Photos and Words by Shakil Hossain
Us the Duo is an example of how independent music can shine through the power of democracy. Regardless of what big record labels say about independent artists, for Us The Duo it doesn't matter– people just love them. The line-up for the show at Danforth Music Hall in Toronto last night extended more than three blocks as fans eagerly waited to ensure they didn't miss a single minute of the performance.
Us the Duo is may be one of the first bands to be discovered through the online platform “Vine” but the couple has come a long way with four studio albums since then - every song they played was a hit and the crowd sang along.
Husband and wife, Michael and Carissa are natural performers. Throughout the show it felt like the couple absorbed the love from their audience and released it through their music.
The back and forth collaboration between the couple was naturally synchronized. The audience loved watching the couple's love for each other beautifully intertwined in their music. During the song “Make you Mine” Michael looked at Carissa before singing every part he wrote for her - the audience cheered in enjoyment. Us the Duo’s music connects with their audience in a naturally simplistic way because the music feels like it is a part of the couples journey through life as they grow with each other. The simple lyrics, the cute playful flirts and the love Michael and Carissa display for each other makes this live show unique and enjoyable for anyone looking for a great night of folk music.
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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