Concerts Concerts Shining Despite the Rain: Suuns at The Garrison

Shining Despite the Rain: Suuns at The Garrison

Suuns at The Garrison
The Garrison in Toronto, ON
October 2, 2011

Review by: Chad Hutchings
Photos by: Allison Jansen

Returning for the first time since a double header at NXNE, Suuns brought their signature sound back around to Toronto fans.


Wastefully, that signature sound was met by too few ears.

With the city in recovery mode from the previous night's Nuit Blanche bash, Montreal's Suuns found themselves on the stage of The Garrison last week with the floor only half full (and even this was a big step-up from the scattered few fans appearing to see supporting act, Valleys). As you'd expect, when a crowd is that sparse, it can be hard for a fan to really slip into anonymity and submit to the sort of seductive vibe that the group brings with their sets. But, despite the darting eyes and awkward still bodies that abounded as the set kicked off, by the third song (a stunning performance of "PVC"), Suuns had the audience awed and neck-deep into moving with the dark beats.

That awe in the audience didn't come from a witnessing a perfect show, though. In a venue that's hardly known for its good sound, the group could do little to keep on par with their recorded work. Worse still, the issues went beyond poor acoustics, with things miles off course back at the sound board. And, with distinct highs and lows and complex beats characterizing much of the act's pieces, a lot of Suuns' work lost its mood, taking on some new, dirty hard rock shape. It became tricky at times to even identify songs ("Up Past The Nursery" was completely lost in the poor levels), let alone appreciate the pieces properly for all of their layers.

But, in defiance of the mess, Suuns paid little notice and gave a performance that grew exponentially stronger as the set-list charged along, with the dancing and focus from the crowd growing endlessly intense in perfect suit by the second half of the group's time on-stage. Even with the sound issues, the pieces flowed to create a certain entrancing life under the barely-there blue lights, while the heavy, sexy beats pounded like a tribal drum to stir the audience into a growing carnal wave. Gems came out of nowhere to eclipse the what came before them and, in perfect timing, the night came to a highlight with final fiery renditions of the "Pie Xi" and "Arena", while slow grinding and salacious looks ate up the floor.

With Suuns' perseverance, this was a night that was cemented in memory for its heady and hypnotizing showing, not for its technical faults; for the fans that worked up a sweat to the sultry beats and raw performance in front of them, there were much better things to think about.


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