Devendra Banhart at Danforth Music Hall, Toronto – Gig review

June 5, 2013

Devendra Banhart at Danforth Music Hall, Toronto - photo Brian Banks, Music Vice

Who: Devendra Banhart
Where: Danforth Music Hall, Toronto
When: Monday, 3 June 2013
In One Word™: Goosebumps

Devendra Banhart played a mix of danceable upbeat tunes and emotional ballads as he stopped in Toronto on Monday night to play Danforth Music Hall.

Devendra was playful with his audience, perhaps bordering on pretentious. He stopped singing because he didn’t like them clapping along for the bridge of “Little Yellow Spider” – illustrating the clap along did not compliment his song, he questioned them on the commitment to the clap. Later, the audience had to work for their encore and were left clapping a whole two minutes before Devandra and his band reemerged.

Devendra has a cool backing band who collectively sung back-up, and took rounds singing the harmony. One of the band members is Rodrigo Amarante who opened the show. Rodrigo is in a couple other bands, including Little Joy with the Strokes drummer Fabrizio Moretti and Binki Shapiro. I had only caught the end of Rodrigo’s set but the brief moment that I saw was powerful – Rodrigo impressed with his virtuoso guitar skills and his expressive, emotional singing. He had left the crowd with goosebumps as he exited the stage, creating a moment of emptiness inside Danforth Music Hall.

Devendra Banhart peppered a good mix, as he played an eclectic set. He is touring his new album Mala, which was perhaps not showcased best live tonight as sometimes it was hard to understand his lyrics as the sound was a bit washed out.

As the night progressed, Devendra got a little more comfortable on stage. He sung a song about being left alone, making an exaggerated frown like a toddler having a tantrum. Devendra took the mic off the stand and paced the edge of the stage, causing a ripple effect in the female crowd, who each drew gasps of air as he drew near. Oh boy, the girls swooned hard.

©  Anne S, Music Vice

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One Response to Devendra Banhart at Danforth Music Hall, Toronto – Gig review

  1. Shannon on June 5, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    Ok, I admit, I swooned! Though I’m not sure if he is even straight…

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