Quantcast
Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Racing Like A Pro

The National and Mumford & Sons officially graduate to arena rock status

Photo By Keith KlenowskiKeith KlenowskiJust to be clear: filling Massey Hall for two nights in a row is no mean feat. Not many bands can do it once, let alone twice, but when The National did just that last June in support of their breakout album High Violet, it felt like an arrival – the best and most natural setting for a band that had graduated from the bar circuit and were taking their rightful place in the city’s most hallowed room, hopefully for years to come.

Except clearly, they weren’t done. A year and a half on from their last album’s release, though a couple of high-profile singles released over this Summer as well as plenty of touring have kept them front of mind, The National have gotten big enough that their next North American tour will bring them to the Air Canada Centre on December 8. Granted, it will probably be the approximately 5200-capacity theatre configuration, which is about the same size as their Massey shows held, but still – it’s a remarkable thing (and a depressing thing for those who hate arena shows). The band are apparently conscious of the fact that their fanbase may not be especially keen on seeing them play such a large room, so they’ve sweetened the deal via the support acts – joining them for this show will be none other than Neko Case and Wye Oak. Yeah, that ACC isn’t looking so unappealing anymore, is it? Tickets range from $43.50 to $59.50 plus fees and presale goes Wednesday morning, public onsale Friday.

Express Night Out chats with bassist Scott Devendorff while NME gets the Dessner twins on camera talking about this and that, including their next record.

MP3: The National – “Bloodbuzz Ohio”
MP3: Neko Case – “Middle Cyclone”
MP3: Wye Oak – “Civilian”

By the same token, people were incredulous when Mumford & Sons sold the hell out of the Sound Academy last Fall – hadn’t they just played Lee’s Palace that February? – but indeed, they were really that popular and now it seems they’re even more popular. Again, it’s probably the theatre configuration, but that doesn’t change the fact that when Mumford & Sons hit the Air Canada Centre on October 25, they’ll have taken their bluegrass-pop anthems arena-scale. And just to prove it’s not a fluke, they’re doing the same thing down the 401 in Hamilton when they play Copp’s Coliseum the following night and then Montreal’s Bell Centre the night after that. Maybe their quickie Canadian tour is just them trying to catch some hockey games? Tickets for both Ontario shows are $34.50 and $49.50 plus fees.

Video: Mumford & Sons – “The Cave”

Certainly not on the same scale of “really” but still a bit surprising is Coeur de Pirate making what I think is her first regular and proper club show in Toronto at a room the size of The Mod Club on November 11. I assume this means that her new album Blonde, out November 8, will be getting a hefty push to get folks interested before then. Tickets for the show are $21 in advance and they’ve released a little trailer for the new record.

Trailer: Coeur de Pirate / Blonde
Video: Coeur de Pirate – “Comme des enfants”

The Rural Alberta Advantage, on the other hand, seem to have settled quite comfortably into The Phoenix as their home away from home while at home – November 17 will be their third show in a row there, I think. Don’t think there’s any particular occasion for this show besides, well, why not? Tickets are $20 in advance.

MP3: The Rural Alberta Advantage – “North Star”

Zeus will be at Lee’s Palace on November 24, tickets $15 in advance.

MP3: Zeus – “Marching Through Your Head”

Formerly operating as Harbourcoats, former Constantines frontman Bry Webb has decided to go with his own name for his solo debut Provider, which will be out on November 15. And he’ll be introducing the songs live in a pretty daunting setting – he’s opening for Feist at Massey Hall on December 1.

And finally, as far as show announcements yesterday go, Tokyo Police Club will be rolling into The Phoenix on December 8 leading a Can-rocking bill that also features Born Ruffians and Said The Whale. Tickets for that are $25 in advance. Northern Star chats with TPC drummer Greg Alsop.

MP3: Tokyo Police Club – “Party In The USA”
MP3: Born Ruffians – “Sole Brother”
MP3: Said The Whale – “Camilo (The Magician)”

Pitchfork has an interview with Carl Newman of The New Pornographers, who’ve put out a new video from last year’s Together.

Video: The New Pornographers – “Up In The Dark”

Also with a new video is Diamond Rings, from Special Affections. He’s at The Mod Club on October 3.

Video: Diamond Rings – “You And Me”

Exclaim has got a new track from Ohbijou’s forthcoming Metal Meets, out September 27. They play Trinity-St. Paul’s in honour of its release on September 30 and PostCity chats with bandleader Casey Mecija about the new record.

MP3: Ohbijou – “Anser”

Pitchfork has a stream of Kathleen Edwards’ first new material in a while which will be released on 7″ on September 27 and oh yeah, features contributions from some guy who goes by Bon Iver.

Stream: Kathleen Edwards – “Wapusk”

The Line Of Best Fit chats with the sisters of Tasseomancy, whose record release show for Ulalame happens at The Great Hall on October 20. They also open up for Austra at The Phoenix on December 1. And speaking of Austra, a new b-side is available to stream, which is noteworthy because it’s kind of as good as their a-sides, and Prague Post has an interview with Katie Stelmanis.

Stream: Austra – “Identity”

The new Memoryhouse EP The Years has been available to stream for a while before its release today, but Drowned In Sound has sweetened their stream with track-by-track commentary from the band.

Southern Souls has an interview with Mark Hamilton of Woodpigeon.

Canadian Blast chats with The Wilderness Of Manitoba.

Le Blogotheque has a Take-Away Show filmed in Toronto with Little Scream.

Rockerzine chats with Sloan bassist Chris Murphy.

Under The Radar and The Victoria Times-Colonist interview Handsome Furs.

By : Frank Yang at 8:26 am
Category: General

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

RSS Feed for this post4 Responses.
  1. Paul says:

    Frank it looks like The National is in the theatre configuration, but Mumford & Sons is the full arena – I just don’t get the appeal of that band.

  2. Frank Yang says:

    full arena. seriously. I get their appeal up to and including selling out the sound academy, but a full arena on the back of one album speaks to some kind of subliminal mind control.

  3. giselle says:

    i always feel a bit guilty as a fan when a band starts to play bigger venues – i mean, obviously i’m happy that the band is probably starting to make money but it seems that the more the show costs, the worse the experience is – with a club show, i get super close and usually get to buy the cd off a band member … anyways, good for the national … and as for mumford & sons, i’m not surprised they’re an arena band now, even my colleagues know who they are – i guess that makes them the new coldplay …

  4. Bruce says:

    Coldplay, but without the slogans. Funny, I was just describing Mumfords the other day as Coldplay meets Stornoway. But perhaps I’m begrudging them the fact that they blew up so quickly.

    Now I’m kicking myself for missing the National’s Massey shows. Saw them last on the Boxer tour at KoolHaus, which was great, but hesitated to pony up for the elevated Shuter St. ticket prices. And now this. Might never get to see them perform the High Violet stuff live…