Concerts Concerts Library Voices, Paper Lions, and Bend Sinister Band Together

Library Voices, Paper Lions, and Bend Sinister Band Together

Library Voices at Horseshoe Tavern
Library Voices, Paper Lions, Bend Sinister
Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto, ON
September 30, 2010

Photos and Review by: Pete Nema

If someone asked me to put together a Friday night line-up of independent Canadian bands, I'm not sure I would have come up with idea of combining Library Voices, Paper Lions, and Bend Sinister, but when the show was announced, it seemed like the night was designed specifically for me.

I know I wasn't the only one that felt that way, though — it was just a great combination of bands that ended up making for one of those memorable nights at the Horseshoe Tavern that happens every now and then. The right bands, the right crowd, the right performances, and the right sound, all at a great venue.

Library Voices

I had almost forgotten how amazing Library Voices can be on stage, but looking back at my own blog, there's a reason I went to see them on two Tuesdays in a row in July of last year (July 21 and July 28). The July 21st gig caught me off-guard because I rolled into that show not really remembering their music, only just that they were on my list of bands to see. They were so great that night that I went back the next week.

I had a similar experience this time around, although not because I couldn't remember their music (in fact, I regularly listen to their excellent 2010 full-length album Denim on Denim as well as their 2009 EP Hunting Ghosts), but because I had almost forgotten what an amazing show they put on. In comparison to a standard four piece band, Library Voices has double the number of people on stage, which turns into a little on-stage party. Band members were in such tight quarters they have no choice but to play off each other, and lead singer/guitarist Carl Johnson puts on such an energetic performance that he was sweat-covered by the end of the opening song.

If you're looking for a new and incredible Canadian indie-rock experience, then be sure to keep your eyes open for any upcoming Library Voices dates. They are currently heading West across Canada ending up in Vancouver. Check the tour dates page on their website for details.

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Paper Lions

Back at Virgin Festival in 2008, Paper Lions put on a sensational early day performance that got me hooked on their classic rock/brit-pop influenced brand of Canadian indie-rock. At the Horseshoe, their performance was even more bold than I've seen in the past two years, showing no fear toward extending their songs or inserting interludes into their stage show to emphasize their musical abilities.

John MacPhee (vocals, guitar, keyboards) put on an amazing performance that included a few forays into the audience, but the real star of this particular performance was David MacDonald (drums) whose mad percussion skills were featured twice during the set; the first time he played a short solo that started out with just bare hands ended with him using four drumsticks (two in each hand). The other brought him out to the front of the stage for some wild bongo playing while Rob MacPhee (bass) took over on the kit. Another great performance.

If you haven't seen Paper Lions' new video for "Lost The War", you've got to see it, it's great. As you're watching it, keep in mind that the flip books in the video are actually real flip books, printed for the making of the video.

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Bend Sinister

Bend Sinister is part of the small group of great progressive rock influenced bands that have formed in or around Vancouver. The band membership that rotates around Dan Moxon (vocals, keyboards) once again showed a slight change for this visit to Toronto, but this specific line-up worked particularly well together. Along side of a great set of songs from their 2009 full-length Stories Of Brothers, Tales Of Lovers and their 2010 EP Spring Romance, they included a new song called "One Shot" that was so fresh Moxon had to have the lyrics written on a sheet of paper. It was surprisingly great for something that was not as rehearsed. Even though Bend Sinister was the band responsible for starting out the night, it felt like a short headlining set. An amazing start to what turned out to be a memorable night.

Info: Bend Sinister
Connect: MySpace, Facebook, Twitter
Music: Jimmy Brown
Video: The News

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