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I Want to Make High School Girls Dance!


So, High School's has been over for me for a long time. But last night at Bloc Party's sold-out performance at the Docks, this old owl got to open up his dusty peepers, stretch his creaky wings, and take a look inside that old barn one last time. Apparently, all ages shows? Oh, they don't attract all ages; they attract 16 year olds.

This is something I should have anticipated, but, since the departure of Bradford Howe, I've not tuned into Much Music to see some unknown Vjs clean out somebody's bedroom and see how loosely they tie that to music. I will assume that they had some Bloc Party in serious rotation at some point this year. Or perhaps 102.1 got the word out. Again, last I checked, they were in year four of getting the word out on Starseed. So, surely they're recommendations could slip beneath me radar.

But what didn't Stealth it's way past my senses were The Kills (the opening band that was real draw for me.) So, at around 9PM, I wedged myself between two giggling Valley girls and started wondering how popular I am, whilst the Kills took the stage. The set heavily favoured their sophomore LP, No Wow, which was a touch disappointing. The New York/London based duo ("Hotel" and "W", apparently) played a respectable 40 minute set, with lots of obviously phallic guitar thrusts, schtick -y theatrics, and semi-controlled feedback. But they left the anthemic Fuck the People off the set list. You're not going to blow away the headliners acting like that.

By the time Bloc Party took the stage at 10:30PM everyone was ready to hear a proper band. When front man Kele Okereke walked up to the mike, you could tell he was in high spirits. The audience was beaming too. I began to feel markedly self conscious as the entire teenage room erupted in smiles and laughter for a four minute sing-a-long. They opened with Like Eating Class, their album's opener as well, which sounded full compared to the thin efforts of the band previous. Kele's vocals were sharp, but very strong. He engaged in banter in-between nearly every song. At one point he was pelted by loonies after jokingly remarking that the audience should toss them some Canadian money. As well, Kele tried to interview a member of the audience who was crowd-surfing with a "plaster cast". But that isn't what won me over completely.

Now, every band in the history of the world acts happy to be in any given city at any given time. So when Bloc Party remarked that they were "really glad to be here", I was not washed away with civic pride. But after they repeated it four times, recalled Toronto stories from a past tour, and even said that they were considering moving to Canada, I was pretty on-board. Also, as further proof, the band played two complete encores before stopping the show at 12AM.

I lost my ride and had to wait amongst the High School assembly for a taxi, my over-19 wristband not co-operating with my plans to blend in. I learned that Jessie may get her Beginner's "just for ID", Todd and his friend like using Pringles lids as Frisbees, and that sometimes "all ages" means just that. Thanks Bloc Party.


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