No Age at The Great Hall, Toronto – Gig review

November 21, 2010

Mosh Unto Others As You Would Have Them Mosh Unto You…

No Age - photo credit Todd Cole

WHERE: The Great Hall, Toronto, ON
WHEN: 18 November 2010
IN ONE WORD: Visceral

There were some interesting vibes in the Great Hall when some friends and I arrived for the No Age show presented by Primary Colors. The hall was dark, except for the pulsing projections on stage and a bit of rainbow coloured light refracting from the ceiling. Electronic music more ambient than aggressive was drifting out of speakers creating an atmosphere that was warm and comfortable, like the inside of my bedroom at night.

It’s not exactly what I was expecting. The last time I was at a Primary Colors event the show was being held inside of a closed down hardware store on Queen West and had more of an underground dance party feel. Lucky Dragons are not that kind of indietronica band though, and their show is more an experimental music experience than a dance hop. I don’t  see anyone at the DJ booth, but there’s a crowd gathering around a gap in the middle of the dance floor. Sitting on the floor, putting the “art” in this party, the LA duo are creating visuals by refracting the light of a projector with compact discs. We get in close enough to see the process, and then move back to allow the other guests a chance to get a look.

We settle into a good position in front of the stage. In the crowd I spot a few noteable media types bobbing their heads. This is going to be a show to namedrop later. Then, without warning the room brightens and the headlining act takes to the stage.

No Age look younger in person than they do over my internet connection. Live its impossible to make out a damn thing the band is singing. The music is loud and the distortion is on high. The same graphics which were being projected onto the empty stage moments earlier are pulsing over Randy Randall and Dean Spunt’s bodies and onto the venues wall paper as the art rockers play through their first song of their punk inspired set. And the crowd is fucking loving it.

It’s easy to hear to why. Watching the music videos really only gives you a taste of the band’s appeal, and the live show is a little too distorted to see the whole picture. But a closer listen to the band’s latest release from one of the original producers of grunge- Seattle’s Subpop Records, reveals a record that has captured the vibrancy of the 90s alternative scene before it became too commercial and boring. On Everything In Between, No Age is noisy with lo-fi tendencies. Not afraid to get a bit ugly at times, or punk rock even if its not currently in fashion. Its a record that has me thinking about teen spirit without channeling any vocal ghosts of Kurt Cobain.

I am standing as close to the stage as I can without being a part of the mosh pit that has formed in front of it. So much for indie kids being too cool to rock out. I can’t believe that I’m even considering doing what I’m about to do- I haven’t been in a moshpit since I was 16 years old, pierced, and impervious to the bruises of colliding bodies. I look to my friends on my left and right for signs of affirmation. The water is warm, so we take the plunge.

© Natascha Malta, Music Vice

Related internet links:
No Age


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