Tuesday, September 13th, 2011
Racing Like A Pro
The National and Mumford & Sons officially graduate to arena rock status
Keith 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.
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.
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.
Zeus will be at Lee’s Palace on November 24, tickets $15 in advance.
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.
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”
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”
Tags: Austra, Born Ruffians, Bry Webb, Coeur De Pirate, Diamond Rings, Handsome Furs, Kathleen Edwards, Little Scream, Memoryhouse, Mumford & Sons, National, Neko Case, New Pornographers, Ohbijou, Rural Alberta Advantage, Said The Whale, Sloan, Tasseomancy, Tokyo Police Club, Wilderness Of Manitoba, Woodpigeon, Wye Oak, Zeus