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Constantines, Attack In Black

06-May-2008 12:49 AM Contributed by: pete Concert Reviews
Constantines
Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto, Ontario
Photos and Review by: Pete Nema
Constantines
Attack In Black
May 1, 2008
Full Photo Set (12 photos)

There's a reason the Phoenix was packed last Thursday night, and it's a simple one: The Constantines are just really amazing on stage. They've got this thing where they come out and play really well to grab your interest, then they go down a path that Bryan Webb (vocals, guitar) describes as the ballad section of the evening (which still rocks pretty hard), and then out of nowhere they morph it back into a full-fledged rock show, emanating energy that feeds the crowd. And this time around it was pretty much a double-bill with Attack In Black opening, another band of great musicians.

Constantines

The first time I witnessed the Constantines was just over a year ago near the end of March 2007 at Lee's Palace. The night was filled with beer, spit, and energy. It was a charged performance, and I got the same sense of the energy being transferred to the crowd then as I did last Thursday. The difference this time was that the venue was bigger and the crowd was almost twice the size. But no matter where I stood – up at the front for the first 8 songs or near the back for the rest – I could feel the crowd soaking it up.

Constantines
Constantines
Constantines

Dallas Wehrle (bass) was decidedly more hairy this time around, carrying around a full beard. It didn't really change anything, though, he still contributes this wild-bassist edge to his side of the stage, while Will Kidman (keyboards) and Steve Lambke (guitar, vocals) back up Webb from the other side. Lambke does lead vocals for a few of the songs, and when he does there's something about his style that reminds me a bit of The Hold Steady.

Constantines
Constantines
Constantines

They played a full set that included some older stuff such as Justice from their 2001 self-titled album. And just like last year, they concluded the encore with Thunderstruck, originally by AC/DC. In fact, I had forgotten they did that last year until part way through the song, and both times I found it a little surprising. But it's not uncommon to end a show with a cover and they played with a heavy Constantines spin, so in a way, it puts a nice cap on the evening. With Constantines recently signing to Arts & Crafts and even more recently releasing their first album on that label, Kensington Heights, there's likely more great things to come for this hard working band.

Info: Constantines | Connect: MySpace, Facebook

Attack In Black

I've seen Attack In Black perform a few times (July '07, Oct '07, Mar '08), and every time I do, I'm impressed with the fingers of Daniel Romano (vocals, guitar) and the brilliant percussion by his brother Ian Romano, as well as the work by Ian Kehoe (bass) and Spencer Burton (guitar). They've got this very real, sincere stage presence, and it was backed up this time with concern for the crowd. Part way through one of the songs, a guy near the front passed out. The people around him got him back on his feet and he seemed to be mostly alright, although after another minute the guy decided to leave the area near the stage. Between songs, Daniel stopped to ask the fans near the front if the guy was alright. He didn't explain to the rest of the room what happened (I'm sure it wasn't visible to 90% of the crowd), so he seemed to ask it out of real concern. Anyway, concern for the crowd aside, they played a very cool set that noticeably excluded their hit Young Leaves, for better or worse. They're touring with Tokyo Police Club right now, Virgin Festival Calgary in June, and will be playing Edgefest Toronto in July.

Attack In Black
Attack In Black
Attack In Black


Info: Attack In Black | Connect: MySpace

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