Tag Archives: The Garrison

WL14 reviews: Cousins @ The Garrison – Feb. 16, 2014

By Tom Beedham

Cousins @ The Garrison for WL14 - Feb. 16, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham

Cousins @ The Garrison for WL14 – Feb. 16, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham

Sometimes it just takes two.

Halifax drummer Leigh Dotey and guitarist Aaron Mangle’s epic drums and guitar duo Cousins closed out the festival to a crowd that took cues from preceding act Greys and moshed to the band’s fuzzy indie rock all throughout the performance.

After a 40-minute set that closed with a new song about the Harper budget, fans weren’t ready to call the festival quits. They cheered relentlessly for more, and after some short time, the band returned to the stage, Mangle asking, “Can we?”

Of course they could.

The reply Mangle got was a simple thumbs up from the sound technician, and the band used the opportunity to play two last songs: The Palm At The End Of The Mind’s “Thunder,” and “Die,” topping off the festival with its first and only encore.

More photos:
Cousins @ The Garrison for WL14 - Feb. 16, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham Cousins @ The Garrison for WL14 - Feb. 16, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham Cousins @ The Garrison for WL14 - Feb. 16, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham Cousins @ The Garrison for WL14 - Feb. 16, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham Cousins @ The Garrison for WL14 - Feb. 16, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham Cousins @ The Garrison for WL14 - Feb. 16, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham Cousins @ The Garrison for WL14 - Feb. 16, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham Cousins @ The Garrison for WL14 - Feb. 16, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham Cousins @ The Garrison for WL14 - Feb. 16, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham
Originally published by Aesthetic Magazine.

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WL14 reviews: Greys @ The Garrison – Feb. 16, 2014

By Tom Beedham

Greys @ The Garrison for WL14 - Feb. 16, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham

Greys @ The Garrison for WL14 – Feb. 16, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham

When Greys took over the stage The Wet Secrets had cleared for them, they looked like they had plenty of space to work with, though only before they started to play their music. Their own dynamic performance of beat-peppered post-hardcore saw them bouncing around the platform like heated atoms, their conduct infectious enough to stir up the festival’s first mosh pit this year.

When they weren’t doing that, true to the cultural spirit they address in “Drag,” they managed to spend more time asking people why they were skipping a night of new episodes of shows like Girls and True Detective than they did fleshing out further details of a forthcoming album they teased (they just finished writing it, and it’s coming out in June, they said), even dedicating a song to Lena Dunham (no, she wasn’t present).

More photos:
Greys @ The Garrison for WL14 - Feb. 16, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham Greys @ The Garrison for WL14 - Feb. 16, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham Greys @ The Garrison for WL14 - Feb. 16, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham Greys @ The Garrison for WL14 - Feb. 16, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham Greys @ The Garrison for WL14 - Feb. 16, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham Greys @ The Garrison for WL14 - Feb. 16, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham Greys @ The Garrison for WL14 - Feb. 16, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham Greys @ The Garrison for WL14 - Feb. 16, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham Greys @ The Garrison for WL14 - Feb. 16, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham
Originally published by Aesthetic Magazine.

WL14 reviews: The Wet Secrets @ The Garrison – Feb. 16, 2014

By Tom Beedham

The Wet Secrets @ The Garrison for WL14 - Feb. 16, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham

The Wet Secrets @ The Garrison for WL14 – Feb. 16, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham

Having just released Free Candy—their 3rd album and follow-up to 2007’s Rock Fantasy—on Feb. 4, Edmonton indie rock outfit The Wet Secrets didn’t need their marching band shtick to keep a packed audience on its toes. Though it didn’t hurt. The band was reaping from the buzz of their new record, but The Wet Secrets are so much more than what’s on wax. Their heavy, furry costumes in tact, they are exuberant live, their music accompanied by fully choreographed concerts. Fans ate up the new material, dancing and singing the chorus lines back to the band, and in some cases, even let out bursts of joy when backing vocalists/horn players Emma Frazier and Kim Rackel pointed them out individually as they sang the title lyrics to “Get Your Shit Together.” Doesn’t sound like the stuff of any other marching band you know, does it?

