by Fernando Lara
Annie Clark (a.k.a. St. Vincent) took Toronto by storm last night with the Fear the Future Tour in support for her new studio album Masseduction, released last October.
Masseduction is her fifth studio album - it peaked at number 10 on the Billboard 200, becoming her first top ten album in the United States. The album also received global acclaim and was the fourth-most mentioned in critics’ year-end lists for 2017 according to Metacritic.
St. Vincent’s sound is harmonious, melodic, elegant, and hypnotizing - her live performances are a real party of colour and light. The performance at Sony Centre was no exception. Since the first sequence of rhythms and sound loops as Sugarboy was about to kick start the show, the audience stood up to not sit down again until the end of the night. Annie stood at the far left letting everyone know that she was part of the band but at the same time making a strong statement with her bright orange dress and, of course, her very particular line of guitars ranging from blue to pink.
During the concert, she was focused on the quality of her voice and guitar but she also shared some words with everyone, including a little acapella singing of New York, changing the lyrics to fit with Toronto’s very own culture with references to Church St. and the 6ix. “Thank you for trying!” someone screamed to her, “Oh, Wow! Canadians are so nice!” she replied after smiling.
With a 12-year history as a solo artist and over 15 hits in her career, St. Vincent knows how to make her audience explode to almost every song in her set list. The rhythm in songs such as Los Angeless made everyone shake their body as if it was not a Tuesday night.
Her guitar solos were simple but energetic, and the harmony generated with the keyboard and the synthesizer created different shapes and colours with the structure of every melody. The most touching song of the set was Severed Crossed Fingers - Annie played it on her electric guitar sensibly and softly after 19 other songs and a 4 minute encore.
St. Vincent’s fans enjoyed the show by watching a vivid, colourful and energetic version of her new and all-time hits. The experience of attending one of her shows brings a lot of emotions that can be traced from her whole career and the growth as an artist that can be seen on stage, especially when the point of music is to feel it, not just listen to it.
After Toronto, St. Vincent will be presenting the same show at Montreal’s Osheaga festival and Chicago’s famous Lollapalooza.
Text and photographs by Blake Bottrill (@blakebottrill)
Anthony Green’s Avalon Ten Year Tour hit it’s only Canadian stop last night as he and Good Old War rolled into Toronto’s Mod Club Theatre. The multi-talented musicians of Good Old War, Tim Arnold and Keith Goodwin, have also branched off as a duo known as Found Wild that open each show.
Found Wild bring a slight country charm to the indie and folk sounds for which Good Old War is already known. They brought out Anthony and the whole backing band early for one song before playing their only released single so far: Nothing Gold Can Last. Found Wild are set to release their first EP later this month that should resonate with Good Old War fans!
Good Old War showed up in full with Dan Schwartz after a brief break to play a setlist that spanned their entire discography. They had the crowd entranced by the time they got to their track We’ve Come A Long Way as they swayed shoulder to shoulder. Despite the encore chants Good Old War was done for the night, all three members are part of Anthony’s backing band so they’d be back.
Anthony and the band hit the stage just before 9:30 with a huge smile. It was a night full of sing-alongs for Anthony, “Thanks for singing so loud with me guys!” was heard multiple times during the set. It was a night of nostalgia and hilarious banter between the band. Anthony even brought the crowd into it as he noticed two people who happened to look like his cousins. As the tour continues for the rest of the month any fans of Anthony’s many projects should pick up tickets to see a fantastic show.
Photographer’s Note: My uncle David Bottrill produced one of Anthony’s albums in 2010 with Circa Survive called Blue Sky Noise.
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