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illScarlett

24-Dec-2007 10:17 PM Contributed by: pete Concert Reviews
illScarlett
The Opera House in Toronto, Ontario
Photos and Review by: Pete Nema
illScarlett
Down With Webster
December 21, 2007
Full Photo Set (24 photos)

One more illScarlett show to finish the year! And I was thinking I wouldn't bother writing about the concert given that I have written about them many times this year already. The thing is, there are a few things worth saying, but I'll keep it short. Oh, you have to check out the opening band from Friday night: Down With Webster, a band that lives and grew up in my area of the city. (Unrelated note: This is my 200th article on this site. Wow.)

illScarlett

illScarlett managed to sell out and perform two full-length shows on the same night at The Opera House. Their set for the early show started around 7:30 PM, and their late set didn't start until just after midnight. Both good performances, encased in a show filled with special effects such as fake snow with black lights, fluorescent green Christmas trees, blasts of steam, showers of confetti, and a big bang of streamers to finish the show.

It could've gone either way, but the truth is that the late show ended up being better than the early set. In fact, their late set was the best I've seen them play. When Alex (vocals, guitar) had the chance, he moved away from the mic to make space for his energy level. Jonny (bass) and Will (lead guitar) tore up the stage for most of the concert, showing great interaction with each other, and with the audience too. Even Swav was more active on the drum kit. They all truly looked like they were having a great time, and based on their reactions backstage afterwards, it wasn't just an act. The show ended late, not long before closing time.

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Info & Connect: illScarlett on MySpace

Down With Webster

I ran into Down With Webster for the first time just over 3 years ago at the Beaches Jazz Festival (uh, they definitely push the definition of jazz) and liked what I saw, so I picked up their CD. I saw them there again the next year, with a much larger crowd, and a police presence that surrounded the area cracking down on non-Jazz Festival like behaviour. I think they've now been banned from the Jazz Festival, but they are definitely on to bigger and better things. It's a large group with about 11-12 people on stage, including a brass section. Lead vocals are handed off between a few of the members. At centre stage, oriented sideways for full effect, is Andrew Martino on drums whose wardrobe consists only of gold shoes, knee high sport socks, and underpants (see photos). It all works well together as they play some killer grooves incorporating hip-hop, pop, some classic rock, and yes, a touch of jazz. There were two massive stand-outs in their set, the first being an original song called Grind (go listen to it on MySpace and then imagine it fuller and with more energy), and the second was a Websterized version of Hall & Oates song Rich Girl.

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Info: Down With Webster | Connect: MySpace

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