Reuben and the Dark
Lee's Palace in Toronto, ON
March 25, 2014
Review by: Laura Eley
Photos by: Pete Nema
Toronto-based The Darcys have been on a whirlwind tour following the release of their critically acclaimed, JUNO-nominated album, Warring.
Filled with synthesized emotions and an art rock audio-visual finesse, the four members headlined Lee's Palace on Tuesday night, opened by fellow Arts & Crafters Reuben and the Dark and NO.
It made sense for the night to feel like a homecoming celebration (minus the football players), given it was The Darcys' hometown stop while on tour. With an enthusiastic crowd exchanging hugs, drinks, and body heat, the four members brought an endearing excitement onstage. Independently, the moment they picked-up their instruments felt quite poignant; home-grown talent receiving so much love and support from many who have, very likely, supported them for years. Dressed in their standard suit jackets and button downs, the band opened with "Hunting", followed by a mixture of old and new songs from their previous albums. While the band’s all-business attitude can make them seem aloof, they rocked a well rehearsed set that, even in its slower moments, was gobbled right up by an attentive, generous crowd.
Reuben and the Dark
Stepping on before The Darcys was Calgary's Reuben and the Dark, a band that has also been gaining momentum following the 2013 release of their second album. Playing a selection of folk-rock tunes that displayed front-man Reuben Bullock's impressive vocals, the band's intimate appeal worked well for the venue's size. Lacking slightly in their ability to build energy leading up to the headlining show, this group would be great to see at an outdoor concert with a beer in hand.
First on stage was Los Angeles indie-rock quirksters NO, who offer a combination of witty lyrics and electronic backbeats. Bringing some of the most upbeat songs of the evening, they were a good start to a series of well-rehearsed sets that were a testament to the three bands’ time on the road together.