Jane’s Party Throws a Summer Shindig at The Rivoli

Date of show: June 5, 2014
Written by: Chiara DiAngelo

Toronto quartet Jane’s Party came out swinging, with the sweetness of songs like “Palm Reading” and “Meet Me Halfway” quickly making the hems of summer dresses flutter as toes started spontaneously tapping. A band well-known to punch you in the face with their prettiness, a set of new pedals added an additional level of trippy distortion and a dirtier garage sound to the band’s effortless pop melodies, splashy keys, and dreamy three-part harmonies.

The crowd still just a little bit too mellow for their tastes, the band requested everyone “go fucking wild” during “Dutch Blue Sky.” Unfortunately this may have backfired slightly for them as the boost in energy in the room toppled the Wurlitzer piano from its legs. Luckily they laughed it off with the proclamation that this was “the definition of a technical difficulty!” and quickly regrouped with a rendition of John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy” before putting the piano back in the spotlight for set closer “Anytime Now.”

Having recently wrapped up recording their third LP with Blue Rodeo’s Greg Keelor, we can’t wait to hear what’s coming next from Jane’s Party!

The Seasons

The only non-local on the night’s bill, Quebec City’s The Seasons warmed the stage for the headliners. They shared a penchant for Jane’s Party-esque sweet choral harmonies, though those of brothers Julien and Hebert Chiasson (vocals, guitar) were layered upon a Brit pop-slash-folk sound that possessed just the right amount of required quirky experimentalism one has come to expect from that province. They managed to combine rhythmically bouncy with playfully dancey and the spaces in between were filled with endearingly awkward banter. While I’m not sure whether it was in the band’s best interest to admit they had never heard of The Everly Brothers before they began earning comparisons to the 1960’s band, their version of “Cathy’s Clown” provided justification that the comparisons were warranted.

The Seasons’ debut album, Pulp, was released back in April, and it’s safe to say you’ll likely be hearing a lot more about them as the year progresses. If you’re new to the band, I’d recommend starting with “Apples,” the delightful ballad that had the venue softly swaying.

The Pick Brothers Band

The night began with local suit-sporting trio The Pick Brothers Band (and in case you were wondering, yes, the band is indeed comprised of three brothers, last name Pick). Their set was filled with some crazy time changes, and leisurely groovy bass lines that equally often exploded into epic extended instrumentals. The highlight being the positively thumping “Hey Sugar!”, which had the crowd dancing up a storm. Similar in vibe to Niagara funksters, The Bends, they even at times brought to mind the sound I’m pretty sure would erupt if Born Ruffians ever played a Bar Mitzvah.

There is some work to be done for the still-young band. Sharing vocals duties between Jeremiah (guitar, drums) and Gabriel (drums, guitar), neither of the brothers’ voices were necessarily the band’s strongest asset but their energy and enthusiasm made it work. And it might have taken them two tries to get the intro to a new song just right, but hey, the large group of friends they had in the audience didn’t seem to mind one bit.

Look for them next at the Horseshoe on Saturday, August 23.

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Categories: Live Music


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