May 27, 2007

Handsome Furs, Massey Hall, Toronto, 16 May 2007

Posted in bootleg, mp3 at 3:44 pm by rgsc

photo courtesy of Dystopian Dreamer.

As a fan of Wolf Parade (who are going to be headlining the Wolfe Island Musicfest!), I was quite happy to hear that Dan Boeckner’s other band, Handsome Furs, would be opening for Arcade Fire. I was impressed with the couple songs that I had heard off their brand-spanking-new album “Plague Park” and was anxious to hear the rest of their material. I’m pleased to report that it was top-to-bottom excellent. Given the distinctiveness of Boeckner’s vocals, there is naturally echoes of Wolf Parade in the Furs. As a result of the drum machine and synths provided by Alexei Perry which back Boeckner’s vocals and guitar work, however, the sound is noticeably different from that of Wolf Parade. The cool, impersonal nature of the electronics are offset by Boeckner’s impassioned delivery. With Handsome Furs, Boeckner is concerned primarily with notions of where he is and where he has been. There is a theme of discontented domesticity and a preoccupation with place that runs throughout the album, popping up notably in “Dead + Rural”, “Sing! Captain,” and “Handsome Furs Hate this City” and scattered throughout a number of their other songs in between the lyrical abstractions Boeckner is known for. Heartfelt and melancholy, Handsome Furs is much more personal than WP.

On this, the second night at Massey Hall opening for Arcade Fire, Boeckner and Perry burned through seven songs (6 from Plague Park plus an unrecorded one about Vladimir Putin) in almost exactly a half hour. The doubled vocals which you can hear on the album was replicated by Boecker singing into two mics – one of which was distorted/echo-y. He was not afraid to rock out while Perry was extremely focused on the keyboard and other electro-gizmos. Getting a chance to see Handsome Furs was a fantastic way to start the evening’s entertainment. Those folks who purposely showed up late, missing this opening act, were fools.

photo courtesy of Dave’s Live Music Blog. You can get his recording of this set there, along with their performance on May 15th, in lossless format.

Handsome Furs, Massey Hall, Toronto, 16 May 2007

1. Handsome Furs Hate This City
2. What We Had
3. Hearts Of Iron
4. Snakes On The Ladder
5. growing up there kinda sucked, but I like it now (talk)
6. Dead + Rural
7. Sing! Captain
8. I wanna play the song about Putin (talk)
9. Heaven

Pick up Plague Park through Sub Pop. You won’t regret it.


I almost forgot – Martin is the winner of the Rock Plaza Central cd. Thanks to all who entered.

1 Comment »

  1. Thanks for posting this. I live in Boston and tonight’s HF show was called off. I was (and still am) bummed – but the show here makes it just a little better. Good taste – I think we’re guilty of it. Cheers!

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