Concerts Concerts Los Campesinos! At Lee's Palace

Los Campesinos! At Lee's Palace

Los Campesinos! at Lee's Palace
Los Campesinos!

Lee's Palace
January 22, 2012

Review by: Chad Hutchings
Photos by: Julie Lavelle

A great performance from the Welsh act that somehow makes us dance while making us depressed.

Los Campesinos!

Somewhere around the middle of the final set of a two night stay in Toronto, Los Campesinos! lead Gareth Paisey reflected on paired appearances. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, he talked about being able to reuse neither the same set-list nor the same front-man schtick to burn through that Sunday show. Unsurprisingly, though, the only thing that those reflections brought to light was just how the second run audience definitely did not get the short end of the stick from a band that's built one hell of a reputation for their great live appearances.

Although the sprawling seven-piece didn't have much room to move on Lee's small stage, Paisey did what he could to keep his feet moving, while the rest of the band did what they could to fuel the very same kind of movement in the audience - a task that was no real trouble, considering the kind of polite fanatics that were filling the floor. Dancing, cheering, and general respectful commotion grew as the crowd loosened up, hitting high points when favourites like "You! Me! Dancing!" made lyrical demands that nobody tried to refuse.

And, all the while, there wasn't a hiccup to let the dancers, the jumpers, or even the quiet head-bobbers down. There was engagement by the ton, and the instrumental delivery would have been well worth recording for recreation of that good vibe dance party. Of course, in true Los Campesinos! form, those good vibes were never actually too stable to begin with; all of those talents shown by the pretty young group appeared while playing happy tunes that threatened to turn sad if you paid too much attention to the lyrics tossed around by the charming Gareth and his sister, the effortfully aloof Kim Paisey. But, while darker passions were always sneaking to the surface of the dance party (like during the raging "The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future"), the fans certainly didn't leave frowning. Whether they were happy words or sad, most everyone left singing.

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