Bloc Party frontman Kele Okereke at on stage at Danforth Music Hall, Toronto
The Gig: Bloc Party with Ceremony
Where: Massey Hall, Toronto, Canada
When: Saturday 10 September 2012
In One Word: Intense
Last Monday night in Toronto, Bloc Party played the first show of their 2012 North America tour. By all accounts from an ecstatic crowd inside Danforth Music Hall, it was an “epic” and “awesome” show. (I threw a thesaurus at one guy, who managed to utter a ‘monumental’, before suffering an aneurysm.) Bloc Party were good; they fully deserved their two proper encores which happened after crowd demand following an hour long set and a faux encore, with a set featuring some new songs from their new album Four. Tipped hats and back slaps to Bloc Party, but the band that really got me excited tonight were the openers, Ceremony.
California hardcore band Ceremony were an unusual choice to support Bloc Party on their current US/Canada tour. I’m not sure how many Bloc Party fans “got” Ceremony, but most people considered them to being “interesting” at least. It may have been over the heads, or too far beyond the comfort zone for some people, but for my own musical tastes, Ceremony were right up my street: and the street is an intersection crossing Hardcore Avenue and Postpunk Lane. Public Image Limited are their neigbours. Ceremony capture the best of modern, urgent hardcore (like Fucked Up) and mix it up with a moody postpunk vibe (Joy Division, being the principal influence – and there is none better – in case you didn’t catch that already from the band’s name). Ceremony’s songs feature dark, danceable undertones and rise with an urgent, manic surge – with singer Ross Farrar the messenger, retching his body into convultions as he exorcises the songs into music. Shear intensity. They are the most interesting, exciting and daring new band I have seen in a long time. Listen to the songs “Hysteria”, “Hotel” and “Video” from their new record Zoo and you will hear exactly why Ceremony are so vital.
© Brian Banks, Editor, Music Vice
Photos of Bloc Party and Ceremony at Danforth Music Hall (click to enlarge thumbnails):
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