The francophone rock band, Malajube, returned to the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto on April 30th, with their new record " La Caverne". The Saturday night show with three various bands invited me to do some deep pondering after all; what does a band need to have to deliver a great performance?
The first opening band, Whale Tooth, gained new fans instantly after performing a few songs from their old album. There was an awkward space between the stage and the front as the venue was fairly empty at this point. Some people around the area were shyly looking around to see if anybody else would step in. Jokingly engaged by the band, the audience was told "There is an awful smell coming out from this side (the left corner), so you guys should move over here (the front)"...(which was unfortunately true, by the way. It stunk really badly during the entire show...). People then began to dance alogside their alluring tunes. They also performed new songs from their soon-to-be-publicly- released-album. This was the 4th time I've been to see them in the past 6 months, but I haven't got tired of them yet. Their performance was very fresh and it just get better and better each time I see them.
The Toronto quintet passed a baton to the second opener of the night, . All of a sudden, the stage was jam packed with 7 musicians and tons of instruments. The energy that the Regina rock group delivered was nothing but extraordinary. Everyone on the stage was just jumping and hopping around with their band members joyfully. I was wondering how they managed to avoid crashing into each other on such a crowded stage.
Although their songs didn't necessarily impress me with a first listen, (they create songs that really need to 'grow' on you), I never felt unengaged either, as it was so much fun just to witness the enthusiastic performance on the stage.
At last, the Montreal indie band showed up on the stage and when they did, the venue was packed with excited fans. Their performance was delayed due to the intense sound check. They were demanding the sound guy to change their sound a number of time in French. and of course, the sound guy corresponded in French, making the changes accordingly, which ended up causing some sound problems after all. They started their performance with their latest single, "Synesthesie". As I was so stoked to listen to the song, which has been repeated endlessly from the CBC 3 radio lately, my excitement reached to the peak. However, it didn't even take a second to ruin the illusion. I could barely hear the vocal. I checked the main speaker to see if I was too close to the stage. It turns out I wasn't. In fact, I wasn't the only one who was having the problem. A girl next to me claimed to the singer between songs that she couldn't hear a thing. He blamed her for standing behind the speaker. Another girl asked me if I was able to hear his voice. I shook my head with frustration, which she seemed to share.
The band completely messed up their sounds while blasting their own sounds with a big ego, checking their monitor. It was unfortunate as I was in love with their different tones in music; the band has two faces: A great mix of psychedelic rock and synthesized pop dancing tunes, which has never left me bored.
Strongly disappointed with the performance, I ended up stepping back to the area close to the sound guy, hoping for a better quality in sounds. Yet, it was wishful thinking. It was slightly better, but I was still having a hard time hearing the vocal, which left me frustrated. I decided to leave the show and enjoy their music at home.