Entries in The Opera House (3)

Friday
Oct072016

Ta-Ku at The Opera House

Ta-Ku and Wafia may have just released their collaborative EP '(m)edian' but there's a lot more music from them that we were dying to witness.  And we weren't the only ones.  The Toronto stop on their tour sold out rather quickly, and if that wasn't enough indication the anticipation leading up to the show was quite evident in the audience.  It's a unique experience to find such a tightly packed crowd for artists synonymous with delicate, beautiful slow jams. 

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Wednesday
Jul232014

Camera Obscura live at The Opera House, Toronto, July 23, 2014


For the first time in a year, Glasgow indie folksters and masters of their craft, Camera Obscura returned to Toronto.  We were especially gutted to have missed them last year at TURF, where they would have definitely fit the vibe more than perfectly, but extremely excited to have the opportunity to see them at one of our favorite venues, The Opera House.  We had to do a giant sprint from the Broadview subway station to make it on time, but we made it, and it was a beautiful thing.

Arriving in a major rush, we made it in time for the first tune, and the beautiful, super melodic frenzy of amazing music that was to follow.  So many of our favorites were delivered with wonderful precision and flawless sound quality.  All kinds of tunes from My Maudlin Career, Let's Get Out of This Country and Desire Lines (our faves) got dropped on us, as well as a myriad of magical songs from the rest of their amazing catalog.
Lead singer Tracyanne Campbell was in top form, and sounded absolutely amazing song after song.  Her between tunes commentary was also spot on, asking us if the air conditioning in Toronto was broken, and exclaiming her excitement with the turnout asking "What is it?  Tuesday night?".  It's always awesome to know that the musicians you love, love you back and are having as much fun as you are.

All in all, this show was a massive success.  Camera Obscura were fantastic, The Opera House was the perfect venue for them, and Collective Concerts once again threw an incredible party.  Thanks to everyone involved, we all had a blast.

Check out more from Camera Obscura here, and more amazing shows coming soon from Collective Concerts here.
Monday
May052014

Review: Shlohmo at the Opera House w/ Jim-E Stack and D33J

In spite of familiarity with all of the artists on the bill for Shlohmo's North American tour, we still weren't sure what to expect.  The three artists who have been touring the continent since Coachella have a great many similarities, and just as many differences.  The Opera House in Toronto is a classic venue, and piece of the citys history.  Where could be better than a venue that opened it's doors as a vaudeville theatre in 1909, changed into a cinema, and then into a concert venue in the 90's?  A place that has experienced such evolution over the years was the perfect host for a show featuring an artist that's an unorthodox innovator in the modern transformation of music.

Supporting act Jim-E Stack got the crowds attention swiftly, and caught a number of people off guard.  The young San Francisco born artist started things off with a pitched down live remix of Deadmau5 and Kaskade's 'Move For Me'.  The song took on a longing quality, beckoning to the audience to move.  Before long the house influenced sound that we've come to know from his self-released work and Body High release took over.  The unexpected energy of the set was positively infectious and built on the palpable vibe of anticipation.  Having an artist like Jim-E-Stack perform so early on in the evening provides an exciting start and a proper introduction to what he can do live.

Before long one of Shlohmos partners in the infamous Wedidit collective took the stage.  D33J brought a plant from the green room on stage with him, setting the tone for a set that he himself referred to as weird.  D33J's music might take a step down from Jim-E Stack's in terms of energy level, but the performance certainly did not.  The Los Angeles artist played tunes from his 'Tide Songs' and 'Gravel' EPs (both released on Anticon) to a captive audience.  The sounds played out almost as you'd imagine an electronic performance of a classical compisition.  The music is vibrant and dynamic, and altogether patient.  Something we welcomed at a time when many electronic acts employ similar sounds and performances.

As D33J concluded his performance, the stage crew removed the dj booth used by he and Jim-E Stack revealing the stage set up that Shlohmo has been using on this tour.  An iconic brick structure, with a column on either side frames his dj booth.  Behind it images of teardrops, a lava lamp, a chain, a serpent, a joint, a rose, and the number 13 were hanging on the wall.  Within moments of Shlohmo taking the stage the audience realizes that each element can in fact be illuminated in any number of colours.  The lights on the bricks, the columns and the backdrop glowed bright white and revealed Shlohmo's silhouette onstage.

From the first moment of the first song Shlohmo has his audiences attention.  The crowd responds in a way that falls somewhere in between your average downtempo electronic show, the ultra-popular larger than life EDM show, and the hip hop and soul that Shlohmo is gradually transforming.  While some dance their night away, others hardly move but are completely entranced.  The set moves through his remixes and most recent EP 'Laid Out' and back through his catalogue, and it's bigger than you think. 

Throughout the night it's evident that those in attendance are all in on something that the masses are soon to discover.  As Shlohmo embarks on this tour he's traveled the road from Coachella, on towards the release of his EP with Jeremih by Wedidit and Def.  To see an artist build on his own music, and create a foundation where other artists can benefit from collaboration is impressive.  To see him create a new sound and influence all fashions of music is inspiring, and to see the potential is astounding.  Shlohmo is an artist whose work ethic and inventive business as well as his sound is changing the face of music today, even if you never see his during the show.

See the full photo album.

Photos by @itsbigmitch words by @yahohyah