Virgin Mobile Mod Club in Toronto, ON
June 2, 2014
Review by: Chad Hutchings
Photos by: Julie Lavelle
Kishi Bashi manages to once again awe a crowd full of fervent Toronto fans.
It's great to feel exclusive, so it's not often I'd want competing media crammed alongside me at the front row of a show, scribbling down all of those things that I can't quite find the words to say. With that said, if there was one show that deserved a swarm of attention this season, it was Kishi Bashi's latest visit to the city. However, that front row was pretty short on shooters when the experimental pop artist came to the Mod Club last week.
Of course, that lack of coverage is a bit of a reflection on Kishi Bashi's popularity in the city. There's a certain devoted following in Toronto, and a very passionate one at that. But those who don't know him well… well, they really don't seem to know him at all. To hell with the appeal of the obscure, though, because he puts on one hell of a show every time he comes around, and it should probably be yelled from a rooftop, or at least announced on a sandwich board.
Unsurprisingly, the performance was as strong as ever this time around, as he appeared in support of his new album Lighght. Kishi Bashi's set was full of energy and the kind of dynamic musical play that you'd expect to come from weeks in a studio, and his touring band (including Tall Tall Trees on a glowing banjo), was definitely up to the task of keeping up with the artist. While the set featured plenty of tracks from the latest release, he burned through many of the fervent fans' favourites, including the popular "Bright Whites" - supplemented by a spontaneous pseudo-beatbox freestyle burst that he urged the audience to upload online so he could revisit it down the road (Toronto fans may have witnessed the first bits of a brand new track). And, all the while, Kishi Bashi sang through a massive grin and played while bouncing around with unadulterated joy; He’s a performer that’s grateful to have found his calling. Now if only more listeners could find his music.