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Metric, The Dears, Sebastien Grainger & Tokyo Police Club @ The Vogue -- 12/21/08 - My life as a circus clown.

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December 22nd, 2008

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02:17 pm - Metric, The Dears, Sebastien Grainger & Tokyo Police Club @ The Vogue -- 12/21/08
As far as I am concerned, the year is over. Last night was my last concert of the year, so I'm done.

It was the first of a three night stint, the start of the end of the tour for the "Jingle Bell Rock" tour. Yeah, lame name, but the lineup was anything but.

Before I go into the show, though, a quick note on the venue. It was at the Vogue theatre (no wonder all three shows sold out. that place is not all that big) and I am pretty sure that they either have not payed their heating bill in several months, or there were drafts coming in the various holes in the ceiling that looked like someone rage-punched them. We were warmer standing outside waiting than sitting in the venue.

Anyway, back to the show itself. DJ Mike Relm handled the preshow and between-band music, and he was pretty good. A nice mix of music that complimented the bands playing.

First on stage for the night, however, was Sebastien Grainger (formerly one half of Death From Above 1979) and the first thing is that he is fucking insane. As cold as it was (again, no heating, and we could see our breaths indoors, and the people on stage, so it was no warmer up there) he popped off his jacket to be wearing... nothing. He played his whole set shirtless -- which, combined with his overall look, mostly the hat and mustache, made him look like the offspring of Freddie Murcury and a gay porn star. But, despite that, he gave everyone a reason to warm up. His stuff isn't quite as aggressive as DFA1979, but that's like saying being stabbed in the leg is less traumatic than being stabbed in the face, because his stuff is still pretty kickass. He got everyone up on their feet and rushing the stage for a dance party and rocking out. Great, high energy set that got everyone into the show.

(Except for the obnoxious fucker behind us who was a jackass for almost the entire night... or at least until he moved away. Or maybe got punched, I dunno.)
mustache Next up was the main reason I was at the show.... The Dears. As much as I wish they had their own show here, and not just an opener, holy fuck was their set awesome. They started with the leadoff track from Missiles, Disclaimer and blew everyone away. The next song was the latest single, Money Babies and there was a moment... ok, I know how cheesy this is going to sound, but...
for the first verse, lead singer & guitarist Murray Lightburn wandered over to backup singer (and sometimes lead) & keyboardist Natalia Yanchak to sing with her, sharing the mic. But, seeing as they are husband and wife... and the only two original Dears left (hell, they're they only Dears left after the last album, as the band fell apart soon after recording it) they were not just sharing the mic, but heads together, his arm around her. It sounds kinda corny and lame the way i'm describing it, but to see them singing in that moment, it was... kind of powerful. I never take pictures during shows, but I really wish I had, at the very least, pulled out my cell phone and snapped a pic.
But back to the music. The set was mostly off the new album, but with a couple older ones thrown in. Sadly, it was a pretty short set... openers and curfew and all that... but they did manage to end with what may be my favourite off the new album, and one of my favourites this year overall, Lights Out. Being a huge Dears fan, it may be bias, but I think that was one of my favourite sets of all the bands I have seen so far this year. Absolutely amazing, and I can not wait until they come back for a headlining show (which will hopefully not be another two years)

After them was Tokyo Police Club. Oddly enough, this is the second time I've been to a show to see everyone BUT them (the first being when Immaculate Machine opened for them). I don't really have anything against TCP. They're okay, but I've just never been all that interested . Their set was good, high energy and fun. A few of the songs were maybe a bit... similar. But they hit all their singles and were good enough. If I had my way, Dears would have been second bill instead of them, but... whatcha gonna do?

And finally, to wrap up the show, the band everyone was there to see.... Metric! The only time I had seen them before was at Arts County Fair, which totally doesn't count, so I was more than a little excited (I'd seen Haines solo and Jimmy Shaw with Broken Social Scene, but that hardly counts)
They took the stage behind a giant lightboard with their name (yes, in the "metric font") which doubled as... well, actually, it kind of reminded me of a winamp visualization most of the time. They kicked off the set with the new single Help I'm Alive and played a mix of brand new stuff (which, if the show is any indication, the new album is going to be brilliant) and all the old familiar things. And as small a person as Emily Haines is? Holy damn, she has more energy on stage than most anyone else I've seen. Dancing/flailing around, going back and forth, shaking her head violently during the appropriate parts of Empty... and I am pretty sure I've said this after seeing him last time, but I always forget what a good guitarist James Shaw is. He had more than a couple facemelting solos going on. Even though something went wrong with the guitar in the middle of Dead Disco (I like to think he awesomed his guitar to death) which allowed Haines to vamp/improvise while they tried to get it fixed, turning the song into a Top 40 Pop song (pretty much the same song with a lot of "Ah ah ah ah"s) and conveying her fear/perplexion of the dance moves to go along with them.
The whole set, though, was incredibly high energy with damn near everyone dance-jumping along, right up until the end where they ended it off with a very nice slow, mellow, sing-a-long of Live It Out.
A fantastic way to end off the show, which itself was an incredible cap on a great year of concerts.

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