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Concert Reviews, Music

Dragonette Ignites a Dance Party at Sound Academy in Toronto

By: Adam Harrison –

Martina Sorbara and Dan Kurtz of Dragonette at Sound Academy in Toronto. October 18, 2012. (Photo: Adam Harrison)

Toronto’s own Dragonette just came to say “Hello” to all their hometown fans. Currently on tour for their latest album, Bodyparts, the local trio stopped by the Sound Academy last night as one of the last stops on the North American trek.

Opening the evening was another Toronto band, Young Empires, who recently enjoyed some local success with their single “White Doves.” Wasting no time they opened their set with the familiar tune. Now drawn in, the four-piece was able to keep the crowd interested with their clever mix of pop, folk, electronic & indie music known as world beat. Front man and singer/keyboardist Matthew Vlahovich and guitarist Robert Aaron Ellingson played the crowd nicely with their bright personalities and enthusiasm. You could really tell the guys were glad to be playing for a full crowd in their own backyard.

Matthew Vlahovich of Young Empires at Sound Academy in Toronto. October 18, 2012. (Photo: Adam Harrison)

As soon as Dragonette hit the stage the room instantly turned into a dance party. One of the most charming things about their live show was even if you didn’t know a song; their brand of electropop made it very easy to dance along to. Much of that is inspired and encouraged by their lead singer and front lady, Martina Sorbara, who jumped, stomped and whipped her hair around through the entire 80-minute set.

Dragonette have a very interesting arrangement – they actually have no guitarist. Sorbara is only backed up by Dan Kurtz on bass and Joel Stouffer on electronic drums. But it is Sorbara that is really the backbone of the band. Singer, songwriter and a definite crowd pleaser, she can compete with some of the best leading ladies in the business.

Dragonette also wasted little time, opening their set with their very first single, “I Get Around,” which was released five years ago. It is one of those songs that makes you say “Oh yeah! I forgot this was by them.” It was a definite highlight of the night. Other highlights included their first single from the new album, “Let It Go” and the main set ender “Fixin to Thrill”. However the obvious peak of the evening and what everyone was waiting for was the smash hit “Hello,” which was originally composed with the French DJ Martin Solveig, the song sent the crowd into an instant dance frenzy.

Although the main set ended strong, it was not followed too well in the encore. Dragonette returned to the stage with two new songs, the first of which was a slow song that really struggled to engage the crowd. In fact, a decent amount of the crowd left early and skipped it altogether.

Overall, Dragonette made for a fun evening. The band definitely aims for an atmosphere approach rather than strictly leaning on musical talent. Sorbara’s stage presence and the pure dance-ability of their songs made it very easy to enjoy. Kudos also goes to their lighting engineer who did a fantastic job with a fairly minimal amount of equipment and certainly made the concert that much more engaging. The environment created by the band and the young audience really makes their show what it is.

Dragonette Set-List

  1. I Get Around
  2. Riot
  3. Live In This City
  4. Right Woman
  5. Pick Up The Phone
  6. Fire in Your New Shoes (Kaskade cover)
  7. My Legs
  8. Black Limousine
  9. Easy
  10. Run Run Run
  11. Hello (Martin Solveig & Dragonette cover)
  12. Let It Go
  13. Fixin’ to Thrill
  14. Cuckoo
  15. My Work Is Done


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