Concerts Concerts CMF 2013: Saturday Night at Lee's Palace

CMF 2013: Saturday Night at Lee's Palace

Savages at Lee's Palace
The Buzz Factor Series Showcase
Decades, Valleys, Lioness, Savages, Suuns
Lee's Palace in Toronto, ON
March 23, 2013

Review by: Laura Eley
Photos by: Allison Janzen

Lee's Palace hosted some great talent at The Buzz Factor Series Showcase on CMF Saturday.

Decades

Taking the first slot of the night, Toronto’s alternative and introspective band Decades offered a solid presentation that grew in confidence with the collecting crowd. Lead vocalist Mike Kaminski supplied dreamy, Robert Smith-style vocals that at times got lost in the overpowering mix of instruments. Drummer Peter Gosling was clean and accurate in percussion delivery, and the crowd seemed to warm to their appreciative interactions.

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Valleys

A male-female duo from Montreal, Valleys concocted a sweep of psychedelic tunes that fell somewhere between the soundtrack for a video game and a hazy, teenage circle toke. Heavy on the keyboard, synth, and minor keys, the low key group remained fairly lethargic, perhaps modest, on stage. As part of the electronic music world that Montreal has generously donated to in the past few years, Valleys bring a respectable addition.

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Lioness

Toronto-founded Lioness overtook the Lee’s Palace crowd with raw, fervent musical authority. Combining the powerhouse vocals of Vanessa Fischer with the heavy percussion beats of Jeff Scheven, this band commanded - and kept – widespread attention. Crafting a cool, pick-me-up sound that resembled Stevie Nicks, this group gave an underdog highlight performance that heated things up for the following artists.

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Savages

Stepping out as time travelling members of a ‘70s post-punk band, the four-piece and entirely female Savages packed a powerful performance rife with hard chords and tough vocals. Based in London (UK, not Ontario), these ladies required few stage lights as they jammed their way through songs with lead vocalist Jehny Beth kicking verbal, no-nonsense ass. The audience quickly absorbed the calculated notes of introverted members Gemma Thompson and Ayse Hassan. The genius in this band is their purity, their “this is it” attitude that leaves the crowd feeling privy to having experienced all they’ve got to offer. These gals are going places.

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Suuns

Montreal’s Suuns arrived in casual style for the Saturday night CMF rock showcase at Lee’s Palace. Headlining the evening, the four t-shirted members provided a moody, looping set that induced an atmospheric musical coma with their languid mix of vocals (courtesy of Ben Shemie), guitars, and synths. Standing out as much for originality as evoking mystical vibes through recurring sounds, their performance was all-encompassing and highly memorable. Definitely worth checking out.

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