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Concert Review: Dinosaur Jr. @ Théatre Corona

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The grand Théatre Corona abounded with relics of the ‘90s on March 9. As I wandered into a sea of dads, I was engulfed in a wave of sounds and smells I valued most in my childhood, however putrid they seemed at the time. The crowd was kind and ruddy, allowing me to snake my way through hundreds of Dinosaur Jr. devotees standing transfixed by the musical stylings of a band that defined their dive bar days. I was happy to be allowed a glimpse into their tried rituals — they’d called up college friends, filled up on moderately-priced beer, and nodded along to the songs that marked their lives’ major milestones.

That night, I was made privy to the very peculiar process of reawakening. The herd bore signs of fatigue, content to tap their feet where a mosh pit would have been in order a few short decades ago. However, no matter where any given member fell in terms of life experience, all were transported to a timeless dreamworld of J Mascis, Lou Barlow, and Murph’s creation. In the wake of Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not, the band’s eleventh studio album, the crowd celebrated “Tiny” and “Goin Down” as wholeheartedly as they savored the familiar beats of “Feel the Pain.” The riffs were emblems of a youth never truly bygone. In essence, the show was not a testament to any time in particular, but rather a chance to integrate sounds of the past into our lives again.

The muted nostalgia persisted throughout, and the crowd itself was just as fascinating as the spectacle we came to witness. The spectators exuded comfort, as their passion for the band had only matured with time. Perhaps the rejuvenating power of a live show only grows, so I don’t fear a future of enjoying beers with friends while reveling in past shenanigans. For now, I have no qualms learning from the earlier generation who may never stop stumbling into musty concert halls just in time for the headliner to grace the stage.

Although I couldn’t partake in the general nostalgia for years I experienced in a stroller, I was grateful to my parents for keeping Dinosaur Jr. in constant rotation on our old stereo. When the first few notes of “Start Choppin’” filled the room, I danced with more violent fervor than ever before. Of course, this led to respectful thrashing among the crowd’s most spry as the band continued on through “Freak Scene” and an encore cover of The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven.” The band’s intrigue is intergenerational, and I’ve become aware of a visceral connection to my predecessors as I trace the musical history we venerated in my childhood apartment.

I appreciated the opportunity to see Dinosaur Jr. alone, as I could satisfy my own curiosities about a band so important to my family. Everyone at the venue that night was participating in an exploit that stretches back thirty years and content to see it live on into the future. We all danced to these records at varying stages of life, and in this way we were able to welcome a Montreal spring together. With a gentle salute to the past, Dinosaur Jr. is adapting to an era of uncertainty with time-honored composure. For one night, we were lucky to do so along with them.

– Review by Maddie Jennings

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**DOUBLE FEATURE** Album and Concert Review: Are You Serious – Andrew Bird

unnamedThe master has returned home. Andrew Bird, expert violinist and whistler-extraordinaire, released his latest LP Are You Serious into the music cosmos last week, his first full-length album since he took a break three years prior to focus on his family and thematic side projects. A simultaneous celebration of his newly-formed family and a refocusing of the spotlight from the sidelines, many tracks seek to explore the newfound longevity of relationships. Bird takes time to analyze the sacrifices and compromises that have to be made as two people get to know each other through the lens of love and commitment. The album serves both as an inward analysis of his personal life and as a clear-eyed celebration of musical creation in a way only Andrew Bird can accomplish.  Continue reading

tv on the radio - seeds

Concert Review: TV On The Radio at Theatre Corona

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By Natasha Michaeloff

Although TV on the Radio has been playing together since 2001, judging by the packed concert they played at the Théâtre Corona on November 13th, they show no clear signs of slowing down any time soon.

The band is currently on a worldwide tour to promote the November 18th release of Seeds, their fifth studio album and their first album since the untimely passing of their bassist Gerard Smith. Having now listened to Seeds in its glorious entirety, I can safely say that their unique sound, described as “art rock” and influenced by the band’s self-proclaimed appreciation for a wide variety of musicians ranging from Nancy Sinatra to the Pixies, truly takes on a new form during a live set. Naturally, they played a handful of songs from Seeds (including the catchy single “Happy Idiot” and the foot-stomping “Lazerray”) as well as some old hits. “Province” (recorded in collaboration with David Bowie on 2006’s critical darling Return to Cookie Mountain) was one of the highlights, with members of the audience swaying in time to front man Tunde Adebimpe’s tender crooning, his silhouette illuminated only by violet stage lights. The show eventually culminated with the rollicking “Wolf Like Me”, perhaps the band’s most well known song and my own personal favourite, which got an already enthusiastic crowd buzzing with unrestrained energy, and “Staring at the Sun” (from their debut Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes), following impassioned chants for an encore.

Think what you like of their work, but you can’t say the seasoned performers of TV on the Radio don’t know how to appeal to the senses. As for me, I’ll keep Seeds on repeat to tide me over until their next (inevitable) musical venture.