review and photos by Michael Thomas
Wednesday night usually isn’t the night of the week where really fun shows can happen, so imagine my surprise when I found out that a very good bill happened to be playing the Piston yesterday night.
The Piston is a nice venue that’s not too small nor too big; it’s just right, and so the four or five dozen attendees of last night’s triple bill made the place feel full but not rammed. It made for an atmosphere that was intimate, but at the same time suitable for lots of dancing. And dance the audience did.
Starting off the night was Toronto pop act Coronado. The set was my introduction to the band, and they left a good impression on me by the time their set was over. I’m always a sucker for acts with multiple vocalists, so I was won over by the combination of Carlos Coronado (guitar/vocals), Amy Morris (keys/vocals) and Lisa Lorenz (synth/vocals). Also notable was Kevin Correia on drums, who seemed to have a permanently blissful look on his face.
The band’s sound was quite fresh thanks to the infusion of keys and synths on top of Carlos Coronado’s guitar, and it didn’t take long for the audience to respond in kind. The music had an almost disco-esque feel, and I certainly would have been dancing too had I not been sitting in a booth during their set.
Following them was Paradise Animals, a band featured on the blog many a time (for good reason) and whom also played our first ever co-presentation with Crosswires. I didn’t get to fully appreciate their set back in September, so hearing it full-frontal was great. Mark Andrade continued to show fantastic vocal range alongside his working of his guitar plus electronics, Gary Pereira switched masterfully between keys and bass, and Kerri Silva pounded away furiously on the drums.
Their set was a little over half new, and their indescribable sound had the audience cheering loudly at each song’s end. Sometimes the song could be a little heavier on guitars, while another could have electronics take the forefront. They ended their set with (tentatively titled) “Day Forts,” a song based on a dream Andrade had. The song is a roaring journey in itself and made for an absolutely killer ending. Also: Pereira’s playing the cowbell during parts of the song made it that much cooler. There can never be enough cowbell.
Ending the night was Most People, a band that has also been featured on this blog many a time. I’ve now seen them live three times, though this is my first time writing about them. The duo of Brandon Gibson-DeGroote and Paul McEachern make an impression before they even begin their set thanks to their unique setup. A semicircle of gear greets the audience, consisting of pedals and drums, among other things.
Once it starts, Most People will have you in a trance. The two are never static, constantly switching between guitars and drums and electronics with near-seamlessness. Their music is somewhat dense, though never impenetrable, making it ideal music to lose yourself to. The highlight of their set is always (at least for me) seeing both men drumming away. Their drumming hath quite the fury; Gibson-Degroote commented on how many of their drumsticks are half-broken, and when I almost got nailed by one and put it back on stage, I noticed the splinters.
They played two new songs during the set, both of which didn’t seem at all out of character with the music from their self-titled album. They had won over the audience handily by the end, to the point where the audience requested and got an encore. “Alright, we’ll play another song, you assholes,” Gibson-Degroote said playfully.
Why can’t these kinds of bills happen more often?