By: Mehek Seyid (@whatthemehek) –
Toronto-based indie rockers The Darcys played an intimate show at Adelaide Hall last night to celebrate the release of their new album, Warring. Performing for just about an hour, The Darcys demonstrated how carefully they constructed this record so that it sounded good while listening to it at home, but it sounded even better in a live setting.
This is because of how well one can hear the individual components involved in the complex arrangements that the quartet produced on Warring. It is especially true of drummer Wes Marskell, who, despite being shrouded in darkness towards the back of the stage, often became a central focus of the night as his rhythms rose above his guitarist counterparts and synth machines, becoming the predominant heart beat that rang strong and clear throughout Adelaide Hall. This was especially true during their performances of “Itchy Blood” and “Horses Fell”, the latter of which found many fans singing along, clearly pleased at its appearance during the set.
Besides the late start time, there were not really any reasons to be upset at last night’s performance. The Darcys took three years to produce Warring, and while the album speaks of internal struggles and loss, last night’s audience were genuinely pleased at the band’s return, ensuring that the only battles that took place were in the small mosh pit on the left side of the stage. A highlight was their performance of “Pretty Girls”, an upbeat track that featured a speedy central melody, which found some individuals pushing each other around, and a large majority shimmying around. The crowd was just as captured by quieter moments of the night, such as The Darcys’ performance of the haunting “The Pacific Theatre”, where lead singer Jason Couse expressed “I hope that you make it through”.
This is an easy desire to fulfill for the audience, but at times there were moments where you were curious about Couse’s ability to make it through. His vocals were clean and smooth throughout the evening, but especially on lead single “The River”, where he shifted from a low mumble to the bursting chorus seamlessly. However, towards the end of the set he began to crouch over his machinery, hands placed on the floor of the stage, and completely absorbed by the approaching sounds of his bandmates. Regardless of whether this was to demonstrate how encompassing the Warring experience has been or if Couse was simply tired, it’s safe to say that many are as equally immersed in The Darcys return.
Opener Lowell will likely be finding her way on to many “must-watch” lists in the coming months, partially because of her work with Apparatjik, a supergroup made up of members from Coldplay, A-ha, and Mew, but mainly because she is just plain good. She packed her set with many vocal moments that are reminiscent of Lykke Li, Grimes, and Austra for just under half an hour. ‘
Although there were a few occasions where she stood quietly on stage, sipping on a beer and awkwardly cheering for TheDarcys as her supporting band dealt with technical difficulties, she made up for it with her dance-laden beats and dream-pop vocals, which surely prompted many concert-goers to go online to bookmark her for bragging rights later on.