Library Voices @ The Horseshoe, Toronto (Photos and Review)
27-Jul-2009 12:00 am
Contributed by: pete
One great satisfaction is when I go see a band just because I sort of like a few of their songs, and they completely surprise me with an awesome set. It was Tuesday (always free at The Horseshoe) and Library Voices were scheduled to play, along with Arietta and Black Diamond Bay. Library Voices have been on my list of bands to go see since February of this year, which is when I acquired their current EP entitled Hunting Ghosts. But that was months ago and this particular night rolled up on me so quickly that I hadn't listened to their EP since then. I couldn't even remember what their music sounded like, but I'm glad I got my night sorted out because... yes, they were definitely one of the better independent bands I've seen this year.
The first noticeable thing about Regina-based Library Voices is the number of people on stage – there were nine people crammed onto the stage at The Horseshoe. I'm impressed enough when a band with four members is able to keep it together for a tour, and when I think about what it must take to organize nine people, I just prefer just to clear my mind and be thankful I'm in the audience. From where I stood, this was one of those shows that resulted in a pattern of thought that I love to experience; it goes something like: "Who are these people?", "That song sounded pretty good", "Wait, that was good too", "This song is even more amazing", and then it all just clicks.
In terms of style, they play indie-pop-rock that is not completely dissimilar to their hometown colleagues Rah Rah, but tends more toward rock. Even though I couldn't remember the music going into the venue, I did recognize two of the songs from their EP when played: Love In The Age Of Absurdity and Step Off The Map & Float. Both were better-than-the-EP renditions, and since the show I've gone back and listened to those songs repeatedly. It wasn't just those two songs, though, just about every other song on the set list had something in it for me. For nine players, they were tighter than I would've expected. This is a fun band to listen to at home, but a pretty amazing band to watch. They took a few songs to win me over, but once that happened, the set just kept getting better.
I'm definitely looking forward to seeing them again, and fortunately for all of us, the next opportunity is this Tuesday night, July 28th, 10pm, at The Horseshoe. Another free show, so there's not much to lose by being there. Very highly recommended.
Info: Library Voices | Connect: MySpace, Facebook, Twitter
Media: Love In The Age Of Absurdity (mp3)
After releasing a full-length CD entitled Migration in May this year, Arietta is now amidst an eleven date tour through Southern Ontario, including three dates in Toronto. Their frenetic stage presence was lots of fun to watch, including some out-of-control tambourine playing, along with a few songs that included brain-pleasing changes surrounded by music that reminded me vaguely of bands like Moneen. I heard more than a couple of radio-friendly tunes, laced with some unexpected, yet pleasing, guitar.
Info: Arietta | Connect: MySpace, Facebook
Black Diamond Bay
Black Diamond Bay released their debut album, Calm Awaits, at the end of March, and have been playing in Toronto every now and then, although from what I understand, their hometown of Montreal hasn't been so fortunate. I always enjoy watching Patrick Krief (vocals, guitar) go from a (reasonably) mild-mannered guitarist at the beginning of the show to a Hendrix-possessed guitar slinger for the grand finale.
Info: Black Diamond Bay | Connect: MySpace, Facebook