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Sound issues sabotage k-os at the Danforth Music Hall

Posted by Melody Brown / April 7, 2013

k-osOn Friday Night, the Danforth Music Hall beat out Sound Academy for the title of worst acoustic venue when k-os hit the stage to promote his latest release, a rock/hip hop album entitled BLack on BLonde. k-os has called the album a conversation, and for an artist whose fame spawns from intelligent rhymes, Friday night's muffled conversation was a lackluster strain to the ears.

k-osWearing a trendy golden arm party, thick-rimmed glasses, and sneakers, k-os kept a fairly low profile, occasionally calling out to the quiet crowd -- perhaps to see if anyone was still out there. An all ages show, the audience was smaller than anticipated and the energy was low, particularly for a Friday night. Even his back-up breakdancer, who hit the stage during "Mojo On," could only temporarily enliven the crowd.

BLack on BLonde, which was released earlier this year, features 20 songs split into two discs: BLack contains hip hop songs reminiscent of k-os' classic style, while BLonde showcases k-os' ability to successfully take on rock and roll. k-os is known for fusing hip hop with any and every other genre so the strength in quality found on BLonde is no surprise.

k-osThe double album also features collaborations with Canadian artists Sam Roberts, Sebastian Grainger, Corey Hart (sans sunglasses), and, my favourite, Emily Haines. It's just too bad last night's performance of their collab "One Time" couldn't be saved by cleaner sound.

Hope sprung during a moment of aural clarity when k-os picked up his acoustic guitar and showed off his impressive vocal chops. But he cut the song short, dropped the guitar, and started chanting, "All I care about is music in the city that I'm from." Not even the Toronto love could stir the ever-thinning crowd. The only time I heard the crowd go wild was before he played "Sunday Morning" when he commanded them to scream as much as they would if they were at a Jay Z and Justin Timberlake concert.

All in all, for an artist with such a true talent, k-os fell flat in his hometown last night.

Additional Photos

k-osk-osk-osk-osk-osPhotos by Brian Morton



Za-Moon-Da / April 7, 2013 at 12:21 pm
Poor k-os, he don't need all this mayhem.
Mar / April 7, 2013 at 04:36 pm
Weird you blame music hall in the title and opening statement but it sounds as if the real problem was a dry audience. I've seen many shows there and I am yet to notice a problem with sound. Comparing the music hall to sound academy is ridiculous. Sound academy has by far the worst sound. Also it's so narrow that unless you want to crush your way through the crowd you can't get any where near the stage. And also what about k-os? How was his energy? I'm seeing everyone but the artist blamed. A bit suspect.
Simon / April 7, 2013 at 05:36 pm
I've never been impressed by the sound quality at Danforth. At the same time I've never really been impressed by K-OS either and stopped going to see him perform after he walked off the stage after 2 or 3 songs a couple years ago. If he doesn't care, neither do I.
Kevin / April 7, 2013 at 06:18 pm
I was at the show on Friday though I must admit I was there to see Rich Aucoin (if you haven't seen him live you are really missing something, really) rather then K-OS. Rich had a great set, it was awesome to see a bunch of K-OS fans go 'holy shit who is this guy...' and Rich did a great job of getting everyone rocking out. I've seen it happen several times and I don't care who you are I don't think too many people can follow up after Rich's totally interactive, youtube-videos, confetti, parachute dancing and literally down in your face dancing with you style...

I am not a K-OS fan but I do like his earlier albums and was looking forward to hearing him - I had no intention of leaving early but halfway through his terrible set everyone in our group wanted to roll.
Rich / April 7, 2013 at 08:21 pm
I've seen K-OS live twice and both times he's seemed completely disinterested in being there. The first time he walked off stage early and let his band improvise until they couldn't think of anything else to play. The second time he came on super late, even by rock/hip-hop star standards.

Sound issues aside he doesn't have the persona to energize usually shy Canadian audiences.
Ren / April 7, 2013 at 08:23 pm
I would love to blame the Danforth Music Hall for bad sound, but really? I blame K-os. Rich Aucoin's set was killer awesome (and I'd never heard him before). Sorry, comparing your show to a Jay-Z/Timberlake performance after refusing to play more of your hits? Pathetic.
Greg / April 7, 2013 at 08:26 pm
I used to go there when it was the Titana cinema back in the late 70's - bad sound (dialogue hard to understand), saw a few live shows in there around the early/mid-80's (i.e. Propaganda, Divine in "The Neon Woman") - never went back after a few disappointing shows with poor sound. Also saw an exclusive Toronto showing of John Water's film "Desperate Living" (one week only) there around '83 or '84 and once again I couldn't understand half of what was being said. I thought with new owners they would have dampened the hall a bit with acoustic tiles but I guess no such luck. Too bad, it's a beautiful venue and well located in a great neighbourhood.
Simon Tarses replying to a comment from Rich / April 7, 2013 at 11:03 pm
I looks like he wants to quote music because he's bored and has nothing more to say-just saying.
evan / April 8, 2013 at 11:38 am
Danforth music hall is an echo box. They need some acoustic treatment up in there. Maybe back when it had seats it wasn't so echoey, but it sure is now. Still better than sound academy though, but not by too much.
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