Gig / Concert: The Big Pink with A Place To Bury Strangers
Venue: The Mod Club, Toronto, ON, Canada
Date: 24 March 2010
Headiner: The Big Pink
In One Word: Zombifying
I made my way inside the Mod Club accompanying The Big Pink’s current Road Manager Dan who had helped me out with a last-minute guest list request. With a box of Big Pink merchandise on my arm, I walked through the main doors to find the Mod Club packed, and if it wasn’t a sell-out then it must’ve been near it.
The support band A Place To Bury Strangers were a few songs into their set and had transformed a venue full of people into concert zombies, with eyes staring and mouths gaping. A Place To Bury Strangers create smokescreens, and I don’t just mean by their over zealous use of a fog machine, with this New York noise outfit creating music which is frequently a blurry haze, and one in which I found pleasure in becoming zombified by. Somewhere between all the sound shifts and audio smokescreens was the distinct sound of a flanger, set firmly on ‘airplane whoosh’ mode, and shortly after came the sonic boom as A Place To Bury Strangers ended their set with a rare moment of genuine rock n’ roll destruction, with guitarist/singer Oliver Ackermann triumphantly hurling his guitar around before throwing it to the ground. As the silhouettes of A Place To Bury Strangers were seen exiting through the fog, the crowd snapped out of their collective trance and gave the band a hearty and fully conscious send-off. An awesome set that really raised my opinion and awareness of this band, and I’ll now be hunting out their back catalogue.
The Big Pink’s set tonight was very much reminiscent of the one they’d played at Lee’s Palace just four months ago. The setlist was pretty much identical with the exception of one new song, a song which had a nice meaty opening riff. They played through material from their sole release to date A Brief History Of Love, and predictably enough the big tunes got the biggest responses, but again there had been muted moments of lulled interest and wandering minds, and minds wandered particularly during a five minute spell when the band’s guitar tech battled with effects pedals, desperately twisting knobs and swapping patch cords as he tried to solve a technical gremlin. Like a repeat of November’s outing, the last song “Dominos” got the biggest response of the evening and ensured a happy ending, though there was no encore, nor even any real attempt by the audience to demand one.
Frontman Robbie Furze had a cocky swagger again tonight, this time going as far to stand in a Christ-like pose at one moment – I stick to my verdict that The Big Pink are a long way from being rock gods, but there is enough quality here to be really enthusiastic about the band’s next album. Sophomore albums are infamously tricky and a hard nut to crack, but only once the Big Pink have more material will we be able to judge their potential and merit to become the indie rock gods that some of my friends and fellow music hacks back home in the UK already declare them to be.
© Brian Banks, Music Vice
Photos of The Big Pink and A Place To Bury Strangers