WL14 reviews: Phèdre @ The Silver Dollar Room – Feb 13, 2014

Phèdre @ The Silver Dollar Room for WL14 - Feb. 13, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham

Phèdre @ The Silver Dollar Room for WL14 – Feb. 13, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham

By Tom Beedham
For what was once referred to pretty unanimously as Daniel Lee and April Aliermo’s Hooded Fang side project, oddball party powerhouse Phèdre has absorbed plenty of its own attention. The group’s already followed up its February 2012 self-titled debut LP with another—Golden Age—recorded in Berlin, and when the group headlined the opening night of WL14, there was a devoted fanbase packed into the Silver Dollar to sing along to its happily weird and mind-bending anthems.

Decked out in all white hoodies that made perfect blank canvases they opened with a (presumed) hype speech delivered in German by impassioned, scarf-disguised Hooded Fang bandmate D. Alex Meeks (Holiday Rambler), who next theatrically tripped, fell, and lay on the stage floor for some time. The topple looked legitimate, though not severe enough to require any attention. Whatever the situation, Phèdre’s live performances seem to make striving for perfection less a virtue than they do letting loose and having fun. They took it all in stride and proceeded into the early hours of Valentine’s Day with Golden Age intro “Inifinity Chamber.”

That spirit seemed consistent throughout the sometimes wobbly, always danceable performance. Aliermo even commented on the title-referencing lyrics to “Atomic Love” mid-song: “what the fuck does that mean?!”

Even when technical difficulties required some waiting between tracks early in the set, Aliermo—ever the MC—used the space between “Supernatural” and “Aquarius” to wish frequent Phèdre dancer Leah Gold a Happy Birthday and suggested the crowd give her “hugs, kisses, birthday shots, licks, or whatever makes you feel happy.”

For the most part, the group stuck to cuts from Golden Age, but the band did forego a rendition of its “Death of Cupid” narrative. A happy night for Valentines indeed.

More photos:
Phèdre @ The Silver Dollar Room for WL14 - Feb. 13, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham Phèdre @ The Silver Dollar Room for WL14 - Feb. 13, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham Phèdre @ The Silver Dollar Room for WL14 - Feb. 13, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham Phèdre @ The Silver Dollar Room for WL14 - Feb. 13, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham Phèdre @ The Silver Dollar Room for WL14 - Feb. 13, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham

Originally published by Aesthetic Magazine.

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About Tom Beedham

Tom Beedham is a Canadian writer and photographer whose work focuses on independent culture, experimental art, DIY communities, and their relationship to the mainstream. He has reported on a spectrum of creatives ranging from emerging acts to the definitive voices of cultural movements. He lives in Toronto, Ontario. He has contributed features to Exclaim!, NOW, A.Side (formerly AUX), Chart Attack, and VICE publications Noisey and THUMP, and has appeared as a correspondent on Daily VICE. Tom is also a co-organizer and curator of the inter-arts series Long Winter, for which he has overseen the publication of an online blog and print newspaper-style community publication, and, in collaboration with Lucy Satzewich, implemented harm reduction strategies for safer event spaces. From 2006-2012, he was Editor-in-Chief of Halton, ON -based youth magazine The Undercroft and served as an outreach worker for parent organization Peer Outreach Support Services and Education (POSSE) Project. He was also a DIY concert organizer in his hometown Georgetown, ON in the mid-2000s.

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