Concerts Concerts Wintersleep Initiate Holiday Cheer

Wintersleep Initiate Holiday Cheer

Wintersleep at Phoenix Concert Theatre
Wintersleep
Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto, ON
December 10, 2010

Review by: Sean McNamara
Photos by: Pete Nema

Having opened a couple of shows in Toronto this summer, Wintersleep finally got the chance to headline a show of their own at a larger venue. Despite being at the end of their recent tour, the band put forth an entertaining set, however at times seemed a bit low on energy.

Wintersleep

I was excited to finally be able to catch Wintersleep this year, being a fan of most of their work and having missed the two shows they played here earlier this year. On a brisk Friday evening, the stage was simply decorated with a few simple lights and, more importantly, a stuffed dog right in front of the drum kit, who I believe also appears on the cover of Wintersleep's latest album New Inheritors. The set featured a good mix of both old and new songs, which sounded great live.

"Encyclopedia" kicked it all of nicely with it's heavy guitar riffs and an almost Michael Stipe-esque vocal delivery by Paul Murphy (vocals, guitar). However, after "Dead Letter & The Infinite Yes", the show seemed to loose a bit of momentum, and the band seemed content to dwell in slower songs that dragged a little. This brought the energy of the crowd down a bit, but that was quickly restored with the upbeat "Black Camera", which filled the room with soaring guitars and a rumbling bass line. The seconds half of the show really picked up. One of the highlights was "Experience The Jewel", which had flashing lights aligned with the pounding drum that reverberated through the crowd like a gunshot.

Fans enjoyed the more well known songs the most, as "Weighty Ghost", "Search Party", and "Laser Beams" all drew clap-alongs and the most applause. Another very powerful display of the musicianship Wintersleep posses was "Miasmal Smoke & The Yellow Bellied Freaks". About 10 minutes long, the first half built from a soft quiet instrumental into a beautifully layered masterpiece that rocked the crowd hard. Add the cherry on top of "Oblivion" and the crowd was screaming their approval. The band might not have displayed tons of energy, or chatted with the crowd much (a couple of polite thank you's was about it), but hearing the great songs Wintersleep can play was all people could ask for.

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