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Asobi Seksu / The Horseshoe, 20-Sept-06

22-Sep-2006 03:42 AM Contributed by: pete Concert Reviews
Asobi Seksu
September 20, 2006
The Horseshoe in Toronto, Ontario
Review and Photos by: Pete Nema

Full photo set: Asobi Seksu
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Asobi Seksu is a band out of New York currently on tour to promote their latest album Citrus. The front woman, Yuki, a petite woman of Japanese descent, plays keyboards and provides vocals in both English and Japanese. She is backed by three men hiding in the darkness playing guitar, bass, and drum kit. Before the band made a move for their instruments, they decorated the mic stands and amplifiers with strings of decorative lights. After two songs and multiple requests from both Yuki and James Hanna (guitar) to lower the lights even more, the band was finally under the cover of dim light, exposed only by the subdued red gels, the decorative lighting, and the occasional (and inconsistent) strobe light.

Hanna is a dextrous guitar player, who leads the well constructed musical backdrop for Yuki's vocals. And while Yuki sings, she lightly touches the keyboard adding an ethereal sound. The mixture of shoegazer pop and smooth girlish vocals produce a strange and unique mixture that brought an approximately equal number of male and female fans to the show.

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The Asobi Seksu website reveals that their band name means Playful Sex, which perhaps was their incentive to get off the stage so quickly. After a 50 minute set, they took a very quick break offstage and returned for about another 10 minutes, totalling almost exactly 1 hour of stage time. Perhaps they were just being thoughtful toward their fans with day-jobs (as the nice guy next to me suggested), or perhaps they're used to playing in NYC where it's not uncommon to have two or three shows a night that last exactly one hour each. (Ask me about that someday, and I'll rant for you). Even though I'll admit Yuki's vocals were starting to lose their appeal for me, I could've easily listened to another half hour or so of Hanna and crew.

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