Smiling Buddha Bar in Toronto, Ontario
January 28, 2010
Review by: Jo Vos
Photos by: Pete Nema
Woodhands. Woodhands. Woodhands. Seems to be all I’m hearing these days. My screen is full of retweets referencing their "awesomeness", friends keep on sending me their tracks as if I don’t know who they are, and my coworkers are now relentlessly replaying PB+J remixes all day long. Awesomeness indeed.
This mostly secret, invite-only CD Release party for Remorsecepade was held at the Smiling Buddha Bar on College Street in Toronto. The small, unique venue perfectly housed a modestly dressed (plaid and black clad) crowd of excited friends, fans, bloggers, and music peeps. In contrast, with a Labatt 50 in hand, I was dressed like an over-joyous disco ball donning a cunning red-lipped smile.
The duo provided an accelerated performance which was plenty full of heart-stopping bass and their trademark synth-pop rhythmic fusion. It was also their first time playing tracks off of the new album on stage. Stating "It was cathartic to finally play live songs that had taken up so much mental space," Dan Werb (keyboards, keytar, vocals) masterfully covered hiccups via wit and "Oh Shits". As it was my first time seeing them live, I concur that they have a unique and energetic stage presence.
There is something so compelling about having a heavy percussive flow drive right through your body. As if it is the sole reason your heart is beating. Thanks to Paul Banwatt's maniacal drum skills, my heart was very much alive. Housed in a larger venue, their performance would most definitely be an amplified trip. With the addition of freshly imported lasers, comedic mid-song banter, and the steady sway of the crowd, I had a lovely evening. Consider it official, I have now jumped on the Woodhands hype train and will support these fellows as they steadily rise above the clouds.