More photos:
The Wet Secrets @ The Garrison for WL14 - Feb. 16, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham The Wet Secrets @ The Garrison for WL14 - Feb. 16, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham The Wet Secrets @ The Garrison for WL14 - Feb. 16, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham The Wet Secrets @ The Garrison for WL14 - Feb. 16, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham The Wet Secrets @ The Garrison for WL14 - Feb. 16, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham The Wet Secrets @ The Garrison for WL14 - Feb. 16, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham The Wet Secrets @ The Garrison for WL14 - Feb. 16, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham The Wet Secrets @ The Garrison for WL14 - Feb. 16, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham The Wet Secrets @ The Garrison for WL14 - Feb. 16, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham The Wet Secrets @ The Garrison for WL14 - Feb. 16, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham
Originally published by Aesthetic Magazine.

WL14 reviews: Lido Pimienta @ The Garrison – Feb. 16, 2014

Lido Pimienta @ The Garrison for WL14 - Feb. 16, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham

Lido Pimienta @ The Garrison for WL14 – Feb. 16, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham

By Tom Beedham
Lido Pimienta might have played The Garrison back in November for All Toronto’s Parties, but the singer’s live gigs are never doubles of themselves. While that show saw Pimienta poised and performing in more of a headliner capacity, resulting in an invitation to the crowd to start an onstage dance party and Pimienta herself taking a stage dive, the much earlier scheduled Wavelength gig was more about theatrics than vibe dissemination.

Bringing friends and frequent visual collaborators Tough Guy Mountain onstage to decorate the environment with an upside-down Canadian flag, streamers, and the satirical visual brand experiment’s members themselves to provide some lackadaisical Canadian flag waving, at the top of her set Pimienta strolled onto the stage in a trapper hat and red sweater bearing Canada’s trademarked logo, and then—posing as if to sing read lyrics off of her cellphone—Pimienta delivered her own spin on the national anthem, “O KKK Canada.”

Frequently outspoken at concerts, Pimienta will often break to give rants about social and cultural issues, including Stephen Harper’s control over the Canadian government. For the most part, this performance was void of such digressions, no doubt to let the opening skit speak for itself.

It’s not the first time the musician has juxtaposed the country’s name with that of the infamous hate group. Pimienta has made passing remarks about it at previous concerts, and recently tweeted it in a message turning followers on to a CTV news broadcast about a woman, her children, and others who were removed from a Harper visit to Blood Tribe (an Alberta First Nation 200 kilometres south of Calgary) for “tweeting” remarks that were critical of the prime minister’s agenda: to discuss the First Nations Education Act, a controversial new legislation that detractors complain resulted from insufficient consultation with First Nations themselves.

“KKKANADA,” the tweet began, going on to link to the YouTube video in question. “SHAME ON @PrimeMinisterH EVIL REGIME KKKANADA – Our home ON Native Land!”

The rest of the show was more about the music, although Pimienta did break to opine on “dick pics” at one point. But regardless of your position on the separation of Concert & State, the politicking Pimienta does at her Toronto shows is essential to her project. Although frequently gigging in front of white, English-speaking crowds, born in Barranquilla, Colombia, when Pimienta performs she sings entirely in Spanish. The English spoken political asides provide context and (to a degree) protect her music from exoticization. And so it goes to follow that at the very least, paying attention to the banter and respecting it at the same time that you enjoy her music is to get the full listener’s experience. It will not only make you want to move in revolutionary ways, but also make you a better person.

