Monday, June 28th, 2004
Hall Of Fame
15 people. Fifteen. One-five.
Subtract that from 4,000,000 or so people and that’s how many people in the city missed a great Toronto debut for Sea Ray show at the Rivoli last night. Granted, there were a few factors working against the band like zero promotion, a Sunday night, no local openers (or any opener), Pride festivities throughout the city and the fact that no one knew who the hell they were (despite my best efforts), but it was still a disappointing turnout. For a while, I was counting heads and just hoping they’d break double digits. Although I never drink at shows, I bought a beer because I felt bad for the bartender. The poor turnout didn’t elicit a poor show from the band, however – they still played all-out to impress everyone who did show. They played most of their terrific sophomore album Stars At Noon as well as a new song over the course of a too-short 40-minute set. Like the record, the show was lush, spacey and powerful throughout, we even got to see the very rare occurrance of the bassist breaking a string – the A-string no less. Thankfully the sound was quite good as the band’s complex instrumentation and arrangements could easily turn into mud if not handled properly. I had wanted to see how a professional touring band incorporated the cello into their live sound as we’ve had a hell of time coming up with a workable system – seems they came up with the same solution as us. Run it into a big honking bass amp and mic the thing.
I’m also glad the band brought out the full light show even for such a small crowd. By light show I don’t mean strobes and flash pots, but a projector hooked up to a laptop that created an otherworldly ambiance onstage. It was really quite impressive and not at all distracting. I can see why Jasper at jenyk.com calls Sea Ray one of his favourite bands to shoot – I just kept clicking away with my camera, letting the ever-changing lighting create new shots for me. I’m really happy with how rich and colourful my pictures turned out. If there was a positive side to the low attendance, it was that I had free run in front of the stage to get whatever shots I wanted. I talked to lead singer Jordan after the show and he promised not to hold the low attendance against our fair city, acknowleding that “no one’s ever heard of us”. So maybe the next time they come back we can shoot to double the attendance and go for a whopping thirty people.
It seems silly to expend much energy discussing a film as lightweight as Dodgeball, so I won’t. Sufficed to say that it’s stupid and it knows it, it’s funny, Ben Stiller is hilariously over-the-top, Christine Taylor is hot and Vince Vaughan is very poorly cast as a straight man who doesn’t look like he’s in on the joke. He sleepwalks through the whole thing and barely looks interested. Granted, that’s supposed to be part of his character, but still. He’s much better suited to be the loudmouth prick character than the nice-guy. And that’s all.
Sonic Youth waste no time making up the dates for the Lollapalooza cancellations and will be at the Kool Haus August 5, the same day they were originally going to be at the Molson Amphitheatre.
Pitchfork has gotten a facelift – all the snarkiness, but easier to read!
American Analog Set has a few live recordings available for download on their website.
Was browsing my list of past concerts attended and I noticed that the last show I went to that wasn’t in Toronto – and I’m talking Toronto proper, the 416, was in 1998. Man I gotta get out more.
Today is Election Day in which we determine who will lead our country over the next four years (or four months, if it’s a fragile minority government with no support). I want to encourage everyone in Canada who is of age to go out and vote. Unless you’re going to vote Conservative in which case, STAY HOME. Kidding. But not.
np – The American Analog Set / Know By Heart