May 14, 2008

The New Pornographers, Phoenix Concert Theatre, Toronto, 21 October 2007

Posted in bootleg, mp3 at 1:00 pm by rgsc

Photo from 9 April 2008 at the Phoenix by Chromewaves. For some great photos of the night I’m talking about, also by Frank, click here.

One of my favourite albums of last year was the New Pornographers‘ Challengers. I don’t get why so many people were so down on this record – so what if it’s not as poppy as their previous work – there are a ton of great moments on it and overall I think it is a fantastic album that was terribly underrated by most. Just my opinion; you can disagree if you like.  I don’t travel too far to see many bands (what with all the greatness that is on my doorstep and all) but I made the trek to Toronto in October to see the full band take the stage. The first time I saw NP live, when they opened for Belle & Sebastian, it was less than ideal to say the very least (shitty sound, shitty crowd, we got there late missing half the show) so I was really hoping for something great from this show. And, by and large, I was really happy with what I got this time around. As others who reviewed the show in a timely fashion have stated, the band seemed rather detached for the most part and there were some odd rather moments filled with awkward silence (apparently it was better when they rolled through Toronto again in April). While they didn’t offer much in the way of banter they made up for it in the music. They effortlessly tore through a huge set (24 songs) of new songs and old favourites, making the performance of perfect pop seem like it was the easiest thing in the world to pull off. I am glad to have made the trip for the pleasure of seeing Neko and Dan up there even if it wasn’t the OMFGBestShowEvah!, although I can still see the words “NEW PORNOGRAPHERS” when I close my eyes from the million-watt strong light sign that was their back drop. Yikes that was intense.

Here are a few selections from the show. My recording didn’t turn out as well one might like (sounds rather hollow – i guess i’m not used to taping in venue that size and didn’t have my settings right? i dunno) so I recommend you get yourself the Executive Edition of Challengers and snap up the “Live from the Future” bonus disc or get the Live! cd from a year or so ago. If you like what you hear and want the rest let me know. If there is some interest I might be persuaded to post the full thing. I hope you enjoy even it the recording isn’t perfect.

The New Pornographers, Phoenix Concert Theatre, Toronto, 21 October 2007

* Myriad Harbour

* Challengers

* The Laws Have Changed

* Testament to Youth In Verse

* Unguided

* The Bleeding Heart Show

* Streets of Fire

* Letter from an Occupant

Pick up Challengers and the Live! cd and shirts and stuff from the NP Store.


  1. arkmay said,

    Thanks! Can’t get enough live stuff for these guys. Any chance of posting the full show?

  2. Ming Wu said,

    I was glad to see them in Ottawa.
    It was also the first time to see them.
    Sucked that Neko Case wasn’t there.
    But Kathryn made it all up.

  3. Mark said,

    Twas a good show wasn’t it? I meant to comment on this when I first read it but I can be a slacker. I was going through your back catalog and I thought I’d comment.

    Good show, very enjoyable.

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