More photos:
Lido Pimienta @ The Garrison for WL14 - Feb. 16, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham Lido Pimienta @ The Garrison for WL14 - Feb. 16, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham Lido Pimienta @ The Garrison for WL14 - Feb. 16, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham Lido Pimienta @ The Garrison for WL14 - Feb. 16, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham Lido Pimienta @ The Garrison for WL14 - Feb. 16, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham Lido Pimienta @ The Garrison for WL14 - Feb. 16, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham Lido Pimienta @ The Garrison for WL14 - Feb. 16, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham Lido Pimienta @ The Garrison for WL14 - Feb. 16, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham Lido Pimienta @ The Garrison for WL14 - Feb. 16, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham Lido Pimienta @ The Garrison for WL14 - Feb. 16, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham

Originally published by Aesthetic Magazine.

WL14 reviews: Elaquent @ The Garrison – Feb. 16, 2014

By Tom Beedham

Elaquent @ The Garrison for WL14 - Feb. 16, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham

Elaquent @ The Garrison for WL14 – Feb. 16, 2014. Photo: Tom Beedham

For the most part, Wavelength reserved the initial slots at the top of each of the festival’s proper concert lineups for acts that were stylistically divergent from the other performers with which they would share their stages, giving festivalgoers that turned out early a reward both refreshing and unexpected. With Guelph, ON producer Sona Elango’s instrumental hip-hop beat project Elaquent, there was no exception. As audiences filtered into The Garrison’s cavernous concert hall, they stumbled upon a pastiche of diverse sound references to everything from noisy mechanical processes, glitches, 8-bit video games, compressing hydraulics, and lasers, to percolating synths and twinkling atmospheres (think DJ Bucktown meeting Four Tet backstage in a particularly plush green room). And while the set wasn’t a visually engaging performance—for the most part Elango stood stoically with his head down so as to manage the technical processing of his sampled material—those that did show up to realize the fullest worth of their concert passes wandered over to the front of the stage to pay the music the respect and curiosity it deserved.

Originally published by Aesthetic Magazine.

Concert review: Yamantaka // Sonic Titan @ The Garrison – Toronto, ON | Nov. 6, 2013

YT//ST’s UZU release party an immersive, media synthesizing experience 
Tom Beedham

Yamantaka // Sonic Titan singer Ange Loft wears a large head ornament for a theatrical portion of the group's 'UZU' release show at The Garrison in Toronto on Nov. 6. Photo: Tom Beedham

Yamantaka // Sonic Titan singer Ange Loft wears a large head ornament for a theatrical portion of the group’s ‘UZU’ release show at The Garrison in Toronto on Nov. 6. Photo: Tom Beedham

Having satisfied the first half of its split residency’s homecoming in Montreal on Oct. 29 – the same day its sophomore LP UZU dropped via Paper Bag/Suicide Squeeze – Yamantaka // Sonic Titan (YT//ST) staved off some of its other hometown’s jealousy Nov. 6 when it face-painted its way onto the stage at Dundas West volume den The Garrison.

Concert photos (story continues below):
Yamantaka // Sonic Titan's Ange Loft onstage at The Garrison in Toronto Yamantaka // Sonic Titan's Ruby Kato Attwood delivers some fan dancing onstage at The Garrison in Toronto Alaska B's drum kit was surrounded by new, 'UZU'-appropriate art at Yamantaka // Sonic Titan's album release party at The Garrison in Toronto on Nov. 6, 2013 Yamantaka // Sonic Titan's Ruby Kato Attwood onstage at The Garrison in Toronto Yamantaka // Sonic Titan keyboardist Brendan Swanson smashes and rubs cymbals together as Ruby Kato Attwood and Ange Loft make a dramatic entrance through the crowd.
Yamantaka // Sonic Titan's Ruby Kato Attwood onstage at The Garrison in Toronto.  Yamantaka // Sonic Titan's Ange Loft onstage at The Garrison in Toronto. Yamantaka // Sonic Titan's Ruby Kato Attwood onstage at The Garrison in Toronto. Yamantaka // Sonic Titan's Ange Loft dons a costume for a theatrical performance mid-set.

