The Dears Reveal Their New Album at Their Residency at The Garrison

Date of show: October 13, 2010

Although I was only able to catch the first night of their residency and I missed most of the opener, Ladies of the Canyon, The Dears invited some great acts to support their stay in Toronto. They were joined by Bad Tits on night two and Braids for night three. It was also really special to see that The Dears were donating all merch sales to War Child for their entire residency.

The Dears have only revealed their new material in two cities this year, first at their residency in Mexico City in May and then just the other week for their residency at POP Montreal where they debuted the album in its entirety. It was an honour to be among the first to hear The Dears debut their fifth album for their residency at The Garrison, especially on the first night.

Kicking off the set, as well as the album, was “Omega Dog” and shortly after their second song Murray Lightburn (vocals, guitar), who always has some of the most amusing stage banter, thanked the crowd for coming out. He announced, “Tonight we’re presenting all new work, one song after another. Deal with it, motherfuckers!” If anyone thought they would be playing a set of their hits that night, Lightburn quickly dispelled those thoughts. As someone who usually listens to albums the whole way through as a habit, I welcomed the notion of hearing the album front-to-back. However, it can be a trying time for fans quickly trying to absorb the new sounds, but it’s also a lot of work and energy for a band to play a solid hour-long set with minimal breaks. The Dears were impressive, never failing in their delivery and their energy was always high.

It’s still the same Dears you know, with Lightburn’s hauntingly beautiful vocals, Natalia Yanchak’s textured harmonies and skill on keys, as well as the return of some alumni, Roberto Arquilla (bass), Rob Benvie (guitar, keys) and Patrick Krief (guitar, vocals). Jeff Luciani, a new drummer, also brought a bit of a more drum-heavy sound to the new material. Overall, the new album still brings the slow-burners that their known for, as well as some upbeat tunes where Krief absolutely tore up the stage with his solos. At the end of the set, Lightburn said, “You have now heard the entire album, album #5, by your favourite band in the entire fucking world, The Dears.” For this the crowd cheered, thankful and maybe a little awestruck.

The Dears came back for a much-anticipated encore. After hearing all new material, fans were anxious to hear some classic favourites. As Lightburn stepped on stage, the crowd erupted as he started playing the chords for “The Second Part.” After being joined halfway through the song by the rest of the band, the crowd clumsily sang along for the entire encore. Other old favourites played were “You and I Are a Gang of Losers,” “Hate Then Love,” “Lost in the Plot” and “22: The Death of All Romance.” As I filed out of The Garrison, the crowd buzzed with happiness, hearing favourites and eager for the album’s slated release in February 2011.

During the set, Lightburn announced that we in Toronto could claim The Dears as a Toronto band and called Toronto their “home away from home.” Hey Murray, we didn’t need your permission; we already love you like you are our own.

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Categories: Live Music


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