Wednesday, May 19th, 2010
What You Know
Two Door Cinema Club and Bad Veins at Wrongbar in Toronto
Frank YangNear as I can tell, there’s no great narrative that explains why or how Two Door Cinema Club’s sold-out show at Wrongbar earlier this week became the hottest show in town, with tickets in huge demand and scalpers having apparently missed the boat entirely. There’s been no soundtrack appearance, no ad placement, no celebrity scandal, nothing that could explain why people were lined up hours in advance of doors to see the Northern Irish trio (quartet live) except that, well, they liked the songs from their debut album Tourist History. Which is reasonable.
Not that folks had necessarily intended to line up for hours. The quoted door and set times proved to be completely wrong, but as it turned out, with good explanation – Miami’s MillionYoung, who was supposed to open things up, had all their gear stolen in Montreal the night before (really, Montreal? Again?) and consequently had to cancel, throwing the evening’s schedule into disarray. The way it all shook out, doors opened an hour later than planned – thankfully the weather was nice out – and the sole support act, Cincinnati’s Bad Veins, rolled out a little after 9.
As the duo pointed out early, it was their first time playing in Toronto though it wasn’t their first time here – they had already crossed the border last Summer en route to a date at the El Mocambo when headliner Now Now Every Children’s van self-destructed and the gig had to be canceled at the last minute. This I know because I was one of a handful of people standing around outside a shuttered ElMo that evening, wondering what the what. The delay may have proved to be a blessing, though, as they can now say they made their Toronto debut in front of a packed house instead of an empty one. And while the duo’s aesthetic might have appeared junk-store – drums and guitar were handled live, but additional backing tracks were run off a reel-to-reel analog tape recorder and singer Ben Davis often sang through an old telephone handset (and through the earpiece, no less) – their songs were stadium-sized, all heart on sleeve emotional and built on big choruses. I had forgotten that I actually quite liked their 2009 self-titled debut, but their set more than reminded me not only that I did, but why.
For Two Door Cinema Club, this show marked the finale of a two-week tour that saw them criss-cross the continent and a peak to the buzz that they’d been steadily building along the trek. And really, their appeal isn’t hard to understand – it’s upbeat, hooky, danceable guitar pop delivered by young men with accents. It’s not especially deep or rich in variety – the musical equivalent of empty calories – but it is fun and when the whole room is bouncing up and down and singing along, you’d have to be an exceptionally determined stick in the mud to not play along. With just the one album clocking in at a touch over half an hour, their set list was predictable with the whole of Tourist History being aired along with three non-album tracks. All were played tightly and nearly note-perfect to the recorded versions, but theirs is not the sort of pop with a lot of room for side trips or on-the-fly reinterpretations; it’s meant to be delivered fast and fun and to keep the kids moving. Countless bands have made it work for them in the past, countless more will do so in the future. For now, however, the moment appears to belong to Two Door Cinema Club.
Paste declares Two Door Cinema Club amongst their “best of what’s next”; after a Summer of European touring, they’ll be back in North American in the Fall – expect another and larger Toronto date in October-ish. Bad Veins will be back in town sooner than that on June 15 at The Phoenix, opening for Thrice.
Photos: Two Door Cinema Club, Bad Veins @ Wrongbar – May 17, 2010
MP3: Two Door Cinema Club – “I Can Talk”
MP3: Two Door Cinema Club – “Something Good Can Work”
MP3: Bad Veins – “Gold & Warm”
MP3: Bad Veins – “Go Home”
Video: Two Door Cinema Club – “I Can Talk”
Video: Two Door Cinema Club – “Undercover Martyn”
Video: Two Door Cinema Club – “Something Good Can Work”
Video: Bad Veins – “Gold And Warm”
MySpace: Two Door Cinema Club
MySpace: Bad Veins
Rose Elinor Dougall has also put out a new video and her debut album Without Why has finally been given a release date – it will be out on August 30.
Patrick Wolf has reported via blog that work is complete on his new record The Conqueror and it will be coming out on a new subsidiary of Mercury Records later this year, thus returning the Wolf to the major label fold. Here’s hoping it turns out to be a more enjoyable experience than last time…
To accompany the deluxe reissue of Disintegration on June 8 in bonus-laden triple CD or bonus-less double LP form, The Cure have set up a minisite on which they’re streaming 20 live and unreleased tracks from the era which are not included in the reissue. Hit up Slicing Up Eyeballs for details on the set, the site, and a way to save those streaming tracks for your very own.