Aftternoon Delights On A Hot Summer Night: REVIEW
Aftternoon Delights On A Hot Summer Night was the name strewn together for the big party by the lake for the release of Henri Faberge & The Adorables' sef-titled CD. Everyone prayed for good weather. They wanted blue skies, calm waters and seasonable temperatures. But, what if none of this had come? What if the weather reports were wrong and the skies had clouded up, the rain would fall and the waters would rise? It would still be the best f-ing party this town had seen al summer.
The party took place on the patio deck at The Palais Royale (newly made and fantastic for this occasion) all afternoon/night. Food on the grill, two giant beach-balls bouncing about knocking over people 'n musical equipment, tons of random merch (antiques from people's curbs and plastic pig pins), and a flourish of sunflowers all around. It was wonderful to be around as you could already tell how much work everyone had put into the day.
But, enough talk about the ambience and the flowers. Let's talk about the music:
Skeleton (Me) - Born Ruffian Luke LaLonde sings his own songs to loops of mixed tones and different octaves. Sung a few songs to kick the day off. Look at the images: you might be able to see your reflection in his shades.
Castlemusic - The wonderful Jen Castle had arrived by the lakeside and placed her guitar on a log while she sat down to take in the chill of the calm tide. She played a few songs, then increased her output on her amp by 10 times to get more sound out of it. The best (the very best) is when she sings without any instruments and keeps the beat inside her heart.
Township Expansion - I had to miss them because I needed pick up stuff. Doesn't matter. Township Expansion are sweet.
Basement Arms - I had arrived back at the patio in time to witness two more songs of hilarity. The final song involved the lead saying "gimmie some sugar baby", so he would eat candy while he'd sing the same line over and over again. Sweetness? I think so.
Woodhands - Dan "Woodhands" Werb brought out the electronic fuzz and keytar love that he is known for. Most of his songs were performed with a singer. He had Gentlemen Reg and Andy Lloyd come up and perform versions of their songs with an electronic spin.
The Born Ruffians - It's time to see this band, Mr. and Miss. I've-Been-Living-Under-A-Rock. The crowd gathered around for the band as they played a few songs. Coming off a big set at V-Fest, the Ruffians pleased all by sticking to their story and proudly winning over new listeners...and pleasing the old, of course.
The Rural Alberta Advantage - Love and beating drums from Fort McMurry, Alberta picked up the pace after the Born Ruffians had walked off the makeshift patio stage. Sporting blue shirts and more percussion than you could shake a stick at, the RAA played and promoted dancing 'n sing-alongs. If you see them again (which you should), stick around if they play late and they'll sing you a "good night" tune.
The Comedy Styling of Rebecca Addelman, Inessa Frantowski & Holly Prazoff - The trio of comedians wore their grey 'n black dresses and spoke about grey 'n black issues, but that mean their humor and volume were low and leveled. Two of the girls are Sketchersons and already have a reputation for being crazy, eccentric and/or extreme. While some people didn't seem to follow the direction they were going in, others were laughing at Holly's wheezing cry because she couldn't read, or Rebecca's taunting words, or even Inessa's fake go-tee.
Spitfires & Mayflowers - No words were spoken when this band hit the stage for the (supposed) last time. Opening with a Jose tune, the band looked at each other and smiled as if it was the first time they were playing a stage, especially to a crowd of three friends who decided to support them. Instead, many had heard that this would be their last show ever. The crowd expected this, and they all enjoyed what they could of what was left. But, by the end of the set, as I was on my knees waiting to hear their final words and hold in those tears of love, Henry Fletcher took the mic and said, "This probably isn't our last show ever. We'll probably do one more." Sigh. Damn you, Spitfires.
Laura Barrett - She is the epitome of wonderful. Singing songs about religion but interpreting them as love 'n lost tales isn't such a bad thing, especially when it's me who assumes so. Laura began to play as dusk have become noticed all across the sky. The majority of the crowd sat for her kalimba tunes. Because of her recent popularity involving the SOCAN Echo Award, recent additions to her "fan club" were heard singing along. The best out of everything was seeing the smiles on everyone's faces, propped up by their arms, propped up by elbows on legs, legs crossed 'n controlling a rocking body back 'n forth, and so on.
The Bartmitzvah Brothers - The band that had traveled the furthest to get to the Palais Royale (from Guelph), The Barmitzvah Brothers played a set with new and old tunes under the makeshift spotlights. The sun had almost left the sky, so it was time to bring out the colours. Although it was unfortunate that the band only played a few songs, and their songs aren't incredibly long, The Barmitzvah Brothers were exceptional with their brand of folky fun-pop that I can't seen to get bored of. These guys should tour more and be on tv shows!
Gentlemen Reg - It had finally become dark and the lights were clearly necessary. I bet Reg's was worth it with the lighting it had as it suited the set nicely. The band quickly ran through new and old songs. Nothing special or out-of-the-ordinary from this set. For the fans who like Reg, they got what they wanted. I like some of his new songs, but there were some that I didn't hear. Ah well. NEXT!
Ultra Magnus - You can't sit and listen to Ultra Magnus. How can you do such a thing? "I'm drunk." Then, dance while you're drunk! Ultra Magnus are a mega-power band with horns, percussion, guitar, bass and cool vibes! Magnus started off with an amazing intro that I was surprised to see most people not moving to. They were the warm-up band for the warm-up band and I thought they did a fantastic job drilling some soul into the sound.
The Bicycles - As per usual, The Bicycles retained their position as one of Toronto's best bands. It's hard not to sing along, gesture to your friends whilst singing the lyrics and dance with the person next to you. The band rushed through their set but did it in good pace to try and get done just before 10pm. The front of the stage was crowed as some people went up with the band and joined in with percussion, singing and/or dancing. Most people agreed that this is how all cd release shows should be.
Henri Faberge & The Adorables - Before their set had started, Ryan Mills (who recorded the record with the band) spoke into the mic and expressed his love and respect for the band and how they had to do some much in order to make the self-title release as amazing as it had turned out to be. Most of the members in the band were playing their secondary instruments on the record, which isn't heard of too often. After a quick set-up, the band quickly began to fill in an hour's worth of music before they would have to shut everything down.
The set was just like an Embassy residency (for those of you who don't know what that is, it's the jam-packed monthly "practice" that the band would have at The Embassy in Kensington Market). All the pushing, dancing, loud singing, crowd-surfing, hoisting-on-shoulders dancing, and so forth were all reminiscent of the fun. The only difference was that this was outdoors and there were FIREWORKS! At the end of "O Ella!", fireworks were set up and set off right behind the stage. This was probably the most memorable part of the evening.
Overall, you couldn't ask for a better day for a show like this. All friends (new and old), great music, great fun (with gigantic beach balls), and super-expensive drinks made it a day no one will forget. Two reasons why: 1) it was more fun than you could think of (well, I'm sure we could all of think of fun beyond fun) and, 2) bands will try to replicate this party sometime in the near-future. This party definitely capped off one of the best summers ever, especially for Toronto's music scene.
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