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The Apples In Stereo

24-Feb-2007 06:24 AM Contributed by: pete Concert Reviews
The Apples In Stereo
February 20, 2007
Lee's Palace in Toronto, Ontario
Photos and Review by: Pete Nema

Full Photo Set (20 photos)
Apples In Stereo

Formed (more or less) in 1993 as part of the Elephant 6 collective, a group of like-minded indie bands that included Neutral Milk Hotel, Apples In Stereo have been producing full length albums since 1995. Although the band had a recent lineup change with the departure of Hilarie Sidney (drums), their indie-pop sound has stayed the path led by frontman Robert Schneider. Schneider recently appeared on The Colbert Report "Green Screen Challenge" singing a tribute to Stephen Colbert that helped bring some additional attention to the band. I discovered Apples In Stereo in mid-2003, and since then I've been listening to their back catalogue fairly regularly. Their 60's inspired music has a pleasing lo-fi sound that has helped put Apples In Stereo in my overall top 50 bands.

Apples In Stereo
Apples In Stereo
Spaceman
Apples In Stereo
Guitar Hero

But despite the recorded lo-fi sound, Apples In Stereo have a big indie-rock fullness during their stage show. The show was started by the keyboard player entering the stage wearing an 1950's B-movie alien spaceman costume with LED-lit glasses. After a short musical intro, the five other band members joined him on stage to open the show with Go, a song from their 2000 release The Discovery Of A World Inside The Moone. Schneider's guitar playing is an obvious on-stage attraction, with sharp, skilled sequences and lots of fiery fills.

Apples In Stereo
Apples In Stereo
Apples In Stereo
Yellow Star

Schneider was also quite personable; he regularly paused to chat with the crowd and responded to comments from the fans. At one point, he stopped to tell the audience a pirate joke. And he dedicated one the songs to Andrew, the artist who created the album art for their most recent CD New Magnetic Wonder, and who was also present in the crowd. Another dedication was made to one of the spirited fans who was right up at the stage, and Rob even bent down to shake hands and knock fists with more than a few fans.

Apples In Stereo
Apples In Stereo
Apples In Stereo

Apples finished off the night with Schneider playing his guitar using a electrical power bar (unplugged) and then a mini-disco ball. He performed a quick on-the-spot arrangement change for Ruby (or was it What's The #?). Even though I'm already fan of Apples, the sound, show, and cool personable behaviour of Schneider made this an even better concert than I expected.

Apples In Stereo
Apples In Stereo
Playing With a Mini Disco Ball
Apples In Stereo
Shaking Hands With The Fans

Casper & The Cookies

Opening for Apples In Stereo was Casper & The Cookies, an energetic and fun band to watch. It was the lead singer's birthday, so there were balloons and cake... although it was hard to tell if the balloons were for the birthday, or just a part of their normal stage show. Check out Casper & The Cookies on MySpace.

Casper & The Cookies
Casper & The Cookies
Casper & The Cookies

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