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Concert Review: Plants and Animals, Ruby Coast

23-Sep-2008 01:00 AM Contributed by: pete Concert Reviews
Plants and Animals

The Horseshoe in Toronto, Ontario
Photos and Review by: Pete Nema
Plants and Animals
Ruby Coast
September 18, 2008
Full Photo Set (17 photos)

Last Thursday night with Plants and Animals and Ruby Coast was one of the best shows I've been to this year so far. Plants and Animals calls Montreal home, but kicked off their North American tour playing to a sold-out crowd at The Horseshoe in Toronto. They are a group of three amazingly skilled musicians that genuinely enjoy being on stage and that translates to a group of fans that genuinely enjoy being in the audience. And with Ruby Coast opening the night, it all fell into place just right.

Plants and Animals

Plants and Animals have been short listed for the Polaris Prize coming up on September 29th for their debut full-length album Parc Avenue. The album itself is excellent, and exhibits some artistic qualities that are shared with previous Polaris Prize winners Patrick Watson and Final Fantasy. On stage, percussionist Matthew Woodley has such a distinctive style, with smooth flowing motions that result in amazingly precise and complex drumming. They opened the set with Good Friend, an excellent way to get the show going with its groove-based beats and mild guitars. They continued through a number of other songs from Parc Avenue, taking a short breather in the middle to play Lola Who?, a track off their second EP With/Avec. The highlight of the set was Faerie Dance, a song that is played in three distinct parts, and grows from a gentle opening segment to a slightly experimental-rock middle and completes with a big build up finish. It's great on the album, but it was unbelievable in concert. They ended with the anthemic indie-pop number Bye Bye Bye, easily the most likable song on the album. For the two song encore, they emerged and played Early In The Morning, and then an instrumental number called Guru. The former is another one of their gentle songs, and the way they played it was reminiscent of early 70's Pink Floyd, reminding me a bit of Fat Old Sun from Atom Heart Mother. Incredible.

Plants and Animals  Plants and Animals  Plants and Animals

Plants and Animals  Plants and Animals  Plants and Animals

Info: Plants and Animals | Connect: MySpace, Facebook

Ruby Coast

Ruby Coast is a local band that shares their musical style with Tokyo Police Club, especially some of the vocal melodies, but the instrumentation is fuller. And better. Plus they really know how to put on a great show. Being the opening band and getting the crowd into it can be difficult, but these guys pulled everyone in and and then took advantage of it for the final number, handing out tambourines to a few people, jumping down into the crowd to rock out, and even redirecting one of the microphones so three guys at the front could belt out a some of the vocal parts. Even if Ruby Coast had been the sole reason I went to The Horseshoe that night, I would've left nicely satisfied. There's not a whole lot of music of theirs on the web to listen to, but Neighbourhood on their MySpace page sort of gives you an idea.

Ruby Coast  Ruby Coast  Ruby Coast

Ruby Coast  Ruby Coast  Ruby Coast

Info: & Connect: Ruby Coast on MySpace, Facebook

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