Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto, ON, March 23
Despite a few years of collecting famous followers and co-conspirators like Frank Ocean, Tyler, the Creator, Pharoahe Monch, and Wu-Tang producer Frank Dukes, BadBadNotGood's three Humber grads remain as humble as ever. They brought that humility to Toronto's legendary Horseshoe Tavern stage (a first time appearance at the venue, for which they would point out they were incredibly grateful) as they set out to perform for yet another packed room — something that has become a bit of the norm for them of late.
Photo: Kevin Jones
The rich, meandering piano-led groove that opened the set showed the distance the trio have come with their own original compositions, with their use of dynamic shift playing such a major role in the gripping effect their songs have on listeners. Going between tame and delicate, though no less dizzying, melodic sections and blistering, drum-fuelled grooves, the band ignited their rabid fanbase with a lengthy showcase that was replete with golden keyboard runs and intense bass solos.
A creative take on the Flying Lotus' "Putty Boy Strut" with an added raging midsection initiated a wave of stage diving and ensuing mosh pit, which carried right through to the latter portion of the set. Sax and flute infusions, complex compositional breakdowns, and a final burner in crowd favourite "Lemonade" (a Gucci Mane cover) closed out a set that, in terms of showcasing BBNG's own exceptional musicality, was one of their strongest yet.
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