar), what they produce as a group is more powerful, and with new sense of indie-rock injected.

Amos The Transparent  Amos The Transparent

Some of this change can be attributed to the addition of Daniel Hay (guitar) who adds just the right amount of edge to the music, as well as Katie Cooke (backup vocals). The song I'm On Trial is a good example; it is a gentle song on the album, but is transformed into an anthemic indie-pop masterpiece when played live. Another favourite, (Here's To) New Beginnings, is definitely true to the recorded version, but with just enough additional emotion on stage to really make it stand out. See for yourself when they return to Toronto to play the Tattoo Rock Parlour on February 12th.

Amos The Transparent  Amos The Transparent

Info: Amos The Transparent | Connect: MySpace, Facebook
Media: (Here's To) New Beginnings (mp3)

Fox Jaws

I've run into Fox Jaws a couple of times, and although they always put on a visually energetic performance, the music has never really grabbed me. I like to be there, I always enjoy the performance, but I just hadn't experienced the "Ah-ha" moment with their music. Yet. But the way they delivered their last song of the set was pretty astounding, and if you were there, you may have noticed an expression of "Oh, I get it now" on my face.

Fox Jaws  Fox Jaws

Fox Jaws 

Fox Jaws  Fox Jaws

Info: Fox Jaws | Connect: MySpace
Media: Karmonica (mp3), Quarantine Girl (mp3)

Modernboys Moderngirls

The first time I saw Modernboys Moderngirls, I commented on the fact that despite the equality-of-sexes the band name implies, four of the six people on stage were actually male. At Sneaky Dee's, that comment seemed way outdated given that this time they played as an all-male two-piece: Akira Alemany (vocals, guitar) and Brett Millius (drums). As a two piece, their music comes out a lot more like powerful garage-rock than their name implies, which just served to further emphasize the disconnect between their band name and their sound. Out of the two performances, I preferred the six-piece due to the additional instrumentation and vocals, but was pretty surprised how good the songs sounded with just the two of them.

Modernboys Moderngirls  Modernboys Moderngirls

Info: Modernboys Moderngirls | Connect: MySpace, Facebook
Media: My Baby Says Boy, Don't You Ever Go (mp3)

AfterpartY

I made it to Sneaky Dee's just in time for the last half of the last song of AfterpartY. I spent a few minutes setting up my camera, and then, suddenly the set was over. Still, it was long enough to notice that Kristina (vocals) brings a bag of charisma with her on stage. If you go to see them at The MOD Club on March 28th, you'll see what I mean.

AfterpartY 

Info: AfterpartY | Connect: MySpace, Facebook

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