Date of show: April 27, 2012
Written by: Chiara DiAngelo
Local band The Little Black Dress celebrated the release of their debut album Spotlight to a packed Rivoli filled with captivated fans, affectionately known as the “LBD Army,” many of whom were decked out in their little black dresses in honour of the occasion. The night definitely had a celebratory feeling to it as Dan Sadowski (vocals, guitar), Brian Seligman (guitar), Kyle Hohmann (keys/synths, vocals), Damian Dobrowolski (bass), and Lewis Spring (drums) wowed the crowd from start to finish with their infectious pop-rock dance anthems.
Playing the CD in order, they started with the triumphant feeling “Last One Standing” and an at-times, blinding light show. Impossible-not-to-dance-to single “Call the Paparazzi” and title-track “Spotlight” had the crowd jumping and singing along. They didn’t let up as the high energy “Radio” was up next, introed by Seligman wailing away on the guitar. The first of many exciting moments, Sadowski took to the tables off the front of the stage to sing closer to the fans.
A highlight of their set, they invited Lauren Malyon on stage with them, transforming “Lovers vs. Enemies” into a darkly moving duet, with her and Sadowski sharing the mic at times and Malyon strumming the guitar in his hands. Always the charismatic frontman, Sadowski took the time halfway through their set to thank everyone involved with the show and getting them to this point. Adding a really nice touch, he even left the stage to thank everyone in the crowd as well before running back up and onto the drum kit during “This Town,” which ended with a pretty impressive air kick and just a snippet of Taio Cruz’s “Dynamite” thrown in.
They then slowed it down with “We Are the Dream,” which started with just Sadowski and the pretty keys of Hohmann, before the rest of the instruments came in part way through, giving some electricity to the the emotional ballad. After “Liars and Saints” they added a cover of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know.” Obviously a crowd favourite, I didn’t think the cheers from the girls in the audience could get louder than they had been already, but they did. Their set closed with “Woman,” the last song on the album. One of their rockier songs, it finished with Seligman shredding away on the guitar and Spring pounding the drums.
Not ready for the night to be done, everyone eagerly chanted for an encore. Thanking the crowd for “asking them back for a second date,” the band gave them one more chance to dance with “Sucker For a Redhead” that ended with Hohmann joining Spring on a slamming drum solo.
If you like to dance, you can pick up Spotlight on iTunes, but you’ll also for sure want to be at the next Little Black Dress show – be sure to buy them a shot!
It’s not every day you see a band that has a keytar or an electric violin. Lauren Malyon plays both. Flanked by her backing band, Malyon took the stage in a blaze of blonde hair and quite the extensive keys/synthesizer set-up. She offered a unique mix of synthy, electronic dance numbers, with each song having a slightly different sound to it. Starting with a bit of a funky disco sound, her first song appropriately transitioned into “Stayin’ Alive,” but not before first adding in a folky element with the electric violin.
“Indian Summer” had a deep bass line and darker keys, which fit well with the lyrics about finding someone who is able to pull you out of the mess that is your life, if only temporarily. She attempted to add in some vocal effects, but unfortunately dealt with some feedback issues, which she most politely apologized for afterwards. Describing next song “Creatures of the Night” as being about getting lost in the forest, its haunting reverb actually did give the frightening sense of being trapped in the deep dark woods. Malyon then joined her keyboardist on keys for the ballad “If You Fall,” with the guitarist contributing backup vocals. She ended her set playing the tambourine on a track with the heaviest sound of her set; “just like rock and roll,” it seemed to best capture the attention of the crowd.
Her set was peppered with nervously polite stage banter as she expressed her excitement to be a part of the night. Pairing her sweet voice with a mixture of synth, folk and dancey elements gives Malyon a very diverse and unique sound, one that she will be able to work to expand even further as her comfort on stage improves.
Coming all the way from Quebec City was second band of the night, Midnight Romeo. An eclectic group of young musicians, Marie-Pierre Bellerose (vocals, synths), Marie-Pierre Bellefeuille (keys), Julien Valois Dobbie (guitar), Olivier Quirion (bass), and Marc-Antoine Delarosbil (drums) brought their spacey synth-laden dance rock to the show. While all members contributed vocals and had great chemistry with one another, it was frontwoman Bellerose and her throaty voice that led the band. A bit of a bad-ass, she appeared to be channelling her inner punk rock Gwen Stefani, both in attire and attitude. It worked well for her.
Acknowledging the fact that the majority of audience members were unfamiliar with their band, they played a mixture of new and “new to us” songs. Highlights of their set included “Hush Hush” and “Lonely Dancer,” both incredibly high energy dance tracks. It was unfortunate that the crowd didn’t give the set the level of dancing it deserved – you just know this band must drive their hometown fans into a frenzy.
If you have the chance to catch Midnight Romeo live, take it. And keep your eyes on the drummer – Delarosbil’s facial expressions and pure enjoyment to be on stage were one of the most entertaining aspects of their performance.
Comprised of Tres Chevolleau (vocals), Matt Prince (guitar), Brent Gordon (guitar), Steven Foster (bass) and Raymond McTaggar (drums), local band Winter City started the night with their ambient and expressive rock sound.
Emotionally charged, Chevolleau obviously sings with real emotion, most evident on the raw “No Bad Deed” with its repetition of “our love is dying.” With a bit of a performance art feel to their live show, the theatrical singer fed off the energy of the multitude of friends the band had up front, growing more dramatic in his movements as the set progressed. Their short five-song set ended with a harder rock finish to “World On Fire.” Still young, I’m interested to watch this band grow and continue to add more songs to their repertoire.