Wildlife at The Great Hall, Toronto [CMW] – Concert review and photos

March 25, 2013

The Gig: Wildlife
Where: The Great Hall, Toronto
When: Friday 22 March 2013
In One Word™: Feral

Wildlife are back and as feral as ever. With a new album out and Canadian Music Week underway, it was only fitting that they showcase some of their new material to a hungry audience. And as any fan knows, a Wildlife show is never just a show – it’s an experience. Last May, at the band’s final show at the Horseshow Tavern before heading out to record what would become their sophomore record (On the Heart, released March 5), their set was an explosive performance filled with smoke, floating sharks (seriously) and the high-energy rock that has becoming their defining feature.

This past Thursday, at their headliner showcase at the Great Hall for Canadian Music Week, Wildlife did not disappoint, bringing the passion, heart and fury that fans have come to expect, nay, demand. The night included performances by Mad Ones, PS I Love You and secret special guests The Darcys, but by the time Wildlife came onstage around midnight, the crowd had swelled proportionately.

Wildlife convey an almost military aesthetic with their uniform look of black shirts, black pants and signature armbands (formerly green bands, now yellow to match the gold-and-black colour scheme of their latest album art) coupled with the purposeful, steady drumming that introduced the first song of the night, “Born to Ruin”, off the new album. But these boys are anything but constrained in their delivery.

After “Born to Ruin”, out came guitarist Graham Plant’s banjo and the first strummed chords of “Stand in the Water”, the fan-favourite single off their critically acclaimed first album, Strike Hard Young Diamond.

This was followed by more new material, including the anthemic “Lightning Tent”, and the song “Don’t Fear”, which begins, “You want to break my heart in ten / Drain the blood before you go…”

Lead singer Dean Povinsky prefaced this with,

“This one goes out to Now Magazine. Thanks for all the support.”

This, of course, said in pure irony as Now Magazine had run what they considered a particularly unfavourable review of their album.

Mixing up their set with a selection of songs old and new, Wildlife kept the energy level high and the crowd satisfied. At the end of their set they realized they still had time left, so they launched into some of their better-known material. The noise level as the crowd whooped in recognition of familiar tracks like “Sea Dreamer”, and sang along to some of the brand new releases like “One For the Body,” “Bad Dream”, and “Dangerous Times” indicates that this was a good move on their part.

Overall, judging by the reactions of the sizeable crowd at the Great Hall, Wildlife seem to be in no danger of losing fans to poor reviews.

© Gesilayefa Azorbo, Music Vice


Internet link: Wildlife

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Gesilayefa Azorbo

Gesilayefa Azorbo is a writer, photographer, & excessive tweeter. She majored in English and Journalism at U of T Scarborough. She loves indie shows and rep cinema, and has written about music, books, film and television for Cadencemag.com. She also writes about film for blogTO.com. When not listening to music, she is most likely humming it under her breath. She also reads way too much.

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