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 based in Toronto, Ontario. His work focuses on independent culture, DIY communities, and their relationship to the mainstream, reporting on a spectrum of creatives that has ranged from emerging acts to the definitive voices of cultural movements. In addition to contributing regular features to AUX, Chart Attack, and VICE publications Noisey and THUMP, he has appeared on Daily VICE, and frequently reviews concerts, festivals, and new album releases for Canadian arts and culture monthly Exclaim!. He is also a co-organizer and curator of the seasonal inter-arts series Long Winter, for which he oversees an online blog and print newspaper-style publication, printed for distribution at each instalment of the event. He was also a DIY concert organizer in his hometown Georgetown, Ontario in the mid-2000s.

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