The Dead Ships at Bovine Sex Club – Gig review and photos [CMW 2015]

May 10, 2015

The Dead Ships at Bovine Sex Club, Toronto - photo Lucy Sky, Music Vice

Who: The Dead Ships
Where: Bovine Sex Club, Toronto
When: Friday, 8 May 2015
In One Word: Sensational

For their second of three Toronto shows at Canadian Music Week, The Dead Ships rocked the socks off of everyone in attendance at Bovine Sex Club.

The trio came all the way from Los Angeles, making a stop for a show in lead singer Devlin McCluskey’s home town of Chicago, to play at one of his favourite venues.

Having just released an EP this week, with contributions from and produced by Toronto’s own Brendan Canning of Broken Social Scene, the band could not be more thrilled on where they’re at in their careers and said they love coming to Toronto.

Their performance peaked my interest in this budding sensation even more, which seemingly wasn’t possible, but among many other things, they pulled that off.

Its like 90s punk meets The Arcade Fire, because although there are only three of them, each one puts on a performance of their own. There’s so much to feast your eyes on, for a set that didn’t last nearly long enough for my desire.

With something I can only think to compare to the way that Mark Hoppus and Tom DeLonge of Blink 182, or George Pettit and Dallas Green of Alexisonfire (strictly structurally, not in sound) support each other vocally, the two contrast each other and transition from high to low and all around the scale with unique and flawless lucidity. Heavy thuds from the drums and deep bass lines amplify the vocals even more.

Ever so fluidly presenting something I’ve never seen pulled off before, McCluskey transitioned straight from harmonious vocals into deep full rasp screams without a breath or even slight cut of tone and Alex Moore’s vocals, as well as the instruments, supporting him absolutely. They went from one style to the next in a way that again, I’ve never witnessed.

While their musical talent is more than enough to force people to collect their jaws from the floor, they also proved every rave review of their enthusiastic, electric, live act more than true. Flailing their instruments around, dancing and keeping the crowd engaged even through technical failures, shaking their instruments while playing, head banging, and still not missing a beat – their intensity on stage is something that should be showcased on big stages across the world. Moreover, it would not surprise anyone familiar with the band if that’s in the near future.

The Dead Ships at Bovine Sex Club, Toronto - photo Lucy Sky, Music Vice

With a video for their single, Canyon, up on YouTube and a newly released EP, available for purchase on iTunes,  the next year will bring out the second set of tracks following EPI, more live performances and much more, I’m sure.

Powerful and energetic right until the last second of the show, I can only imagine they set a pretty high precedent for anyone following The Dead Ships’ phenomenal performance. The sweat stains speak for themselves.

© Lucy Sky, Music Vice

Internet links:
The Dead Ships

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