And if fans were expecting a “safe” set devoted to the collective’s (sort of) eponymous 2012 Polaris-shortlisted debut, only peppered with glimpses of their new album, they were sorely mistaken. November 6 was for UZU, and that album first. So much so, that they played it all front-to-back. The only exception was the album’s late act instrumental “Bring Me The Hand of Bloody Benzaiten,” positioned instead as the night’s lower stage-personneled set intro, which served the dual purposes of ushering singers Ange Loft and Ruby Kato Attwood through the crowd and onto the stage and whisking the audience away to another place entirely.

The group’s debut album still got some play through, though – YT//ST gave fans “Queens,” “Hoshi Neko,” and “A Star Over Pureland” in the encore (full setlist below). But the concentration on the newer work was anything but rejected. Following YT//ST, UZU sees the band embarking on another adventure of “other” (emphasis on those quotes, dammit) worldly proportions, and one that deserves to get the spotlight just as much as its precursor did when that was all the rock group iteration of YT//ST had.

It’s not like YT//ST sprung the newer material on its audiences out of nowhere, either. The group has worked at making cuts contained on UZU staples of its live performances since at least January of this year.

No one (save YT//ST, presumably) seemed to mind that some literal forces were working against the band that night, either.

Admitting to having a cold early on in the set, Attwood sipped on a 7/11 tea all night – poorly executed “product placement,” drummer Alaska B suggested, jesting they’d get bigger money for bringing taquitos onstage – but the singer’s vocals never seemed to fail, and when it finally came to UZU’s fragile closer “Saturn’s Return” (made all the more penetrating following the surreally raging “One”) Attwood had the room spellbound.

Pulling out all of the stops, the entire night was executed with the DIY media synthesizing grin YT//ST has become known for – we got the pre- and mid-set theatrical portions (the latter featuring Ange Loft wearing a black costume with a large head ornament while miming Attwood’s words to part of “Seasickness”), a special light show, and several black and white anime-referencing set decorations – but that quiet and minimal moment explained how even when the (sometimes literally) frilly Gesamtkuntswerk of a YT//ST concert is stripped away, the music is the  most enchanting stuff.

Setlist
“Bring Me The Hand of Bloody Benzaiten”
“Atlanta”
“Whale Song”
“Lamia”
“Windflower”
“Hall of Mirrors”
“Sea Sickness (pts 1 and 2)”
“One”
“Saturn’s Return”
Encore
“Queens”
“Hoshi Neko”
“A Star Over Pureland”

Related:
Yamantaka // Sonic Titan’s Alaska B. and Ruby Kato Attwood talk “cerebral cougars,” video games

Concert review: Yamantaka // Sonic Titan at Hillside Festival – Guelph, ON | July 27, 2013
Concert review: Yamantaka // Sonic Titan at Guelph’s eBar Jan. 17, 2013

NXNE Review: Program @ The Garrison, June 12, 2013

Program played a small crowd at The Garrison as a part of NXNE on June 12. (Photo: Tom Beedham)

Program played a small crowd at The Garrison as a part of NXNE on June 12. (Photo: Tom Beedham)

Fitting in equally with Toronto’s apparent new wave (but not New Wave) of shoegaze bands and the recent realization of post-post-punk revival (can we just call them post-punk?) groups that seem to be popping up widely across the western world (and thus the Venn diagram of circles interested in hearing those forms collide), Program builds songs by methodically magnifying the impact of their smaller elements. They start small, arresting a bar for your initial consideration, and then inflating it with chord variations, pedal effects, and the addition of complimentary instrumental parts – all until they’ve arrived at a lapping, atmospheric wall of sound with plenty of introspective appeal.

Playing the generously cavernous and frankly underused space at the back of The Garrison, Program played to a relatively small (albeit captivated) audience on June 12, but the poor turnout wasn’t all a bad omen for the group; the thinned crowd just seemed to allow the delay-heavy guitar, keyboard and bass sounds that Program relies on a new, more physical route to warp-echoing their way into infinity.