The Drake in Toronto, ON
March 28, 2014
Review by: Melissa Adamson
Touring in support of his album Ledges, Noah Gundersen stopped to play his first show in Toronto to a sold out room at The Drake.
Easing gently into the set, just as he eases into his album Ledges, Noah Gundersen and his siblings Abby Gundersen (vocals and violin) and Jonny Gundersen (vocals and drums) started the night with the mostly a capella, "Poor Man's Son." Though it was the band's first time in Toronto, the crowd began to sing along almost immediately and filled the room like a well-rehearsed choir.
Gundersen has been around the music scene for a while and has managed to develop a strong fanbase. Tellingly, the show at The Drake sold out three months in advance and two months before Ledge was released in Canada through Dine Alone Records.
Though the siblings seemed to be surprised by the sing-a-long, they just smiled and continued to play as the rest of the band joined them on stage. They then transitioned easily into "Boathouse" and "Isaiah," the other two songs that start the album. The rest of the night was a mix of songs from Ledges and Gundersen's third EP Family, as well as a brief cover of Drake's, "Hold On, We're Going Home," which he played softly on the keyboard.
Some of the best moments of the evening were when only Gundersen and his sister were on stage. Her elegant harmonies highlight his rich vocals beautifully and the small room was the perfect venue to showcase the duo. The crowd though enthusaistic was also respectful and silent for most of the songs, allowing everyone to hear each note perfectly.
There is something about Gundersen that is incredibly gripping. He demands attention with honest lyrics, delivered through confident vocals and by the time he ended the set nobody was ready to let him go. The crowd enthusiastically called him back to the stage for an encore which consisted of "Dying Now" and "Time Moves Quickly." While Abby played the final notes of "Time Moves Quickly" on the keyboard Gundersen quietly walked off the stage without saying a word, leaving the crowd peaceful but still wanting more.
Thankfully Gundersen will be back this summer to play TURF, July 4-6.